The 10 Best Sand Buckets

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This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in March of 2017. For a child, having fun at the beach, playground, or in a sandbox requires only a little imagination and a simple container. These classic sand buckets make it easy for youngsters to build castles, dig holes, tote water, and much more. Our selection features durable designs in bold colors that are priced right for every budget, and many also come with bonus accessories. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Melissa & Doug Seaside Sidekicks

2. Hape 5-In-1

3. FoxPrint Molds

Editor's Notes

August 13, 2020:

In today’s update, we moved the Melissa & Doug Seaside Sidekicks into the top spot, thanks to its quality construction, plus it’s from a well-known maker of award-winning children’s toys. This set of four is great when you’re bringing multiple siblings or friends to the beach, so everyone has one to work with and they can trade off. Each child will want a turn with every bucket, since they feature built-in molds of starfish, turtles, crabs, and octopuses. In addition, their painted-on numbers can help tots practice counting as they work on their creations. The newly added FoxPrint Molds comes with a castle-shaped bucket, the cover of which functions as a handy sifter. It's got 16 pieces in total, such as a watering can, a sifter, a rake, and a shovel – so you’ll have all the beach toys you need for an afternoon of fun in the sun. What’s more, you’ll receive both a plastic storage bag with handles and a mesh bag that helps ensure you don’t bring a pound of sand home from the beach. This set replaces the Tevelo Molds, a similar enough set, but one which does not include as many pieces. In addition, this one’s lower price tag brings you a bit more bang for your buck.

We also moved the Hape 5-In-1 up into the number two spot. This set comes very highly rated, thanks in part to its intuitive design in which the three pails and two shovels all nest together, locked together at the handle. This helps make sure nothing gets left behind at the beach and that random components don’t become lost at the bottom of your beach bag. We kept the Green Toys Play Set in a prominent place on the list, as it’s a great choice for eco-conscious parents, since the pieces are made from recycled milk jugs. With it comes a castle mold, a rake, a shovel, and a bucket with a durable rope handle.

August 02, 2019:

We overhauled this list and removed nearly half its models to bring it up to date and reflect the best choices on the market at the time of writing this. We also brought it up to an even 10 items.

We felt the Fun Land Beach Pails (at both number 9 and number 5) were too thin to merit a spot considering how rough kids can be on toys. We removed the Italia Metal, which, despite its hardy construction, wasn't rated for use in the sun and water and is too small.

We retained only the most durable selections and added a few more, as well as choices that came bundled with molds, rakes, shovels, and funnels for added fun and value. We also kept two collapsible models (AquaVault Packable and Top Race Multi-Purpose), which can be used for many applications around the house.

The newest additions to this list include the Green Toys Play Set, Melissa & Doug Seaside Sidekicks, Top Race Beach Toys, and Hape 5-In-1. We favored the Green Toys Play Set for the number one spot because it's impressively durable, made using eco-friendly materials and processes, and comes with extra tools that should last years.

Our priorities for this ranking were strength, durability, price point, versatility, and bonuses like accessories. We felt that storage was important too, as traveling with children can quickly become a logistical nightmare when it comes to packing. Most of the items on this list are stackable, self-containing, or collapsible, so you'll have no problem tossing them into a beach bag.

Special Honors

Collapsible Beach Pail With a height of almost nine inches, this collapsible bucket comes with a matching shovel and is great for building sandcastles and digging moats, as well as collecting seashells and other treasures at the beach. It folds into a compact silhouette that’s super easy to stow in your beach bag when the fun is done. It’s made of durable orange plastic and is good for kids ages three and up.

4. Green Toys Play Set

5. Top Race Beach Toys

6. AquaVault Packable

7. O Spielstabil Large

8. Top Race Multi-Purpose

9. Miniland Special

This item has been flagged for editorial review and is not available.

10. Fun Express Assortment

Karen Bennett
Last updated by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.

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