Who’s ready for some toes in the sand summer fun? Yes, I thought so, not only are you ready, but you deserve it! When you think of heading to the beach with kids involved it can be overwhelming. Not to worry, when you live near the beach like I do then you always have a beach bag packed for those unplanned beach days. So what do you really need before heading to the beach with the kids this summer? Here are my seven beach bag essentials that you will need this SUMMER!
Large Beach Bag or Tote
Personally, I have several beach bags a few for those days when I am headed to the beach with the girlfriends and some for when it is the whole family. Each beach bag is filled with some of my favorite beach essentials that I love having with me while at the beach. So I recommend getting a large beach bag or carry-all before heading to the beach or pool this summer. I’ve seen some moms use the large blue Ikea bags, whatever works right! Use whatever you have in the house, it doesn’t have to be pretty, think functional first. Now that you’ve found your very LARGE beach bag, what do you put in it?
Beach Wear & Shoes
When headed to the beach we can forget to pack one of the most important items our, swimsuits! Yes, it happens…sometimes the obvious is not so obvious. I also like to include a cover up for myself and one change of clothes for everyone in the family. Don’t forget dry undergarments with that change of clothes, this is especially important for little girls. When it comes to sun protection, two items I never forget are my sunglasses and sunhat. Kids will need sunhats as well, so think head to toes wet, then head to toe dry for a complete change of clothes. Everyone needs to protect their face and eyes as well from the harsh UV and UVB rays. Mom if you have a baby or toddler still in diapers make sure to include in your bag those little swimmers or the reusable swim bottoms, they are a lifesaver in the water. The sand can be really hot during the summer at the beach, so flip flops are a must! For the kids, I make sure to bring their water shoes. Water shoes will keep their little feet protected from the hot sand and any beach debris in and out of water.
Water Resistant Dry Bag/Pouch
Remember that change of clothes that everyone is changing into once dried off? Well, what do you do with the WET swimsuits? Put them in a water-resistant bag or pouch. I found my water-resistant bag at Target last year and used it all summer long at the pool during swimming lessons. Once I changed my son out of his wet swim clothes, I stick them in the dry bag and drop the dry bag into my beach bag, ensuring everything else stays dry. Then when I get home clean-up is a cinch, I just pull out the dry bag and throw all the wet swim clothes inside right into the wash, wipe the inside of the bag and you’re ready for the next beach trip! Works perfectly, nothing else gets wet and I can reuse the dry bag, again and again, no wet leaky plastic bags.
The beach might seem like entertainment enough, but with kids who have very short attention spans, we as parents have to make sure that they stay entertained. I like to bring along the classic beach toys that are used for building sand castles. Buckets, shovels, rafts, floaties, goggles, all the classics! If you are a music loving family like ours, then you might want to include a wireless speaker so that you can listen to your favorite tunes. I like to lay in the sun, work on my glow along with cultivating my mind, so I also stash a good book or magazine in my beach bag as well.
Food & Drinks
I don’t know about your kids but mine are always hungry. I always have food and drinks available in a small cooler. A water bottle is essential when trying to stay hydrated at the beach. I make sure that I always have a water bottle filled for myself and for the kids. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Did I mention hydration? Yes, and coconut water is the best, most refreshing way to keep your electrolytes up. I always pop two or three along with regular water for a refreshing variation to hydration. Don’t forget the snacks because for some reason the salt air always makes everyone extra hungry. I like to bring along a balance of healthy and not so healthy snacks. Our go-to mix includes dried apple crisps, fresh fruit and sometimes chocolate (I know it is HOT at the beach and it will melt, that’s why we keep in in the cooler and always eat it quickly). Let’s be real, I have a sweet tooth and so do my kids! You’ll want to pack hearty as well. Sometimes I make sandwiches or we’ll stop at Publix and pick a sub to share on the beach.
We have all been taught the importance of protecting our skin while outdoors, which is why sunscreen is a must! So your down the suncare aisle and you’re wondering what sunscreens may be better than others? Well, did you know there’s an app for that! Get all your sunscreen questions answered here including a scannable barcode app that breaks down sunscreen by ingredients and scores the brand. That’s right, know before you buy to make sure what your throwing into your beach bag is really the best for you, your family and the environment. Now that we covered sunscreen don’t forget the lip protectant, wipes, bug repellent, and a first aid kit. You never know when someone will get a cut or what wildlife you’ll incur while swimming. Speaking of, my first aid kit includes vinegar…just incase jellyfish are present. Trust me on this, its a must! Regular kitchen vinegar in a travel squeeze bottle will do the trick. Most of our local beaches in south Florida have shower areas to wash off the sand before heading home. People dread the generous amounts of sand that will end up in their car days after that beach trip and I’m definitely one of them! Another great way to remove sand from yourself and little ones is with baby powder. Yup, you heard it here first, just dust on baby powder and watch the sand fall right off. You can thank me later! Its amazing…no tears, fuss, or irritated diapers and best of all you won’t get all that sand in the car.
Once you get to the beach you’ll need to find a nice spot and get settled in. In your oversized beach bag, you should also be an oversized beach towel. I have an oversized beach towel for myself and one for each member of the family. I will bring along multiple blankets to layer on the sand because you just can’t have enough beach blankets. One of my favorites is a very durable canvas blue dinosaur beach blanket. It folds up neatly and stays in the trunk of my car, thank you Target! It’s a great find that I use for picnics or the beach. For the kids, I also bring along some kid-sized Adirondack chairs. They love to sit back and enjoy their snacks in them.
Mom’s don’t be afraid to head to the beach this summer with the kids in tow. Now you have your arsenal ready with the ultimate beach bag essentials checklist it should save you some thought and help you feel prepared so you can relax and enjoy the day relaxing and soaking up the sunshine.
Let us know what you’re taking to the beach with you this summer momma? Have some family tips and tricks for the beach? We’d love to hear from you, comment below your best beach advice!