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Best Sandbox Toys

Updated April 2024
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Best of the Best
Click N' Play 8 Piece Sand Toy Set
Click N' Play
8 Piece Sand Toy Set
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Comprehensive and Creative
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This comprehensive bag of sandbox toys includes everything a child needs for creative sand play on the beach.


Fun and colorful 18-piece set. With tools of all shapes and sizes, this toy set is ideal for kids of all ages. We love the backpack, which makes cleanup a breeze. We love that the products are BPA-free.


We think the toys might be a bit small for some people.

Best Bang for the Buck
Melissa & Doug Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set
Melissa & Doug
Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set
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Sparks Imagination
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Charming and creative baking set inspires your child's imagination.


Sea-themed set includes a whisk, spoon and measuring cups. We like that the turtle lid doubles as a strainer. We also like that it appeals to a wide range of kids from toddlers to preteens. We give it high marks for sturdy and durable material.


Be careful, as the lid may come loose.

ALEX Toys Super Sand Digger
Super Sand Digger
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Innovative and Fun
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A piece of construction equipment that offers hours of fun for kids.


This innovative toy keeps kids' minds engaged while providing a fun, physical activity. We think it's ideal for kids ages 4 to 7. We like that it can hold a lot of weight — up to 110 pounds. Easy to assemble for instant fun in the sand. Folds up for easy storage.


We wish this toy were more stable. It may require some replacement pieces if it's not stable enough.

John Deere Dump Truck and Tractor Toy Set
John Deere
Dump Truck and Tractor Toy Set
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Customer Favorite
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This set of toys is fun for kids to use to transport sticks, rocks and sand.


Both vehicles roll well over several types of terrain both indoors and outdoors. Children enjoy the fully functional front loader and dump bed while playing in a sandbox. Has a durable and long-lasting construction.


Smaller than some we expected, so make sure to check the size.

Gorilla Playsets Sandbox Tool Kit
Gorilla Playsets
Sandbox Tool Kit
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Simple Yet Solid
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This simple set of three sandbox tools provides all the basics a kid needs to dig or move around sand in a sandbox.


We like how the handles are made of solid wood and the tops are made of heavy-duty plastic, so the toys don't break easily. Comes with a hoe, a rake and a shovel — the basics kids need. The UV-resistant plastic doesn't fade in the sun over time.


This set is a bit expensive for only having three tools in it.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best sandbox toys

For kids, there's something magical about the gritty texture of sand as it passes through their fingers. Sandbox toys add to the fun by providing endless opportunities for them to create castles, moats, dinosaur digs, or a bakery in the backyard or at the beach.

And they’re great for your child’s development, too. Depending on the pieces that are included, sandbox toys can encourage both open- or close-ended play. They can help improve hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and even social skills.

Indeed, sandbox toys are an inexpensive way to provide children with countless hours of entertainment. However, before you buy, you’ll want to consider the best way to store them, whether portability is important, and what type of play your child is most interested in.

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For children younger than two years old, sandboxes are all about the sensory experience. They may need little more than the sand, a bucket, and shovel to be content for hours.

Key considerations

Number of pieces

Sandbox toys get spread far and wide before children are through with them. Some sets include only a bucket and a shovel while others come with two or three dozen toys of all shapes and sizes. While the sets with lots of pieces may be calling your name, keep in mind that you'll have to keep track of and store all those pieces. Try to strike a balance between the number of pieces and your sanity.


Will your child be using the sandbox toys in a sandbox at home or out at the park or beach? If you'll be in your backyard, portability might not be an issue unless you need to store them somewhere other than the sandbox. However, if you want the option of taking them to the beach, sets that come with a carrying bag or tote are easy to grab on your way out the door and won’t slow you down too much when you have chairs, towels, umbrellas, and other things to carry.


How much space do you have? Buckets and shovels, spinners and dump trucks — they gobble space faster than you think. Decide where and how you’ll store the toys before you bring them home. Some sandboxes are large enough to store the toys inside while others will require you to store them in the garage. If you’re planning on taking the toys to the beach, sets that come with a plastic bin or bag are easy to store and can be tossed in the trunk of your car when it’s time to go.

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Expert Tip
Keep your sandbox covered. There’s nothing that ruins sandbox play faster than finding a special “surprise” left by a neighboring cat or dog.


Types of toys

Different kinds of toys may encourage different types of play. Take a good look at how and what your child likes to do to help you narrow down your choices to a set that complements his or her interests.

  • Digging and sand manipulation: All some children need is a plain old shovel and bucket. These sets may also include a pick or hoe to really dig into the sand. There are a few ride-on toys that also fall into this category. These models usually take up more square footage but are hard to resist for their digging ability.
  • Water play: At the beach or if there's a hose in your yard, you can bet your kids will want to add water to their creations. Some sets include waterwheels, funnels, and other water-manipulation toys. Sets that have both water and digging toys provide an opportunity for play that builds critical-thinking and fine-motor skills and feeds the imagination.
  • Animals: For many children, playing with animal toys, such as figurines, allows them to create new worlds and dream up their own stories. Farm, ocean, and prehistoric sets are among the most popular animal-themed sandbox toys.
  • Vehicles: For the equipment-obsessed child, excavators, dump trucks, tractors, and combines are the natural choice for sand play. Vehicles come in both large and small sizes, so make your choice based on how portable you need them to be and how much space you have in your sandbox.


Plastic is by far the most common material used to make sandbox toys. Plastic’s ability to withstand water and sand makes it a great choice. It's also lightweight and portable. However, it breaks down faster than either wood or metal if left in the sun day after day, so be sure to put the toys away in the shade or in a garage or garden shed.

Wood and metal are the other two materials used to make sandbox toys, but they're far less common. Neither of them holds up to sand and water as well as plastic, but both do better in the sun. Metal toys are prone to rust, especially if they get a nick or scratch.


Something to think about with sandbox toys — the brighter the colors, the easier they are to find. When your son comes to you and tells you he thought it was a great idea to bury his favorite bucket, you’ll have a higher chance of finding it if it’s bright red.


In general, sandbox toys aren't small like a Matchbox car. Even small buckets, shovels, picks, and rakes are bulky and can be awkward to store. And some are large enough that there's not enough room left for your child and a few friends in the sandbox. Take a close look at the specifications and make sure you have the space necessary for the toy. Keep in mind that one large toy may not take up too much space, but a set of four or five of them may overload your storage.

Storage container

Anything that comes with its own storage bag or container gets a big old star in our book. Without one, you'll either have to buy one separately or find some other way to keep the toys contained.

"The plastic used to make sandbox toys can be BPA-free or recycled. "

Sandbox toys prices

Sandbox toys can usually be found between $10 to $30. Within this range, most are plastic with anywhere from three to more than 30 pieces. But there are also wood and metal sets, too. The majority of these sets are brightly colored and may have a theme.

There are a few outliers in the $50 range that are typically either large, metal, or ride-on sandbox toys.


  • Get creative. Sandbox toys come in some excellent sets that can be enhanced by treasures found in your backyard. Kids love to pretend pinecones, sticks, or rocks are food or even other people. Create a sandbox space where your child can use their sandbox toys to the full potential of their imagination. Try providing a separate storage bucket for the natural materials they add from your yard.
  • Plastic sandbox toys degrade if left in the sun all day, every day. When not in use, be sure to store them in a covered area.
  • Label your sandbox toys with a Sharpie. This helps you keep track of your child’s toys and prevents confusion and tears if your child has been sharing with others at the park.
  • Did you know you can color sand with liquid watercolors? Mix the watercolors in a spray bottle, and your child can spray his castles and towers in green, blue, and red.
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Expert Tip
Sandbox toys can double as pool toys. Buckets and waterwheels are perfect for poolside play, and plastic toys will float on the water, so you won’t be pulling them off the bottom of the pool.
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Sandbox toys are usually lightweight, which means they can blow away in the wind. If you store them outside, they should be secured during storms.


Q. Do I need to wash my kid’s sandbox toys?

A. For the most part, all you’ll need to do is occasionally rinse the toys with moving parts. As long as the only place they’ll be used is in your sandbox, they won’t get much more than sand on them. Of course, if a cat decides to use your sandbox as a litter box, that’s another story. And if you take them to the beach, you’ll need to rinse off the saltwater, as it breaks down pretty much everything faster than freshwater.

Q. What kind of themes do sandbox toys come in?

A. The themes are wide and varied just like kids’ interests. Common themes include:

  • Ocean
  • Construction
  • Farming
  • Kitchen/baking
  • Garden
  • Castle

Q. How durable are sandbox toys?

A. Durability depends on a few factors, including the material of the toys, how the toys are stored, and your climate. If properly stored out of the sun, most sandbox toys can last for several years. Thicker plastics will last longer than thin ones, especially if your kids like to load test their toys.