Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to get to the beach (or pool!) to cool off and get much-needed relief from the heat (especially here in North Carolina). But how is a mother supposed to relax when contemplating everything her little ones will need to make it through the day at the beach?
A trip to the beach with my kids is one of my favorite vacations. Sand, ocean, fun in the sun… You really can’t get much better than that. Beach days are the best – if you have the right gear!
The list below is a few of my favorite items that we always bring to the beach with us – some basic, some a bit extra – but all make it a fantastic beach day!
1. Sunscreen – Don’t roll your eyes at me! Raise your hand if you made it to the beach and realized you forgot your sunscreen (me meee!). You’ll want to bring a kid-friendly sunscreen brand that is both easy to apply and adequate for children’s skin. You can find my favorite brand for kiddos here and adults here.
2. Water Shoes – The sand gets HOT and some beaches are rocky and uneven. Protecting both yours and kiddos feet is a top priority! We love Floafers for the whole family! They are waterproof foam shoes with serious style. These are not only for the beach – we use them on boats, at the river, lakes, you name it!
3. Beach Umbrella – Raise your hand if you love sitting in the blazing sun with hot children! No? Me either. Shade is a necessity for a successful beach trip. We love our Frankford Umbrella because it is made to last, built with marine grade fabric for UV protection and a 10-year guarantee against fading. They also have a matching beach lounger that is SO comfortable and perfect for the beach or pool. We may or may not have had it set up in our playroom just to lay on.
4. UV Protection Swimwear – Reapplying sunscreen when children are sandy and wet is not a good time, but necessary, which is why we love brimsuits (shameless plug)! For those of you that do not know, brimsuits is a labor of love and our own creation. With a rashguard and sun hat attached, it creates the ultimate UV protection for little ones – and way less surface area for reapplying sunscreen!
5. Sand Toys – No trip the beach is complete without sand toys for building castles, collecting shells, and catching crabs. We have the popular bucket and shovels as well as some random Tupperware I lost the lids too (parenting hack!). Our favorite sand toy is a net (these ones)– we love to play “gem mining” in the surf, picking up sand and washing it away to find buried shells.
6. Travel Hammock – This is perfect for a tropical beach with palm trees, giving you an amazing place to sit, swing, and relax on the beach. Our girls love getting into their hammock and having a snack with the ocean breeze gently rocking them. Wise Owl hammocks are our favorite because they are breathable and pack up very small. Bonus – you can use this on all vacations, not just the beach!
7. Packed Cooler – Snacks are life for any trip with children, and beach trips are no different. We always have a cooler packed full of snacks and ice waters. Taking breaks to sit in the shade and recharge is necessary in avoiding any meltdown moments.
8. Swimmies – Both of my kids are water babies, they can stay all day in a pool or the ocean. Our oldest is a strong swimmer, but the ocean is nothing to play around with so we always have on swimmies. Our favorite pair can be found here, it allows children to swim and float freely.
9. Kids Canopy Chair – A chair that is also a backpack your child can carry? Yes please! We’ve had this chair before my daughter could carry it herself, and it provides instant shade, a place to keep water, and a comfortable place to take a rest. We also use this in our backyard and anytime we travel in the summer.
10. Wipes – I bring wipes everywhere, and the beach is no exception. Sand is everywhere, enough said.
11. Kites – The beach is pretty much always guaranteed to have a breeze at some point – if not super windy! So pack the kite and let the kids fly them with ease! We love these kites – they are probably the only ones that fly super easy and that a 3 year old can hold alone!
12. Patience – No, you cannot pack it in your backpack, but having the state of mind that it will be hot, sandy, and wet – prepare for some discomfort… and pack some adult beverages just in case!
Basic things such as beach towels and change of clothes are also things we bring to be beach. What are some of your must haves for the beach?