Are you putting off your family beach vacation because you think the kids are too young? Or are you just worried that the whole thing will be a nightmare? Well, start planning that vacation right now and stop worrying about it! These fail proof tips will make your beach vacation with young children both fun and relaxing. Everyone is sure to have a good time. It just takes a little planning and I’m going to walk you through everything.
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What to bring
First of all, let’s start with what you’ll need to bring.
- Shade Tent
- Beach Blanket
- Beach Wagon
- Beach Towels
- Beach/Water Ball
- Sand toys
- Puddle Jumper
- Blow up Pool
- Baby Powder
Now I know you’re thinking “do I really need all of that?” and the answer is YES you do!
Here’s why you need all of that
Some of those items are self-explanatory like the sunblock and beach towels. Some of them are a little strange, like the baby powder, but I promise you’re going to be super glad you brought all of this. I’ve linked the actual products I use (where available) or similar products in the list above so you can check them out if you’d like.
We use a pop up tent rather than a beach tent. I prefer this because when it’s windy the beach tents tend to catch the wind and then there’s no way you’ll get them to stay put. With the pop up tent we get much more coverage and we steak it down deep in the sand so it stays put.
We also use the beach blanket a lot! It’s one of those blankets that supposed to let the sand fall through the top layer so you’re not sitting or lying in sand. Sometime you have to kind of rub the sand in so it falls through but overall it really works well. This is miles better than trying to sit on a towel and keep the sand off of you.
Well this is mainly for convenience. That’s a lot of stuff to be taking to the beach and, I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I wanted to try to carry all of that. Our beach wagon holds all of the big stuff (plus a couple of folding chairs) and then I just pack the small stuff into beach bags and carry them.
Cooler, Snacks and Water
The essentials. There is no way you’re going to make it through a day at the beach without someone getting thirsty or hungry. Pack the cooler with water and juice bags. (Our cooler has cup holders on the top, bonus!) Then add things like grapes, strawberries, string cheese or cheese cubes, and celery sticks. All of these are finger foods that need little to no prep and are great for snacking. Then in your beach bag pack a jar of peanut butter (to dip the celery in of course) some chips or pretzels, granola bars or any other snacks your family likes to eat. You won’t have a full meal here but it’s easy snacking for a day at the beach. The cheese and peanut butter also provide some protein to keep you sustained.
Beach Balls, Sand Toys and Floats
These are your essentials for a beach vacation with young children. They’re going to need some entertainment. My son was obsessed with the neoprene volleyball (similar ball linked above). He basically wouldn’t let anyone else play with it. These are great for the beach because they’re designed to go in the water and as you can see from the photos it’s easy for little hands to hold because you can just kind of grab the outer material. The sand toys were also a big hit and floats are a must for playing in the water.
If you have little ones that aren’t confident swimmers yet then I highly recommend the puddle jumper. It has a flotation device across the chest and one that goes around each arm. These are US Coast Guard approved life jackets and they are easy for kids to move around in. They just strap on and the kids are good to go. We actually use these in the pool and at the waterpark too. I’ve linked the same brand my son is wearing in the list above but there are tons and tons of different designs to choose from.
Blow up pool
If you have an infant you’re going to want to bring a blow up pool. This is such a great thing for them. Get a small one like the one linked above. You want to be able to blow it up yourself and deflate it to for easy carrying. Put it under the shade of your tent and fill it part way with water from the beach. Have the older kids bring buckets of water to fill it. It’s fun for them and gets the job done without much effort from you, win/win. Now your infant is out of the sun and still enjoying some supervised water play at the beach. When it’s time for a nap, just empty the pool and the baby has a safe clean napping space with appropriate supervision of course!
Baby powder and wipes
Okay, now we finally get to the baby powder. Y’all, this is a miracle worker. Did you know that baby powder removes sand? Yep, it totally does. If you come in from the water and your feet and legs are all covered in sand just put some baby powder on your hands and legs and brush the sand right off. I mean it just falls right off and then you’re hands, legs and feet are sand free. You can then use the baby wipes to clean off a bit before eating all those yummy snacks you packed.
Don’t forget lots of sunblock and protective swimwear for the little ones and that’s it. So there it is. Everything you need to know to have a successful, fun and relaxing beach vacation with young children. Now that you know all the things, go do all the things. Download this vacation checklist and start planning your beach vacation now.