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Kids' Beach

Baby Beach

Beach Essentials


Family Beach Vacation Checklist: What to Take to the Beach

Going on a vacation to the beach is a great way for families to spend some quality time together. You can maximize on the good times by making sure that you pack all the right clothing, gear and accessories for every member of the family. Don't worry, packing for the beach is easy once you've sorted out everything you may need. At Pottery Barn Kids, we want to help your family beach getaway go smoothly, so we've put together a checklist of beach essentials to take with you.


Beach fashion is easily the most fun type of fashion. Sunhats and sunglasses keep everyone looking good and safe from the sun's UV rays. Flip flops protect your feet as you walk to your spot on the beach and are easy to kick off when you want to go in the water. Anyone who wants to take a dip is also going to need a swimsuit or swim trunks. Don't forget diaper covers so that your infant or toddler can splash around a bit as well.

Change of Clothes

In addition to beach and swimwear, everyone needs to have a proper change of clothes that they can put on when it's time to head back out. A simple shorts and t-shirt combo will usually suffice if it's a nice day, but make sure you check the forecast ahead of time to see if it might get chilly or rainy later on. Proper shoes may also be important depending on how much walking you plan on doing after the beach.

Beach Towels

Beach towels are a multi-purpose beach must-have. They dry you off after swimming or playing in the water, they offer a place to sit on the sand or grass and they can be draped over beach chairs for some added comfort. Everyone should have at least one beach towel of their own and it's a good idea to bring along a few extra towels as well for when some of them inevitably end up wet or covered in sand!

Beach Wraps, Tunics and Cover-Ups

A beach wrap is a nifty accessory that is similar to a beach towel except it also comes with a hood. This makes it easy for your child or infant to wear the wrap while they take a break from the water to have a snack or play in the sand. Tunics and cover-ups function more as comfortable, long-sleeve tops perfect for keeping small children warm and for limiting their exposure to UV rays.


When it comes to proper UV protection, sunblock is an absolute necessity. It should be applied liberally to all exposed skin at least 20 minutes before going out into the sun, as the skin needs time to absorb it. Sunblock should also be reapplied every few hours if you remain out in the sun, though more often if you are swimming or perspiring a lot.


A trip to the beach with young children calls for a variety of fun beach toys to keep them entertained. A sand play set with shovels, pails and molds for building sandcastles is sure to be a hit, as is an inflated beach ball. Bath toys can double as great beach toys as well, as they are waterproof and usually quite small and portable.


The secret to a happy and successful day at the beach is to pack a good mix of snacks. Fruits with a high water content like apples and watermelon will help keep everyone hydrated while snacks like granola bars and mixed nuts will keep tummies from grumbling. Simple sandwiches, like peanut butter and jelly, are a good idea as well. Pack a cooler with some ice for all of the food items that need to stay cool and make sure you throw in enough water bottles for the day as well.

Sun Shade

When visiting the beach, it's important to have a place where you can get out of the sun. Beach umbrellas offer a simple and super portable solution. Just stick them in the sand and you've got a perfect little oasis. Another popular option is a portable pop-up beach tent. Easy to set up and take down, these colorful tents provide a shaded and protected area to relax. They are especially useful if you have a young child who is tuckered out from playing and needs to take a little nap.

Beach Blankets and Chairs

A large beach blanket provides a great place for your family to sunbathe, dry off after swimming, enjoy the snacks you brought along or just relax and read a book. If you're going to be spending a whole day at the beach, however, then consider bringing along a few portable beach chairs as well. A comfortable chair situated underneath your beach umbrella can make the experience that much more relaxing.

Beach Totes

The simplest way to carry all of your beach necessities with you is with a few roomy and durable beach totes. They are super easy to fill up with everyone's swim gear, towels, toys, clothing and snacks. You can even find smaller totes with a variety of cute designs for your kids to carry, allowing them to help you out a little.

Arriving at the beach with all of your necessary gear in hand (or in tote!) will help ensure that you spend more time playing and relaxing with your family and less time running to the store for something you left at home. Just double-check your gear before you leave and you'll be able to enjoy the vacation you deserve.

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