Photo: Dana Cristea (Unsplash)

Summer is around the corner, and I cannot wait to take our son to the place I love the most: The beach. We’ve been taking him since he was tiny, and thankfully, he ended up loving it as much as we do.

Because of all the beach trips we have under our belt, I wanted to share with you my favorite products for a happy family time with a lovely salty breeze. Also remember that a lot of the recommendations for a fun picnic day also apply to the beach, so go check those out!

Beach Toys

Is it a beach day if there are no beach toys? Yes, I am that parent that has as much fun as the kids do while building castles. This set includes fourteen pieces that all come in a mesh bag to collect and rinse when it’s time to head back home. They are also made with environmentally friendly plastic, so you won’t have to worry about damaging the beach while playing. The colors and shapes are adorable, and yes, you bet I’m already buying a set to have ready for my son!

Catch and Release Aquarium 
Graphic: Shep McAllister

Catch and Release Aquarium 

Is your kid fascinated by water creatures? Just add sand, water, some seaweed to this catch and release aquarium, and let them spot tiny creatures through the glass. This aquarium also promotes respecting nature, as long as you make your kid promise to release all of the creatures back into their natural habitat once the day is over and it’s time to go home.

Photo: Amazon

Beach Tent

If you are going to a beach without umbrellas to rent or plenty of decent shade, I highly recommend getting one of these pop up umbrella tents to bring with you. They have SPF protection, and the entire family can take a break from the sun if needed. Also, if you have really little ones, you can put them in there to take a nap without worrying. The sides include zip-up windows to let breeze through to keep it cool. Plus it folds up into a surprisingly small bag that you can easily carry around.

Wearable Beach Towel

Wrapping kids in towels is a nightmare, so we’ve made the switch to wearable towels instead. They go over your kid’s head like a poncho and keep them warm as they dry off. The best thing is that they can still run around and play or walk next to you back to the car without losing it or getting tangled in it. It comes in different cute prints and it is sized to last any growth spurt you may encounter.

A Big, Inflatable Ball

There is no beach trip that is complete without a beach ball. I’m partial to these because they are filled with glitter, and who doesn’t love glitter? They are great for kicking around the sand or playing volleyball in the water (with parental supervision of course). The best part though? They come in a set of four, so if you lose one you won’t have a crying screaming child. I got you!

Pete at the Beach
Graphic: Shep McAllister

Pete the Cat

We are HUGE fans of Pete the Cat in our house, if you don’t know him yet I highly recommend checking out some of his adventures. But I’m recommending the literary classic Pete at the Beach in particular because it’s a cool way to introduce the beach setting to a kid that has never been to one before. That way they can get familiar with that weird thing called sand ahead of time, and be a little less terrified when they first experience it in person.

A Lightweight Wagon
Graphic: Shep McAllister

A Lightweight Wagon

Lastly, you’re going to need a wagon to carry all these things (and maybe one or two kids as well). This one is perfect for the beach because it’s super lightweight and it has thick wheels that won’t get stuck in the sand. It’s also collapsable so it will easily fit in your trunk!

Ready, set, let’s go to the beach! If you have your own suggestions, drop them in the comments!