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Top Picks for the Best Kid-Friendly Beach Gear


I’m so excited that summer is here and I can finally get some beach time in with my family. You might be a stone’s throw from the beach like I am (don’t hate), or maybe you're taking a family vacation to a beach town this summer. However you get there, here are my top picks for the best beach gear:

1. Fold and Go Wagon by Kidwise

Fold and Go Wagon by KidwiseI bought this wagon four years ago at Costco and it has been a lifesaver. I pile my two kids in it with all our beach gear and just roll it all down to the sand. The big rubber wheels are ideal for off roading it. I also love that it folds right up into a zippered bag and stores easily in my trunk. This is one of the best portable wagons on the market. PS: It takes a little practice to get used to steering it, so hang in there!

2. All Purpose Outdoor Blanket by JJ Cole Collections

All Purpose Outdoor Blanket by JJ Cole CollectionsI am obsessed with this blanket - I am even taking it on vacation with us next week. I have given it as a baby shower gift many times because it’s one of those things you don’t know you need until you have it. It’s waterproof, large enough for multiple people to share and folds up into a compact shape. It even has a handy adjustable shoulder strap! This blanket has a permanent spot in the trunk of my car. I use it everywhere, but especially at the beach because the sand comes right off of it. Gotta love that!

3. Sun Umbrella by Sport-Brella

Sun Umbrella by Sport-BrellaThis was another Costco purchase. Not only does this umbrella provide UPF 50+ sun protection, it also protects against wind and rain. It’s slim and easy to set up, and when anchored properly, will not blow away during a windy beach day. It’s large enough for an entire family to sit under, which means it’s also perfect for camping and soccer games.

4. Mesh Beach Bag by Family Size Whale Bag

Mesh Beach Bag by Family Size Whale BagThis mesh bag stands up by itself and then squashes down easily for storing. It holds up to six beach towels and has handy pockets to store small essentials. I love mesh bags for the beach because the sand and water from used beach toys doesn’t collect in the bottom of the bag. Tip: Put all the dirty sand toys in the bag and then dunk the filled bag in the ocean. It’s the quickest way to rinse everything off.

5. Large shovel by Ames True Temper

Large shovel by Ames True TemperThis shovel is totally necessary for digging hold for your kids to take a mud bath in or making large sand castles. It’s small and lightweight, but durable. It’s the perfect size for a child to use and it’s easy to transport.

6. Backpack Cooler by Picnic Time

Backpack Cooler by Picnic TimeAll that swimming and playing is going to work up an appetite. I like backpack coolers because they are easy to carry. This cooler backpack has two compartments: One mesh area for essentials and personal items, and one insulated area for beverages and food. Plus, it’s pretty cute for a cooler bag!

7. Mesh Baby Seat by Summer Infant

Mesh Baby Seat by Summer InfantOk, I know this is meant for bathing an infant. BUT… Taking a baby who can’t sit up to the beach can be kind of a nightmare. Especially when you’ve got an older one who needs your attention. I totally lugged this to the beach when my youngest was an infant and it was a lifesaver! She sat in it and was totally amused by watching my oldest play in the sand. It’s totally worth the extra room it will take up in your wagon. Did I mention that it’s mesh, which means that sand won’t stick to it and you can hose it down? Yesssss…..

8. Sun Suit with Built-in Swim Diaper by Flap Happy

Sun Suit with Built-in Swim Diaper by Flap HappyThis sun suit is totally cute (they have other great styles too) and it has a built-in swim diaper. That means you can ditch the disposable swim diapers (a totally eco-friendly idea) and let your baby run wild and free without the fear of an “accident.”  PS: I also really love the Flap Happy sun protection hats - so pick up one of those too!

While we are on the subject of sunsuits, keeping your little ones safe from the sun is top priority. Here is a must-read article about water safety: Surprising information on what drowning really looks like.

Have fun and safe summer!

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