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  • Writer's pictureElle James

My Ultimate Guide to a Fun Filled Beach Day with Young Kids!

Kid playing with sand at the beach

Hey there, beach lovers and fellow parents! Recently, I had the joy of spending a family day at the beach with three energetic kiddos, along with some friends. Beach days have always been one of my favorite family activities—there's just something magical about the sun, sand, and surf.

However, to ensure everyone has a fantastic time while staying safe, it's essential to do some planning and preparation. Today, I'm excited to share my tried and tested tips for making the most of your sun-soaked day at the beach with your little ones.

So, let's dive in and get ready for an unforgettable beach adventure!

In this post:

My Ultimate Guide to a Fun Filled Beach Day with Young Kids!

[This post may contain affiliate links and I could earn a small commission at no cost to you. However, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in or use myself.]

Early Bird Catches the Waves

Arriving early to the beach offers a multitude of advantages that can significantly enhance your beach day experience.

First and foremost, securing an early spot allows you to pick the prime location for your family, with ample space to spread out and play.

Additionally, the early morning hours provide a cooler and more pleasant climate, sparing your little ones from the scorching midday sun. This means they can enjoy the sand and surf comfortably without getting overheated.

Moreover, by beating the rush, you avoid the crowds that tend to gather later in the day, providing a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere for your family to savor.

Lastly, starting your beach day early gives you plenty of time to enjoy all the fun activities, build sandcastles, splash in the waves, and create cherished memories with your loved ones. So set the alarm clock a little earlier and embrace the benefits of being an early bird at the beach!

Family beach day at Sunset Beach, California

Must Pack Items for Your Beach Bag

Having a well-stocked beach bag with essentials is vital for a smooth and enjoyable beach day. It ensures that you have everything you need at your fingertips, saving you from the hassle of searching or running back to your car.

From sun protection to snacks and towels, having these essentials readily available means you can focus on creating wonderful memories with your family and friends without any worries.

A well-prepared beach bag adds convenience and peace of mind, allowing you to make the most of your time in the sun and surf.

1. Sunscreen

Don't leave home without a high SPF sunscreen to safeguard your family's skin from harmful UV rays. Remember to reapply every few hours, especially after swimming or sweating, for optimal protection against sunburns.

2. Hats and Sunglasses

Keep your kids' faces shaded and their eyes protected with wide brimmed hats and UV blocking sunglasses. Not only do they add a stylish touch, but they also provide essential defense against the intense sun.

3. Rash Guards

For extended beach play and endless fun in the water, dress your kids in comfortable and quick drying rash guards. These protective shirts shield delicate skin from chafing and help prevent sunburns, allowing your little ones to stay comfortable and happy all day long.

4. Water Shoes

Whether it's walking along the shoreline or exploring rocky areas, water shoes are a game-changer. Their sturdy and slip-resistant design protects your kids' feet from sharp shells, hot sand, and hidden hazards beneath the water's surface. Crocs have become our family's go-to choice for water shoes.

5. Baby Powder

Dealing with sandy, sticky skin can be a challenge, but baby powder comes to the rescue! A sprinkle of baby powder on sandy hands and feet makes sand removal effortless, leaving your kids feeling fresh and clean.

6. Wipes

Stay prepared for unexpected messes with a pack of wipes. From sticky ice cream fingers to sandy faces, wipes are versatile and handy for quick clean-ups, allowing your beach day to continue without a hitch.

7. Wide Tooth Comb

Fun beach activities often lead to beach-tangled hair, but fear not—pack a wide-tooth comb! Gently comb through the salty locks after swimming to maintain a neat and knot free hairstyle.

8. Towels

Don't forget to bring an abundance of soft, absorbent towels for everyone. Whether for drying off after a refreshing swim or creating cozy beach lounging spots, towels are a beach day essential. These hooded towels featuring popular characters are adored by our kids.

9. Sand Proof and Water Resistant Blanket

Elevate your beach comfort with a sand-proof and water-resistant blanket. Designed to repel sand and resist water, it provides an ideal spot to relax, play games, and enjoy a picnic without dealing with an unwanted sandy mess. We use this water-proof and sand-proof blanket.

10. Umbrella or EZ-Up

Shade is a precious commodity on sunny beach days, so make sure to pack an umbrella or EZ-Up canopy. These lifesavers offer relief from the scorching sun, allowing your family to stay cool and comfortable throughout the day. During our family beach trips, we rely on this umbrella and for larger groups, we opt for the convenience of the EZ Up canopy.

11. First Aid Kit

Accidents can happen, but a well-equipped first aid kit will give you peace of mind. It should include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, and any necessary medications for minor injuries.

12. Waterproof Phone Case

Capture the joyful moments without worrying about water damage to your phone. Keep it safe and dry in a waterproof phone case, so you can snap those picture-perfect memories by the beach. We have been using these excellent waterproof phone cases, and they have proven to be highly effective and reliable.

13. Beach Bag

A beach bag is an essential accessory for any beach day. It provides a convenient and organized way to carry all your belongings, from sunscreen and towels to snacks and water bottles. With a spacious and durable beach bag, you can easily bring everything you need to make the most of your beach outing without worrying about leaving anything behind.

14. Wagon

A wagon with sand tires is an absolute necessity for the beach. The sand tires are designed to navigate smoothly through the soft and uneven beach terrain, making it effortless to transport all your beach gear and toys to your desired spot. With a wagon, you can save yourself from lugging heavy items and ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable beach day for the whole family. We use this wagon for hauling all our beach gear.

Beach bag essentials for a family beach day

Pack a Cooler

Make sure to pack a cooler with a variety of snacks, including premade sandwiches or pizza, as well as fresh fruits like grapes, strawberries, watermelon, and convenient options like applesauce, chips, and crackers—perfect choices for a beach outing. Don't forget to include hydration essentials like water, juice, and Gatorade to keep everyone refreshed under the sun.

Additionally, freezing some water bottles before you head out ensures that your beverages stay chilled, and you'll have the bonus of enjoying ice-cold water to sip on during your beach adventures. Staying hydrated is essential during hot beach days, and this clever trick will keep you cool and satisfied as you soak up the sun.

For an extra touch of fun and to beat the heat, prepare water balloons by filling them with water and freezing them overnight. These frozen water balloons can double as ice packs to keep your food and drinks cold throughout the day. And when they eventually melt, why not have a thrilling water balloon fight to end the beach day with a splash?

Eating watermelon as a beach day snack

Bring Beach Toys

Beach toys are a fantastic addition to any beach outing as they enhance the overall experience and keep both kids and adults entertained.

These toys encourage imaginative play and creativity, allowing children to build sandcastles, play games, and explore their surroundings.

Moreover, beach toys provide opportunities for social interaction and bonding among family and friends, making the beach day even more enjoyable and memorable.

1. Surfer Dudes

Surfer Dudes are fantastic beach toys because they are self-propelled surfboard toys that catch the waves and provide endless fun for kids as they ride the surf.

2. Water Squirters

Water squirters are perfect for beach play as they allow kids to cool off and engage in exciting water battles, adding a refreshing twist to a sunny day at the shore.

3. Beach Balls

Beach balls are classic beach toys that offer hours of entertainment as kids can toss, kick, and play various games with them on the sand or in the water.

4. Nerf Football

A Nerf football is an excellent choice for beach fun, providing a soft and safe

option for throwing and catching games with friends and family.

5. Frisbee

Frisbees are lightweight and easy to carry, making them ideal for beach play. Kids can toss them back and forth or engage in exciting frisbee games on the sandy shores.

6. Toss and Catch Ball Game

A toss and catch ball game is perfect for the beach as it encourages coordination and teamwork between players, ensuring a fun-filled and active time by the water.

7. Buckets, Shovels, and Sandcastle Molds

Building sandcastles is a classic beach activity, and these buckets, shovels, and sandcastle molds are essential for little architects to create impressive sandy structures.

8. Large Mesh Bag for Sand Toys

A large mesh bag for sand toys is a practical addition to your beach toys collection, as it allows for easy storage and transportation of all the sandy tools and toys, making cleanup a breeze after a day of beach adventures.

Volleyball in the beach sand

Safety First

Safety is the number one priority when it comes to enjoying a beach day with young children. Here are some crucial tips to ensure a worry free and enjoyable experience.

Firstly, designate a meeting spot before venturing out on the beach. In case anyone gets separated, make sure your kids know where to find you. It could be a recognizable landmark like a lifeguard tower or a beach umbrella with a distinct color. This simple precaution can save precious time and ease anxiety if someone wanders off.

Secondly, always keep a watchful eye on your little adventurers. Kids can be fast and curious, so it's essential to stay within sight and avoid letting them wander too far away. Being attentive allows you to respond promptly to any potential hazards or situations that may arise.

Little girl splashing in water during a family beach day

When it comes to water activities, never let your guard down. If your kids are swimming, stay close to them at all times and keep a vigilant eye on the water.

Even in seemingly calm waters, there can be strong currents or sudden changes in tide that pose risks. Always ensure your kids are equipped with appropriate flotation devices if needed, and never let them venture too deep into the ocean.

Lastly, be sun smart during your beach day. The sun's rays can be intense, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shade during these peak sun hours to avoid sunburn and heat exhaustion. Additionally, don't forget to apply and regularly reapply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your kids' delicate skin from harmful UV rays.

By following these safety tips, you can create a secure environment for your little ones to explore and have fun at the beach, making cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Family beach day at Sunset Beach, California

So, there you have it—my ultimate guide to a fantastic beach day with young children! With proper planning, a dash of enthusiasm, and a whole lot of sunscreen, your beach day will be a splashing success. Happy beach adventures, fellow parents!



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