Summer is coming up on us quick y’all! If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably already planned at least one trip to the beach. Whether this is your child’s first time to the beach or 100th, it is always helpful to have a checklist to make sure you have all of the essentials before you leave the house. To help you out, I’m gonna go over 10 family beach day essentials. Let’s dive in!
Let’s start off with the number one family beach day essential; sunscreen! I know sunscreen is kind of implied for a beach day, but s%#* happens and sometimes even the most obvious things slip your mind when your packing. I don’t really have to go into detail on why sunscreen is important for both the kids and adults. Be sure to double check your beach bag before you head out of the house to make sure you have a bottle (and it has enough left for multiple applications for the whole family).
2. Towel And/Or Beach Blanket
While we’re on the topic of super obvious things to pack, let’s talk about towels. Towels and blankets at the beach can serve multiple purposes. They will help you dry off and give you a place to sit without getting super sandy. I have found that our kids prefer sitting on the beach blanket more than in their chairs. You can also use towels to keep your child comfortable while they nap.
Regardless of the amount of time you are planning on staying at the beach, it’s wise to bring a cooler with you. It doesn’t have to be a fancy Yeti or anything. One of those over the shoulder bag coolers is totally perfect. The reason coolers are essential is to keep your snacks and drinks from getting too hot. If you pack chocolate Chewy bars for snacks, you are guaranteed going to have chocolate soup by the time you eat it if it’s not in a cool environment. Also, no one wants to drink hot water when they are super thirsty. Having a cooler is a simple way to avoid both of those problems.
4. Pop Up Tent Or Umbrella
Unless you are going to a beach that has ample shade, it’s pretty essential to bring your own. Pop up tents and umbrellas are excellent portable options. Having shade is good for various reasons, but the most important is for nap time. Younger beach goers are going to need a nap at some point in the day and you don’t want them laying out in direct sunlight. Also, if for whatever reason someone does start to get sunburned, it is very handy to have shade around.
Hats are more important for the little beach combers who aren’t going in the water just yet. When both of my kids were younger, their hair was very fine and their scalps got sunburned really easily. One of the best ways to prevent that is to pop a hat on. Another reason hats are great is because they protect the eyes and prevent sunburn on the face. Now that our kids are older, we stick to sunglasses and using a face stick to apply a nice thick coat of sunscreen.
6. Sand Toys
Yes y’all, toys are essential! Kids of all ages are going to appreciate having some sort of sand toy for entertainment. Even if you just pack a shovel and a bucket, I can guarantee you they are going to have hours of fun. I really like having a variety for the kids so there is less arguing over who has what. Most sand toys now come in a reusable mesh bag so they are easy to carry to and from the beach without hassle.
Even if you don’t plan on your child going in the water, it is still smart to have floaties. Things happen. You could look away for 2 seconds and the next thing you know your 2 year old is about to dive face first into a wave. It has happened to me before so believe me when I say it is NOT fun. I highly recommend investing in the Coast Guard approved Puddle Jumpers to be sure your kids are safe.
8. Baby Powder
Have y’all heard about this magical beach hack yet?!?!? If not, listen up because you are not going to want to forget this! If you put baby powder on the sand stuck to your arms and legs, ALL OF IT will wipe right off. Yes, all of it! This is the most life saving beach tip EVER! Bonus, baby powder is super cheap and easy to pack so there’s no excuse to not grab some for the beach bag.
9. Extra Diapers And Wipes
Whether the swimmy diaper turns into a poopy diaper or you are getting ready to pack back in the car, you are going to need extra diapers. Bring a handful of both swimmy and regular diapers just to be safe. If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you know why I love baby wipes. They are perfect for everything from wiping butts to cleaning faces. Be sure to have a full pack just in case.
10. Change of Dry Clothes
Having a change of clothes might not seem that important, but I like to have a dry change of clothes for everyone for 2 reasons. One, it keeps the seats from getting wet and smelling like mildew. Two, it saves us from having to make a trip home before we go out for lunch or to another activity. I’m all about saving time and this is a really easy way to do that.
That It For Our 10 Family Beach Day Essentials
Yes, I know there are a ton of other things you can bring to the beach. Chairs, fans, books, margarita blenders (yes, please!). I wanted to keep this list kind of minimalistic on purpose though. What I have noticed from our beach trips is every time I bring the extra stuff, we never wind up using them and I have to haul them to and from the car by myself. While that makes me feel okay about missing arm day in favor of a beach day, it’s also a giant pain in the ass. I wanted to stick to the things that you actually need to make your experience enjoyable.
As always, please share this post if you love what you’ve read or think a friend could benefit from it. Don’t forget to follow me on social for some fun behind the scenes photos and news. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for taking the time to read about our adventures out in Our Happy Place 🙂