Family Travel

10 Must-Have Items for Kids at the Beach

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As we look forward to summer vacations and day trips to the beach I thought I would share some tips for your next beach trip. When our children were little we went to the beach every year, so I have a list of must-have items for kids at the beach.

Here is my list of beach stuff for kids that you might want to bring on your next beach trip.

1. Wagon

We purchased a Wagon off Craigslist 3 years ago and it has been a great investment!  My husband used the wagon every morning to drag all of our umbrellas, chairs and coolers out to the beach each morning to set up.  Then he would come back and we would let the kids ride in the wagon out to the beach.  When we were at the beach with wee little ones we would use the wagon to let them take a nap in. (Nice and sand-free). The kids loved taking rides along the shore in it too.

2. Sunblock spray

I’d love to hug the person that created sunblock spray, what a timesaver!  For some reason our kids just love to be sprayed so it makes the whole process so much easier.  Just be sure to bring plenty, I think we went through 2-3 cans while on vacation last week!  (We still use a sunblock lotion for our faces!) There are even natural spray sunscreens available!

3. Beach toys

Beach toys are a must! If you don’t have a bunch of buckets and shovels use repurposed plastic cups and bowls just be sure to have something for your kids to dig and fill, they are, after all, in the worlds biggest sandbox!

4. Wet wipes and Baby Powder

You can never have enough wet wipes!!  Sticky faces and fingers from the peanut butter and jelly sandwich or an ice cream cone don’t go well with sand.  Baby powder is the magic trick to getting sand off of the little ones.  Sprinkle on a little powder and the sand falls right off!

5. Mini inflatable pool

The first 2 years we went to the beach with kids we brought a small Inflatable Pool.  We filled it up with water from the ocean and stuck an umbrella nearby to shade the pool. The kids LOVED it. They were too little to go into the ocean but the pool was perfect!  (* please never ever leave your little one’s unsupervised, Remember it only takes less than an inch of water for a child to drown.)

I think you can tell by the picture of Caleb (he was just 10 months) below that the pool was a hit!

Beach must-haves for Kids

6. Detangling Spray

If you have a little girl you NEED detangler (or leave-in conditioner in a spray bottle)!  Spray your girl’s hair before they go swimming and you won’t have nearly as many tangles!  Braids or piggy tales help too, just be sure to put sunblock on their part so their scalp doesn’t get sunburned!

7. Blanket, Sheet or Extra Towel

We try to bring an extra towel or blanket for the kids to sit on at the beach.  Beach chairs just don’t work for our kiddos, they prefer sitting in the sand but sometimes need somewhere less sandy to sit and eat a snack.  Having a lightweight sheet is nice to cover up the little ones if they fall asleep (protects them from the sun and sand.) Turkish beach towels are perfect – thin and super absorbent!

8. Snacks

We usually stay within walking distance to the beach but we still want to have some goodies to snack on while at the beach.  Some of our favorite beach snacks are raisins, nuts, popcorn, squeezable fruit sauce, granola bars, frozen grapes, and apples.

9. Cabana or tent for shade

Beach tents are great especially if you have little ones it’s nice to have a sand-free and shady place for the kids to rest or change their clothes.

10. Drinking water

Don’t forget to have the kids drink plenty of water.  Nothing ruins a great vacation like a run to the hospital because of dehydration!

What are your beach must-haves for kids? Leave a comment below.


  • Reply
    Jessica Heights
    July 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Baby powder? That’s genius!

    • Reply
      July 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      I really wish I could take credit for it, but like most genius ideas, it was found on Pinterest or a website a while back… whoever figured this out is my hero!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    …. waves at Donna …. hey girl!

    I love the inflatable pool idea — I’ve just never tried it.

    I’d add hats to your list — big floppy sunhats for Momma, and the cute little bucket hats for the kids 😉

  • Leave a Reply

    Hey Donna