This post has been sponsored by Banana Boat Sunscreen. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Remember when going to the beach was just remembering your swimsuit and a book? Those days are long gone, and packing to hit the beach with a toddler is no easy task! Ava loves the water and would be near it all day if it was her choice. I decided to round up my toddler must-haves for when we hit the beach this Summer! I’ll also be sharing mom hacks throughout the post, so make sure you read everything so you don’t miss them!
6 tips for a fun toddler beach experience:
1. Protection from the sun: Ava has super fair skin. Anytime we head to the beach or pool, we always pack a hat, bathing suit, rash guard, and sunscreen. I pack both a swimsuit and rash guard because have you ever tried to reason or explain something to a toddler? I’m learning the hard way slowly but surely. Let’s just say this girl is a pretty good negotiator! Mom Hack 1: Apply sunscreen before you get to the beach! It can be hectic trying to get everything out of the car and set up on the beach. Before you know it, your kids are crying or throwing a fit because they want to play already.
Our go to sunscreen for Ava is Banana Boat Simply Protect Sensitive. It’s SPF 50+, hypoallergenic, and water & sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes. Best part, it stays on in 7 conditions – sun, pool water, ocean water, sweat, sand and even 100 heat!
2. Bring fun sand toys: Ava will stay occupied all day with these sand toys! Kits come with so many pieces these days, so mom hack #2 is to break them up into multiple kits. Make you’re your kit comes with at least a shovel, pail, and a few toys or characters to mold sand into. We love making little sandcastles and creating little “homes” for our sand toys, such as seashells, butterflies, and sharks. Your kids will think it’s like a new set of toys each time. If you want to be really creative, bring large plastic bags and food coloring. Once at the beach, add sand to each bag and your kids will be amazed at watching it turn colors. If you have older toddlers or young kids, they will love creating sandcastles with the different color sand.
3. Water and snacks: This one is pretty straight forward. Think about what meals and snack times that will occur while you’re on the beach and make sure you pack enough for everyone. Some of our go-to’s are popcorn, sandwiches, chips, and frozen ice pops. Mom hack #3 is to freeze water bottles instead packing ice bags. They’ll keep your food cold while traveling, but will slowly melt which will keep you refreshed with ice cold water.
4. Invest in a wagon: Trust me on this one! Last year we went to the beach and decided we were going to pack everything in her stroller. About 2 feet away from the sidewalk, we were beyond stuck in the sand. Let’s just say we got more of a workout getting to the beach than we should have. Wagons are perfect! Make sure you look for ones with larger tires. Best part, most wagons take up zero space in the car and holds all of our beach items.
5. Remember items for yourself: Gone are the days we could only bring a swimsuit and book to the beach, but that doesn’t mean you only remember everything for your kids. A few of the items I always pack are a cute compact beach umbrella. These are perfect for the times all of the beach umbrellas are already taken. I personally don’t like to take a tent, because traveling with a toddler is already enough luggage. I’ll also pack a waterproof bag for my keys, wallet, and phone. Once we’re finished for the day, I’ll put Ava’s swimsuit and any dirty clothes in that bag. Mom hack #4, make sure you remember sunscreen for yourself! There is nothing worse than being a lobster mom with a tired toddler, I promise! For Sean and I, we use Banana Boat Ultra Sport in the spray form. Like the Simply Protect Sensitive we use for Ava, it’s also water and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes. I also love that it comes in SPF 15, 30, 50+, and 100.
6. Play Family Games: We all know how much toddlers love running! Why not incorporate fun family games into a beach day! A few games we look forward to playing with Ava, especially as she gets older is:
– Play I spy with my little eye, beach edition
– Collect seashells
– Toss around a bouncy ball
– Chase the waves to see if they can catch you
While a trip to the beach is still a lot of work, it’s so rewarding seeing your little one having so much fun! It helps to have a plan in place and pack the night before.
I hope these tips helped for your next beach trip!