Life’s a Beach! Make the Most of Summer with These Beach Essentials

Summer is in full swing! And that means beach time is close for many families. We've rounded up some of the newest and best beach essentials to make visiting the beach with kids a breeze.

beach essentials
Image via Snapperrock

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Swimsuit: Gone are the days of teeny-weenie bikinis. These days everyone knows the importance of staying safe in the sun and using as much protection as possible  Sunscreen is important, but choosing a swimsuit with built-in UV protection and extra coverage is a smart move. Snapperock doesn't just have cute styles for the whole family, they also offer coordinating swim shirts and even swim leggings so you can swim in style while being safe. Coordinating suits for babies, kids, and Moms and Dads make one-stop shopping easy, and are definitely beach essentials!

Towel: Sure you need a towel when you go to the beach, but gone are the days of filling up your beach bag with large bulky towels — especially ones that never seem to dry. This year, try a NanoDry towel from Matador. It is full-size but packs down small enough to fit in your palm. It is also super-absorbent and dries quickly.

Sand Remover: Need a way to get rid of all that sand that winds up all over? Check out Bump it Offa light, soft, portable gadget that can knock sand off your feet or towel easily and make cleaning up after a trip to the beach way easier. Keep it in your diaper bag for trips to the playground sandbox as well.

Wetbag: Wetbags are great for keeping your wet and sandy things away from your dry and clean things! The Matador Droplet Wetbag is a neat little bag that folds up to be the size of a key chain but opens up big enough to hold a few swimsuits or towels. The Satsuma Wet + Dry Bag is another great option that has a great design with two separate, zippered compartments meaning dry things (like goggles and cell phones) and wet/messy things (like sunscreen) can be put in the other in one bag. Trust us, wetbags are a must-have on your beach essentials list!

beach essentials
Image via Amazon

Camera Protection: If you don't think your cell phone is enough to capture your beach memories, but want to keep your big camera safe there are few things that can help. The Matador Camera Base Layer will keep your camera safe in your beach bag without being bulky. The Peak Design Shell is a great form-fitting camera shell that keeps your camera protected from splashes and dust.  

Sunscreen: One of the most important beach essentials. Don't forget the sunscreen! Everyone should slather on more sunscreen at least every two hours and when getting out of the water. For kids, look for a sunscreen made from natural ingredients like the award-winning True Natural Sunscreen. If it's good enough for surfers, it should stand up to toddlers!  

Baby Carrier: Getting around with little ones can be a pain on the beach and carrying them can lead to overheating if you're not careful. Try the Beco 8 All Seasons Baby Carrier that is breathable and comfortable to boot. When your little one is missing nap time this is a great tool to have available to calm him down and keep him happy without having to leave the waves too far behind.

Beach Bag: One thing every trip to the beach needs? A beach bag, of course! Check out these adorable options from Boutique Mexico that come decorated with colorful pom-poms that just scream summer. The large Ibiza Palm Tote can hold bathing suits, towels, and more for a family of four without making you look frumpy. Another great option for when you need waterproof while staying cute is the Carmen Sol Jelly Tote is a great solution – it even floats. Want to keep your beachwear separate from your street wear when you pack? The best option we have found is the Storksak Cabin Carry On. It's exterior can be wiped clean plus it pairs with these great packing blocks that not just keep you organized but keep your sandy and wet items clear from those you want to keep clean and dry with no fuss. Even kids can learn the system. 

{ MORE: The Ultimate Home Birth Kit: Everything You'll Need (and Want) }

beach essentials
Image via Amazon

Buckets and Shovels: Every child needs a good bucket for the beach! A fantastic family-friendly option that is more of a beach system is the Beachmate. The Beachmate comes complete with buckets, bug shovels, a cooler for snacks, pockets galore for staying organized and extra room for your beach gear. We love the oversized shovels and buckets that are big enough to carry some beach gear and make epic sand castles. But, there is nothing wrong with a classic bucket and shovel set as long as the kids can dig.

Or, go the eco-friendly route and try the all-in-one Green Toys Sand Play. It comes with a shovel, rake, and sand castle mold that all fit in the sturdy bucket. What's more, this set is made from all recycled material helping to ensure that the beach will remain beautiful for a long time to come. A beach ball is a great addition to the beach bag as well!

Tunes: It's not summer without a soundtrack! Check out the Barnacle, which has built-in memory for songs and is Bluetooth enabled all in waterproof, soundproof casing. It's a great option for bringing some tunes to the beach with your family. Or for lounging and listening to your favorite podcast if you get a few hours away from the kids. Plus, back at home, you can use in the shower.

Goggles: The best way to ruin a beach vacation quickly? Water in the eyes. Solve that problem with goggles made just for the little ones like these Giggly Goggles that look more like part of a superhero costume than eye protection. If your kids may get into a sand fight, goggles can be useful out of the ocean as well. This is on the beach essentials list and the pool essentials list!

Hydration: Unless you like paying $5.00 for bottled water, bring your own drinking water to the beach. Contigo Autoseal bottles are the perfect choice for the beach. They keep beverages cold up to an astonishing 28 hours, are leak-proof, and have a cover to keep sand out.

Sandals: A great investment for a beach trip is sandals. Don't risk ruining your “regular” shoes by getting them wet or filled with water. Kamik sandals are sturdy enough to go from boardwalk to beach without missing a beat, while still allowing feet to stay cool and allow sand and water to escape. For a more grown-up style for Mom try Carmel Sol jelly sandals – or even jelly wedges!

Snacks: No one wants to leave the beach because they are hungry! Be sure to pack some beach -friendly snacks. Foods that don't need to be refrigerated are best. Fruit, pretzels, and PB+J sandwiches are all good choices. A large cooler bag from So Young is a great choice that's cute and holds a lot. Try a beach-themed sea horse bag. Or go with one that reflects a hobby like photography, cycling, gardening. The Ecolunch Splash Box is another good choice since it is waterproof and keeps liquid in – and sand and water out. Just leave some room for when the ice cream man comes by!

Towel: Another standard on the beach essentials list. Kids are usually happy with an over-sized towel with their favorite character. But, grown-ups may want an option that will stand the test of time and look good in those longing-in-the-sand selfies. Try a Coyuchi Mediterranean-inspired towel, even when you are just headed on a drive to the Jersey Shore. It's soft and over-sized so you can imagine you are at a sea-side retreat in between burying kids in the sand. For the kids, Lacoste towels are a good choice because they are cute without featuring characters your kids are likely to outgrow in a year or two.

Optional: Sunglasses and hats are great choices for kids to give them a bit more protection. But, before you make an investment in these, try to determine whether your kids will actually wear them!  It sounds strange, but some kids don't love the sand and ocean. Having some small travel toys on-hand can help keep a child busy who isn't into sandcastle. We love the Playmobil Travel kits that come in their own travel cases and were named as top pick travel toy. Another great option? Lego Duplos that are big enough for little hands and won't get lost in the sand. Try a set that ties into one of the summer's hit movies with this Piston Cup Race set that kids can use to play with as race cars once they are done building.  

beach essentials
Image via Amazon

Beach Cart: So, how do you get all of this onto the beach? Try a Rio Wonder Wheeler. It's perfect for lugging all of your beach gear as close to the ocean as you want to get. Everyone who tries one is a convert and wishes they had gotten a beach cart sooner. This is another must have on our beach essentials list!

Bring the Beach Home: Eventually, it will be time to leave the beach. Bring home a couple of mementos or think about adding some decor that reminds you of when you had sand between your toes. Gorgeous Attiser blankets make any house feel like a beach home with their soothing colors and bohemian motifs. Use one on a bed or a throw on a sofa for beach vibes anytime. Another fun option is to bring out lights like the ones you saw during your night on the boardwalk or exploring a new beach town. Bliss Lights have long been popular around the holidays because they are so easy to set up, but try some that change colors to create a vacation-like experience in your own backyard. 

{ MORE: Check Out These Tips to Get Your Baby Ready for the Beach or Pool! }

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Life’s a Beach! Make the Most of Summer with These Beach Essentials

Jamie is a Beltway Insider who loves channeling her pre-motherhood love of traveling into spending time exploring all D.C. has to offer with her brood of two girls and two boys ages 9, 7,5, and a baby. She is a reformed lawyer turned full-time kid wrangler who enjoys photographing her everyday chaos and anything salted caramel. Since life is never dull, she loves writing about the issues and events going on in her life at any given time, including caring for a daughter with special needs and th ... More

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