The Best Ocean Toys And Gifts For Kids

Toy Guides

The Best Ocean Toys And Gifts For Kids

July 14, 2022

Is your child an underwater explorer, friend to sea creatures near and far? We've got toys for that! These special aquatic toys, crafts, and pretend play activities are sure to transport kids to ocean worlds and inspire their seaside adventures.

10 Best Toys for Kids Who Love Ocean Animals

Here are ten of our favorite ocean animal toys that are sure to inspire play that goes swimmingly.

#1. Water Wow - Underwater Pathways

Melissa & Doug Best Ocean Toys and Gifts Wonder Wow Underwater Pathways

Age: 5+

Why it's great: Kids will love exploring the ocean through multi-path mazes and scenes of snorkeling, shell games, and fish fun with the underwater-themed coloring boards and refillable water pen!

Sweet detail: It's like magic; the reusable pages start out white with simple line drawings when dry, and become mazes, pathways, and full of color when wet.

Skills: Fine motor, problem solving

Countless Ways to Play: Put on your bathing suits and use this on-the-go painting activity as a swim break that keeps you connected to your underwater adventures.


#2. Fishing Magnetic Puzzle Game

Melissa & Doug Best Ocean Toys and Gifts Fishing Magnetic Puzzle Game

Age: 3+

Why it's great: This wooden puzzle game lets kids bring the fishing boat inside with a magnetic fishing pole that "catches" ten colorful aquatic animals!

Sweet detail: Pictures under the pieces encourage matching skills.

Skills: Hand-eye coordination, fine motor

Countless Ways to Play: Turn your playroom into the ocean by taking the sea creatures out of the puzzle and helping them swim. (Or bring this outside and turn your backyard into the beach!)


#3. Reusable Sticker Pad - Habitats

Melissa & Doug Best Ocean Toys and Gifts Reusable Sticker Pad - Habitats

Age: 3+

Why it's great: This interactive sticker book lets kids create their own aquatic adventures with 150+ reusable stickers and five glossy, colorful scenes.

Sweet detail: The ocean is just one of this book's backgrounds — kids can think outside the box by putting an octopus in a desert oasis, an elephant in the deep blue sea, a deep sea diver on a farm, or travel back in time to a prehistoric landscape.

Skills: Fine motor, creative thinking

Countless Ways to Play: Continue the theme of mixing and matching — kids can draw their own background landscape (perhaps outer space!) and use the stickers on their own creations.


#4. Flip Fish Baby Toy

Melissa & Doug Best Ocean Toys and Gifts Flip Fish Baby Toy

Age: 1+ Months

Why it's great: This brightly colored, multi-textured soft toy isn't a typical stuffed animal  — it has hidden pictures under its scale, a squeaker tail to encourage grasp and finger strength, and a shatterproof mirror for getting used to reflections. 

Sweet detail: Washable fabric makes it super-easy to clean.

Skills: Fine motor

Countless Ways to Play: If you're playing with a toddler, take turns hiding and finding the fish.


#5. Fish & Count Learning Game

Melissa & Doug Best Ocean Toys and Gifts Fish & Count Learning Game

Age: 1+

Why it's great: Kids will have all the fun of fishing without having to actually travel to the water with the pond, squeezable rod, bait, self-stick pad, and eight felt sea creatures.

Sweet detail: The reversible "pond" has shapes on one side and numbers on the other, so kids can practice learning and counting, too. 

Skills: Sensory, fine motor, gross motor, logic

Countless Ways to Play: Who says you need to only go fishing for aquatic animals? Mix up the sea friends with other small toys.


#6. On the Go ColorBlast No-Mess Coloring Pad - Sea Life

Melissa & Doug Best Ocean Toys and Gifts On the Go ColorBlast No-Mess Coloring Pad - Sea Life

Age: 3+

Why it's great: Kids get to use a "magic" pen to reveal surprise pictures as they color in the 24 pages of seek-and-find ocean-themed scenes.

Sweet detail: This no-mess coloring pad is the perfect activity for car rides.

Skills: Fine motor, pre-writing, visual discrimination

Countless Ways to Play: Encourage kids to write a story about the underwater scene they just magically uncovered.


#7. Louie Lobster Claw Catcher Pool Toy
Melissa & Doug Best Ocean Toys and Gifts Louie Lobster Claw Catcher Pool Toy

Age: 5+

Why it's great: This bright red lobster's claws are so much fun to squeeze — especially when they're grabbing the included three fishy sinkers.

Sweet detail: While Louie Lobster is technically a pool toy, it's suitable for indoor use, too.

Skills: Gross motor, fine motor

Countless Ways to Play: It's a race — take turns timing kids while they try to pick up one fish at a time from the bottom of the pool and carry it to the edge of the pool using only the Claw Catcher. 


#8. Spark Shark Fish Hunt Pool Toy

Melissa & Doug Best Ocean Toys and Gifts Spark Shark Fish Hunt Pool Toy

Age: 6+

Why it's great: Kids will have fun swimming with the sharks when they grab onto the two Spark Shark net handles and glide through the pool to scoop up six fishy sinkers.

Sweet detail: Brightly colored fish sinkers are easy to spot in the water.

Skills: Gross motor, hand eye coordination

Countless Ways to Play: Scatter the fishy sinkers, grab your teammates, and start racing as each person has to scoop up one sinker.


#9. Puffy Stickers Play Set - Pirate

Melissa & Doug Best Ocean Toys and Gifts Puffy Stickers Play Set - Pirate

Age: 4+

Why it's great: Take to the high seas with this reusable puffy sticker set that includes 51 reusable puffy stickers and a double-sided glossy background featuring a pirate ship and desert island scenes. 

Sweet detail: The convenient carrying handle makes it just right for traveling.

Skills: Fine motor, hand eye coordination

Countless Ways to Play: Once you set your pirate scene, play "I spy" to spot the sea creatures.

#10. Mermaid Role Play Costume Set

Melissa & Doug Best Ocean Toys and Gifts Mermaid Role Play Costume Set

Age: 3+

Why it's great: Anyone can be a mermaid with this shimmering dress that features a fishtail and seashell tiara.

Sweet detail: High-quality fabrics and construction, so they can wear the costume as much as they want.

Skills: Imagination 

Countless Ways to Play: Perform a skit or play starring your mermaid character!

Bonus Picks!

For more oceanic exploration, check out the Underwater Floor Puzzle - 48 PiecesPlaymats - Under the Sea (coloring and activity pads), and this Lifelike Plush Emperor Penguin!