Our family loves playing in the sand and surf. Yet, going to the beach with little kids requires a lot of sunscreen, sand toys and snacks. If I’m not careful, my car could turn into a sandy mess and my kids could end up with terrible sunburns. Luckily, I have learned about some essential beach gear that keeps us cleaner, drier and sunburn free. Here are some must-have beach items for parents and their kids.
Talc-Free Baby Powder
When I had my first child, I was given baby powder. It sat in her room for years before I finally gave it away. Years later, I heard about a trick for using baby powder to help get rid of the sand stuck on your skin. Simply apply it to sandy areas on your skin and brush it off. It works like a charm. I prefer a talc-free version.
All Natural Sunblock Stick
A sunblock stick is easy to apply to squirmy toddlers. You can see where you are applying so there is even coverage. I especially like to use this for faces. I like Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Sunscreen stick with SPF 30. It is free of fragrance, phthalates, petrochemicals and parabens.
Water Resistant Blanket
If you have young kids, you know they often walk up from the water and walk all over the towels with their sandy feet. A water resistant blanket stays dry. In addition, you can easily brush off sand and wipe up any spills. Better yet, most of these blankets fold up and have a shoulder strap. Thus, they are easy to carry down to the beach and also great for the park and even for a soft play surface inside. I love my JJ Cole Outdoor Blanket.
Plastic Bin and Warm Water
Some beaches have showers to rinse off the saltwater, sand and grim. However, most of the time the water is pretty cold and often times, there is a line. Thus, we started bringing a plastic bin (or you could bring a small bathtub) along with warm water we put into water jugs. We keep the bin and the water in the car. Then, we when are ready to go, we put our toddler in the little bathtub and rinse him off. This way I know there isn’t sand stuck in any “nooks and crannies” and my kids can feel clean on the ride home. When our kids are done, my husband and I wash off our legs too. This is especially great if you are just going to the beach for the day and don’t have a home or hotel nearby. Of course, when bathing little ones, make sure to stay at an arm’s reach.
UPF Rash Guards
I slather my kids with sunblock. However, I like UPF rash guards just in case I miss a spot. Of course, they also help protect your skin from rough sand while surfing or boogie boarding. My husband and I wear these too.
Terry Cloth Beach Cover-ups
When they get out of the water, my kids are often cold. If you are sitting down, a towel is fine. However, terry cloth beach cover-ups are warm, cozy and won’t slip off your child’s shoulders. This way your kids can run around in the sand. Plus, it is added sun protection. These Sun Smarties terry cover-ups have UPF 50.
Pop-Up Cabana/ UV Tent Shade (a must-have for babies)
When my son was a baby, I brought a pop up cabana to the beach. I liked it for the shade and privacy while nursing my baby. In addition, I liked having a shady, soft place for my baby to nap. They have all sizes of these tents. Look for a portable one with good ventilation like this one from Abo Gear.
These must have items for the beach will allow your family to have more fun in the sun!
More from Melissa:
Beach Safety Tips: Having Fun in the Sun with Your Family
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