We’re just under three weeks away from our family beach trip, which makes it the perfect time to blog about kids’ beach essentials! We’ve now done so many beach trips with kids that planning and packing for it almost comes second nature to me.
At first, we always had family along to assist and enjoy, but last year that wasn’t possible, so we went on our first ever family vacation…and we had a blast! We knew we had to do it again this year, so later this month we will be heading back to Carolina Beach for V2.0.
So today I wanted to give you a round up of items that you’ll definitely want for a beach trip with kids on the younger side. Mine are 5 and 2, so obviously, I’m past the baby phase (all.the.praise.hands.) which means I can get away with hauling just a little less down to the beach!
Psst! This post contains affiliate links. This means that, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
1.Stainless steel water bottles
My kids are just like us in that we all have a water bottle addiction. But even if they didn’t, being in the hot sun means you must be extra careful to hydrate. We only use stainless for the kids because I don’t need to hear anyone complaining about their water being too warm…and so far, our stainless kids’ water bottles have worked well for us.
This is so obvious, but I feel like it’s worth mentioning just because it can so easily be forgotten. We torture our kids with sunscreen at the beach….they can’t leave the beach house til they have a very thick layer on, and we reapply it allllll dayyyy longggg. They may not love us for it, but their skin sure does. We use Coppertone Babies. You can withhold the judgment…I know some of you might think I’m a failure for choosing a non-organic, non-whatever brand, but it works for us.
3. Huge bag(s)
Depending on how long we will be on the beach without a break, we take one or two bags. We have a giant, soft cooler type bag and then the large thirty one tote bag. For the longer stretches, I will use the thirty one bag for our towels, sunscreen, and toys. Then waters, snacks, chapstick, and even phones (in ziplock) go into the cooler bag. When we’re only heading down for an hour or so, I usually just shove everything into one bag and we take less toys and share towels.
(I don’t own the bag I linked–I just thought it looked big and beachy! My one bag is thirty one brand and the cooler bag was from BJ’s Wholesale last year.)
4. Beach chairs
A few years ago, we learned that beach chairs are worth the effort (at least in our family). No one wanted to get all sandy (ha, ha, ha) so in an attempt to keep little booties off the sand and happier, we bought 4 chairs and we bring all four.
Ok, first of all, is there anything cuter than a baby in a sun hat??? NO. No there is not. Thankfully, Mav is only 2 and therefore is still forced to wear a sun hat to protect his sweet little head. This year, I plan to remember to bring a baseball cap for Harlyn too, just in case she needs it!
My kids want all the beach toys, so we bring a big pack. Luckily, Maverick got new sand toys for his birthday from my mom and stepdad, so we’ve got that covered. Here’s hoping that this year, said toys keep a certain toddler boy occupied for a loooong time.
7. Hooded towels
Well, clearly, a regular towel will do. But my kids do love a hooded towel, so we will bring both. Hooded towels are cozy and cute!
8. Water shoes
My kids aren’t into flip flops, but they don’t just want to be barefoot on walks to the beach (hot sand!) or wading into water (rocks!). Water shoes are easy, cheap, and get the job done.
And before we go…I just have to say that I have one thing you definitely do not need for your beach trip. It’s a shower curtain. Let me explain. Last year, I saw on the good ol’ Internet that for toddlers, you can dig a hole in the sand, throw a shower curtain down, and fill the “pool” with some water. Ummmm. Either I am the world’s biggest moron, or that was photoshopped. Because all I could come up with was a muddy mess of a “pool”–and there were no happy, content babies hanging out in it!!
What are your must-haves for beach trips with kids?