Toddler Beach Essentials

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Check out my BABY BEACH ESSENTIALS post – one of my most popular from year 1 with our baby girl! We still use many of the products listed there as well.

We still live walking distance from a city beach and have also managed to get away to Florida and South Carolina on plane vacations over the past year – so it feels like a good time to share a post on my go-to toddler beach essentials

Since graduating from the baby to toddler phase, we’ve mainly shifted from bringing a stroller to a wagon, and are focused on having the right toys, snacks and sun protection for activity time. We have managed to get in a few naps on a beach chair under an umbrella on a recent trip (in my opinion the air flow is key!)

Here are my picks for toddler beach essentials:

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Green Toys Dump Truck in Pink Color - BPA Free, Phthalates Free Play Toys for Improving Gross Motor, Fine Motor Skills. Play Vehicles
Veer Cruiser | Next Generation Premium Stroller Wagon Crossover | The Feel and Safety of a Premium Stroller Combined with The Fun of a Lightweight, Rugged Wagon
Viyuse 2pcs Cloth Diaper Wet Dry Bags Washable Waterproof Two Zippered Pockets Double Infant Stroller Travel Beach Pool Gym Bag for Swimsuits & Wet Clothes
SELEWARE Portable, Stackable Food Storage Containers for Formula, Snacks, Powder and Drinks, Twist Lock System, Airtight, Leak-proof, BPA and Phthalate Free, 4-Piece Jars, 31oz Blue
Gladly Family Anthem 2 Double Wagon Stroller, All-Terrain Collapsible Wagon with Canopy for Kids, 2 Seater (Electric Silver)
GoBe Kids Snack Spinner - Reusable Snack Container with 5 Compartment Dispenser and Lid | BPA and PVC Free | Dishwasher Safe | No Spill, Leakproof | for Toddlers, Babies, Home, Travel
Extra Large Beach Bag, Waterproof Beach Bag, Big Beach Bags Waterproof Sandproof, Lightweight Beach Bags, Beach Tote
Cambond Mesh Beach Bag, Large Beach Tote Bag with Zipper and Multiple Pockets for Beach, Picnic
Dock & Bay Beach Towel - Quick Dry, Sand Free - Compact, Lightweight - 100% Recycled - Includes Bag - Cabana Light - Malibu Pink - Extra Large (200x90cm, 78x35)
Bentgo Kids Snack - 2 Compartment Leak-Proof Bento-Style Food Storage for Snacks and Small Meals, Easy-Open Latch, Dishwasher Safe, and BPA-Free - Ideal for Ages 3+ (Fuchsia/Teal)
YETI Rambler Jr. 12 oz Kids Bottle, with Straw Cap
Coleman Life Stearns Original Puddle Jumper Kids Jacket Vest Children Water flotation device
H For Happy Low Sand Beach Chair In Lemon/blue
Nice C Low Beach Camping Folding Chair, Ultralight Backpacking Chair with Cup Holder & Carry Bag Compact & Heavy Duty Outdoor, Camping, BBQ, Beach, Travel, Picnic, Festival (Set of 1 Blue)
Coleman Camping Chair | Lightweight Utopia Breeze Beach Chair | Outdoor Chair with Low Profile
Hint Sunscreen Grapefruit, SPF 30, 6 Fl Oz, Oxybenzone Free, Paraben Free, Reef Safe Formula, Compressed Air Spray-on Sunscreen, Water Resistant, Grapefruit Scented
COOLA Organic Sunscreen SPF 50 Sunblock Spray, Dermatologist Tested Skin Care for Daily Protection, Vegan and Gluten Free, Fragrance Free
Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Spray | Vegan and Reef Friendly (Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free) Broad Spectrum Moisturizing UVA/UVB Sunscreen with Vitamin E | 6 oz
Supergoop! PLAY Antioxidant-Infused Body Mist w/Vitamin C, 6 fl oz - SPF 50 PA++++ Reef-Safe, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen - Body Spray for Sensitive Skin - Clean Ingredients - Great for Active Days
Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 30 with 100% Mineral Active, Non-Nano, Water-Resistant, Reef-Friendly, Fragrance-Free, Vegan, for Babies, Kids or Sensitive Skin - 6 oz.
Pipette Mineral Sunscreen - SPF 50 Broad Spectrum Baby Sunblock with Non-Nano Zinc, UVB/UVA Non-Toxic Sun Protection for Kids & Sensitive Skin, 4 fl oz
EasyLunchboxes - Bento Snack Boxes - Reusable 4-Compartment Food Containers for School, Work and Travel, Set of 4, Classic
YETI Rambler 12 oz. Colster Can Insulator for Standard Size Cans (Sandstone Pink)
YETI Hopper Flip 18 Portable Soft Cooler, Nordic Blue
CoolCabanas Beach Cool Cabana Canopy Sun Shade Shelter Tent - 8' x 8' or 6'6" x 6'6", Easy to Setup, Folds to just 3'5", Perfect for Family Beach and Backyard, UPF 50+, The Original and The Best
Sunbuster Folding Shelter, Print
Dock & Bay Kid's Towel - for Beach Use - Quick Dry, Sand Free - Compact, Lightweight - 100% Recycled - Includes Bag - Beach Daze, Medium (130x70cm, 51x28)
pack all Water-resistant Material Zipper Pouch, Mesh Zipper Bags for Storage, Travel, Office (Gray, Large)
pack all Water-resistant Material Zipper Pouch, Mesh Zipper Bags for Storage, Travel, Office (Black, Medium)
ALOHA Collection Small Monstera Pouch in Dawn
Folding Travel Potty Seat for Boys and Girls, Fits Round & Oval Toilets, Non-Slip Suction Cups, Includes Free Travel Bag - Jool Baby
2-Piece Matching Print Rashguard Swim Set for Toddler Girls
Rash Guard Baby Swim Set
Toddler Girls' 2pc Floral Print Long Sleeve Ruffle Rash Guard Set - Cat & Jack™
YETI Daytrip Packable Lunch Bag, Navy
YETI Daytrip Lunch Box
Hurley Kids Quad Chair with Umbrella, One Size, Lily Aqua
Redmon Beach Baby KIDS Umbrella Chair For Relaxing
Rash Guard Baby Swim Set
RuffleButts® Baby/Toddler Girls Baby/Toddler Sun Hat with UPF 50+ Sun Protection and Floppy Wide Brim
SwimZip Kid's Sun Hat - Wide Brim UPF 50+ Protection Hat for Baby, Toddler, Kids
Babiators Original Baby, Toddler & Kids Keyholes
Babiators Blue Series Polarized UV Protection Children's Sunglasses
Original WeeFarers Children's Sunglasses
SupMLC Mesh Beach Bag Extra Large Beach Bags and Totes Tote Backpack Toys Towels Sand Away for Holding Beach Toys Children’ Toys Market Grocery Picnic Tote
7pc Sand Bucket Set Rainbow - Sun Squad™
4pc Stacking Turtles Sand Molds - Sun Squad™
Sand Pal Beach Sand Toys Kit - 9 Pieces Beach Toys Set for Outdoor Play - Construction Building Sand Castle Molds & Tools - Kids Sandbox, Snow & Sand Castle Kit with Mesh Bag for Toddlers and Adults
Green Toys Dump Truck in Yellow and Red - BPA Free, Phthalates Free Play Toys for Gross Motor, Fine Motor Skill Development. Pretend Play
Silicone Beach Toys for Kids - Baby Sandbox Toys - Best Silicon Toddler Beach Toy Set - Won't Break Like Plastic - Travel Friendly & Safe for Babies - Bucket, Shovel & Other Accessories (Pink Sand)
B. toys by Battat – Owl About Waterfalls Water Wheel – Preschool Baby Bath Toy 18 m+
B. toys – B. Ready Beach Bag – Beach Tote with Mesh Panel and 11 Funky Sand Toys – Phthalates and BPA Free – 18 m+, Lime Bucket
B. Toys – Shore Thing – Large Beach Playset – Large Bucket Set (Sea Blue) with 11 Funky Sand Toys for Kids – Phthalates Free – 18 M+
15pc Sand Bucket Set - Sun Squad™
MacSports Heavy Duty Collapsible Wagon Cart Portable Lightweight Folding Cart with All-Terrain Wheels - Wagon Collapsible Design for Gardens, Shopping, Sports, and More
Gladly Family Anthem 4 Quad Wagon Stroller, All-Terrain Collapsible Wagon with Canopy for Kids, 4 Seater (Neon Indigo)

Beach WagonThis is one of the big differences for us, as we actually used our UppaBaby Vista during the 6 month – 1.5 year stages for the beach because it has good storage underneath (carried it onto the sand). We found on recent beach trips that we really don’t need a stroller, as our 2-year-old can and oftentimes prefers to walk anyway. However, when we’re walking to the beach with lots of stuff (not at a beach resort), we’ll be using our folding beach wagon. But I’ve been considering upgrading – if we had one of the options with more features (and more space to store), we definitely would have been using earlier on. Here are my picks:

  • Anthem 2 All-Terrain Double Wagon Stroller (also 4-seater here) – I came across this brand in a Facebook group and have had my eye on it since, as it looks a lot like the Veer with a lower investment. It’s nice looking, has a flat fold given all of its features, and it comes with most of the add-ons that other brands don’t. More on these wagons here.
  • Veer Cruiser The OG of high-quality beach wagons for kids, which my sister-in-law and other friends have and love. The price point is steep and accessories like cupholders, sun shades, etc. are additional add-ons. I’ve heard some families – especially those in the ‘burbs – use this instead of a stroller as it can be more enticing for the older sibling(s).
  • Folding Wagon Cart And then there are the simplest beach wagons, which are the most compact but have no features or safety system to buckle your little one in. We have this for our beach gear and have seen others use them with a toddler inside when they’re close to their beach destination (of course, do what you need to do to keep them safe!). There are lots of brands of these on Amazon, many of which are under $100.

Beach ToysHaving a good set is key for toddler entertainment and I highly recommend getting one with a big bucket. Even better if several of the items can be stored within the bucket for carrying/storage purposes. These Target and Amazon sets have been our favorites. Other options for toys are here, and here. If you have room, also consider things like a water wheel, our favorite Green Toys dump truck (also in pink/purple), turtle sand castle molds, and this set that helps build actual buildings with sand blocks. For plane vacations, our move is to locate a Target (or similar) on our drive from the airport to hotel to get snacks and beach/pool toys and then we give to another family when we leave.

Beach BagsI’m particular in this department and have found a few options I love! I’m still a big fan of Lands End canvas bags, but lately we’ve been traveling and in need of super lightweight/compact options and this is where I landed.

  • Large Mesh BagThis folds into a tiny square and is perfect for anything sandy – beach toys, shoes, floaties, etc. It’s nice and big and really helps with getting everything on/off the beach. Extra bonus for being travel-friendly. This is also a great one with a bit more structure to it, along with more pockets.
  • Extra Large Lightweight Zipped BagAll of those things are important – especially if we’re walking or traveling! This one has tons of room, a pocket inside for things like a phone or wallet, has a zipper to keep the sand out, and is light/compact for throwing in a suitcase if need be.

Pouches for Inside Beach BagMy favorite way to stay organized is to have a big bag with smaller bags inside. You know exactly what’s in each of them – even my husband has claimed ownership of one of my waterproof clutches. These waterproof/washable wet bags are what I use in my diaper bag too, and I love the Aloha pouches that come in different sizes and prints. These look good too and come in both medium and large. Things I use pouches for: sunscreens, phone/wallet/keys, wet clothes, toddler potty essentials (wipes, hand sanitizer, travel potty seat, spare undies/clothes), snacks, etc. 

SunscreensThis deserves a whole separate post as I’ve tried every clean sunscreen for kids under the sun! Long story short, I try to apply a layer of clean mineral sunscreen – usually Pipette Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 – before heading out for the day and then reapply with clean chemical spray sunscreens like Sun Bum SPF 50, Coola Classic Sunscreen Spray, Supergoop! Play or Hint SPF sprays, as they don’t require rubbing in and can be done on-the-go. It’s my version of better ingredients and practicality. Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc spray is a good in-between – it’s a spray but comes out more like a thin regular sunscreen and then you easily rub in. It also seems to last longer than other sprays.

Sun Protection HatsBitty Brah remains our favorite kids’ hat brand. They have fun logos, can get wet, and actually stay on – even with a drawstring option if it’s windy or you’re on a boat. For big floppy hats (both boys and girls), I like this SwimZip hat that comes in many colors. Last year we had a RuffleButts hat that was good too.

SunglassesThese come second to hats, but my daughter has sensitive blue eyes and loves wearing sunglasses. We have and love these from a random brand called Izipizi (their polarized adult sunglasses are my favorite pair), and this year I added a pair of WeeFarers and Babiators (also these hearts!) to the mix. Warning: I tried getting 2 pairs of Amazon knock-offs this year and both broke within weeks!

Puddle Jumper FloatieMainly used in the pool but also good to have on hand when the ocean water is calm enough for little ones to float and play in.

Yeti Lunchbox + Kids’ Water BottleThere’s no better lunchbox than this one for a day in the sun; same goes for the kids’ water bottle! We also use the lunchbox as adults so it gets lots of use. This Yeti lunch bag is also a good pick at the same price.

Snack Containers + Pouches – We have several different snack containers and pick the right one depending on what we’re bringing. Some of my favorites are this 2-compartment Bentgo, this snack spinner, this stacking set, and this simple 4-compartment tupperware. These are all great for any kind of travel too! We also always throw a few pouches in the cooler as a cold snack.

Tent/Umbrella SetupWe currently have this LL Bean sun shelter tent – it’s a great source of shade and not too hard to set up. This year I’m considering also purchasing an umbrella or this CoolCabanas canopy for days when we want extra air flow along with shade.

Kids’ Beach ChairThis is a good beach chair for kids with an attached umbrella if it’s not too windy out. It’s very lightweight and our toddler likes feeling like a grown up sitting in a chair. I’m also interested in this style chair that appears to have a bigger umbrella, as well as these low camping folding chairs that would be easy for a little one to get in and out of.

Compact TowelsI recently came across these and love the prints – but most importantly the fact that they have smaller sizes and take up very little room in your bag. The texture of them feels weird at first but they are actually absorbent and don’t retain the sand.

Toddler Bathing Suits with SnapsI did a whole post on this here! Even once a toddler girl is potty trained, I find the snaps easier on one-pieces, particularly once bathing suits are wet. I also like 2-pieces with long-sleeve rash guards like these here, here and here.

Potty SeatThis compact travel potty seat goes literally everywhere with us. It’s small enough to fit into a large(ish) pouch and has worked well on all types of toilets.

Yeti Cooler + KooziesWe’ve now upgraded all of our coolers and koozies to Yeti and get so much use out of them that they’re definitely worth the price. We usually go for the Yeti Hopper cooler, which comes in different sizes.

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