We are quickly inching toward beach season and it’s time to make sure we have all the beach essentials we need for our next trip to the beach with our kids!
As parents with small children we know going to the beach is anything but simple. First, there’s the fact that we only have so many hands, and when you go to the beach you need to bring a lot of stuff on top of carrying a kid or two. Then once you’re there you have to worry about babies in diapers, toddler’s who are potty training, sun protection, ocean safety, snacks, toys and entertainment, sand in mouths, sand in eyes, and sand pretty much everywhere else…I think you get the point.
Going to the beach with kids is just not quite as relaxing or easy as it was once upon a time when you went to the beach with just adults.
However, if you are completely prepared and have all the beach essentials you need when going to the beach with kids then it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Bringing the right stuff can mean the difference between a beach trip with kids that’s actually enjoyable and a beach trip that’s miserable for everyone.
This list is extensive, so don’t think that you need every one of these things to have a successful beach trip. My goal with this list is to give you as many ideas of helpful things you could bring to the beach as possible. It’s up to you to decide which items you think will make your beach experience easier and which items would just be extra weight.
What are some general beach essentials for kids?
1. Beach cart or wagon
Whether you choose a beach cart or wagon, you’re going to need some way to lug everything to and from the car. Although you cannot put children in either of these options, you can put everything else you need in them. They are meant for being pulled through the sand so they make it as easy as possible to bring as much as you could possibly want or need.
2. Jogging Stroller
If you don’t plan on bringing a ton of stuff, just using a good old jogging stroller is an option. The great thing about using a stroller is that you can put your kids inside and then everything else can be piled on top or in the storage basket underneath. You can’t just use any old stroller because they will not make it through the sand very easily. You need a jogging stroller because it has large heavy-duty wheels that make it easy to pull through the sand.
This lightweight sport stroller features a one-step compact fold with Speed-3 wheel swivel steering for running, jogging, and walking. Perfect for all-terrain.
3. Tent or Umbrella
Before having kids, beach days meant getting your tan on. After kids, beach days mean enjoying the beach from a nice shady tent. Having a cool shady place to sit is so important when you have a newborn or younger infant. They overheat more easily and their skin is still very sensitive.
The WolfWise beach tent pops up and folds down in seconds, no assembly required. Ultra-lightweight construction allows for easy transportation with included carrying bag.
4. Beach Chairs
Beach chairs are essential for breastfeeding moms. While it is completely possible to breastfeed your baby while sitting on a towel or blanket, it’s not very comfortable. Having a chair that you can rest your back on while nursing is wonderful.
Easily adjusts to 5 seating positions, features an insulated cup holder, is constructed of durable rust-proof aluminum, making it lightweight and easy to carry, includes a mesh pouch located on the side of the chair to store your keys, phone, and wallet.
5. Beach Blanket
The next thing you will need is a beach blanket or beach mat of some kind. It’s nice to have one that is very compact or easy to fold. Also, it is nice when the fabric makes it easy to brush sand off.
Fold up this beach mat and use its strap to conveniently carry it over your shoulder and transport it to and from your destination. You can use this outdoor picnic blanket at the beach or at the park as well.
I don’t think I need to explain why I think towels are essential when you go to the beach with kids (or anyone for that matter) so I’ll just give my suggestion of great beach towels below.
These Amazon beach towels are 100% cotton, fluffy and absorbent, are available in a cute cabana stripe pattern in different colors, and come in a 4-pack.
7. Beach Tote
You are, of course, going to need some kind of bag to keep all your stuff (towels, sunscreen, snacks, book, etc)in. I like to bring a tote bag to the beach because it’s easy to get things in and out of it. The larger the better in my opinion.
8. Mesh Toy Bag
Beach trips with kids include a ton of toys and you’re going to want an easy way to transport them. I love mesh toy bags because you can shake the sand right out of the bottom. It’s also like when they’re really big so you can fit all the toys in one bag.
If you are planning on spending a long day at the beach with kids you’re going to need snacks. Using a cooler bag is so great because it’s large enough to fit a lot of food but not cumbersome or heavy like a normal hard cooler.
When you are heading to the beach with kids you need all the hands you can get. This cooler backpack allows you to keep food cool and easily make your way to the beach.
10. Reusable Wet Bag
One thing you should always have in your beach bag when you have kids is plastic bags. They are perfect for putting wet swimsuits in at the end of the day, keeping phones protected from water and sand, etc. A better eco-friendly option is to get some reusable waterproof pouches. That way you can use them every time you go to the beach instead of having to throw away the plastic bags after one use.
11. Portable Fan
I think that having a portable fan at the beach, especially with younger infants, is such a good idea. It’s great to have something to reach for if anyone is feeling a bit overheated.
This portable fan is small enough to take with you anywhere, just throw it in the travel bag and go. The flexible legs allow you to secure the fan to your baby stroller or beach chair to keep your baby cool.
Obviously, no trip to the beach with kids is complete without lots of sunscreen. If you’ve read any of my other posts you know that I am very passionate about using non-toxic products on my daughter and sunscreen is no exception. My favorite sunscreen brand is Babo Botanicals. It’s non-toxic and also smells amazing. As with any natural sunscreen, it goes on a lot thicker and takes a little bit longer to rub in. However, if you get the spray, it goes on a lot easier and thinner.
100% good for you and your family. A lightweight hypoallergenic sunblock for extra sensitive skin. Water-resistant and perfect for babies, kids, and adults alike.
13. Corn Starch
Apparently, you can easily get sand off of your skin by rubbing baby powder on it. Since the sand factor is one of the most difficult parts about going to the beach with kids this is such a helpful tip. However, most baby powder contains talcum powder which is a known carcinogen and I never use it for anything especially when it comes to my daughter. You can buy talc-free baby powder but since those options are more expensive I wouldn’t want to be pouring it on all over the beach. Cornstarch is a lot cheaper, non-toxic, and apparently just as effective.
14. Spray Bottle with Water
One of the obstacles to being at the beach with kids is that you don’t have unlimited access to freshwater, which as a mother you know is essential for constant messy hands and faces. One thing you can do, besides bring lots of wipes, is bring a spray bottle with tap water inside. Then you have clean salt-less water with you whenever you need it.
Beach Essentials for Babies and Toddlers
15. Portable Baby Bed
Going to the beach with infants can be hard because of the lack of convenient nap space. Of course, they could always nap on a blanket on the sand or in your arms. However, getting a portable baby bed is perfect for baby beach naps because most of them have sun shades.
A comfy napping spot, perfect for when you and your baby are on the go. The canopy protects your little one from the sun and bugs. Comes with 2 removable toys. Folds flat, with handles for easy take-along.
16. Kids Beach Chair
If you have toddlers or older kids, they will need/want their own beach chairs. What’s great about most kids’ beach chairs is that they can double as camping chairs too!
The Melissa & Doug Cutie Pie Butterfly Child’s Outdoor Chair is an easy to open and close soft outdoor chair. It includes a handy cup holder and stores easily in the matching carry bag
17. Life Jacket
Anytime your child is out in the ocean they should be wearing a lifejacket. Make sure they are easy to strap on and coast guard approved.
Kids love the playful designs, while parents appreciate the U.S. Coast Guard-approved safety features. Whether they’re in the pool, or at the beach, kids move and swim freely. For greater peace of mind, the Original Puddle Jumper's safety buckle snaps in the back to keep kids from taking vests off on their own.
18. Baby Floaty
Just because you have a small infant doesn’t mean you need to sit on the sand for your whole beach trip. Put your baby in a floaty and go hang out in the water with them. Not only will it be a great sensory experience for them but it will be fun for you too.
Designed to provide a more comfortable and secure water introduction experience, the SwimWays Baby Spring Float has a patented inner spring sewn into the float along the edge of the outermost inflation chamber underneath the fabric cover. This spring adds stability to the float in the water, giving you added peace of mind.
19. Kids Beach Toys
No trip to the beach with kids is complete without a bunch of sand toys! Beach toys are all pretty much the same. You’ve got buckets, shovels, sifters, etc. I love the brand Green Toys because they are that are eco-friendly. They are made out of recycled milk cartons! How cool is that? They are also BPA and Phthalate free.
This 100% recycled plastic Sand Play Set is designed to stand the test of time. Kids will love taking it out to play for a digging adventure time and time again, whether at the beach or in the sandbox.
20. Frozen Teethers
Next time you go to the beach bring some frozen teethers for your baby to chew on. It will soothe their gums and keep them cool!
21. Reusable Swim Diapers
If you’ve decided using reusable cloth diapers in your day to day life is not your cup of tea, then using reusable swim diapers at the beach can be a great opportunity to be a little kinder to the environment. Since going to the beach is not an everyday occurrence it’s not a huge undertaking.
With this reusable diaper, there is no other diaper necessary. Save money and reduce waste with these machine-washable, reusable swim diapers. Your baby will move freely without feeling weighed down.
22. Travel Toddler Potty
Being at the beach with a toddler who is in the middle of potty training can be stressful. You are usually not near a restroom and once your toddler realizes they have to go to the bathroom they just might not make it before it’s too late. A travel potty can save the day.
23. Inflatable Baby Pool
If you are nervous about letting your infant or toddler get into the ocean you can always bring a small inflatable pool to let them splash around in. Another option is to put whatever you are bringing to the beach in a plastic storage bin, then it can serve double duty and be used as a little pool for your baby.
Beach Extra’s for Older Kids
If you have older kids, they will probably want some more riveting entertainment than sand toys. The items below are geared toward older kids and are sure to provide lots of fun!
- Beach ball
- Boogie board
I don’t want the takeaway from this post to be that you need a million things to have a successful trip to the beach with kids, because that’s not true. However, if you found a few things that you know will make going to the beach with your kids easier, then my job here is done!
If you have/get any of these items please share your experience in the comments below for everyone else to see!