10 Tips to Toddling to the beach

It’s summer in the UK and we live close to the beach – so with J being almost 3 I looked back and I can count the number of times we have visited the beach with him on 1 hand with fingers to spare.

10 tips for taking toddlers to the beach

Last week however with the weather being amazing we ventured to the beach with J and with T and I realised why I hadn’t gone more often – because it’s scary and it needs a military operation to get us onto the beach and leaving the beach. I still don’t think I’m up for going it alone with the two of them but it is something that we are going to try and do regularly over the summer with them both as a family.

10 tips for getting toddlers to the beach

T on the beach in her sun suit

So here’s what I discovered and worked out whilst we were there

  1. Apply sun cream (factor 50+) before heading out – kids do not like sand coated hands for cream application
  2. Use reusable swim nappies for non-potty trained toddlers – no rubbish on the beach and can put them in a wet bag to return home for washing
  3. Sun suits are brilliant – if you need to apply sun cream then you have less space to cover
  4. Set up a “camp” with a sun shade (we use a sun tent) so there is always some shade and a tarp to sit on.

    10 tips for keeping toddlers safe and having fun at the beach

    Nana and T at our "camp" with the sun tent

  5. Bring double the amount of towels that you will need – keep 1 dry set in the car with a change of clothes – that way there won’t be any problem when the toddler can’t wait and runs into the sea fully clothed (yes that has happened)
  6. Bags to put all the essential finds in from the trip to the beach – shells, sea weed, bits of crabs!
  7. Take a lunch with you – toddlers will not want to the leave the beach and getting everything off the beach and then back is not fun at all – tomorrow I will sharing some sandwich making for toddlers and preschoolers to get them involved in the preparation
  8. Pack so that you can hold hands/carry if needed a back pack for your toddler is great you can put in their drink, some sand toys and then they feel like they have a role in going to the beach
  9. A kids trailer is great – it works for transporting everything over the sand and is also great fun when you are on the beach
  10. If you can get hold of them wrist bands for the kids are great put your phone number on and surname then if they wonder off and you loose them you can be contacted (remember to have your cell phone with you) – some of our popular beaches supply them in the UK
10 tips for getting toddlers to the beach

Pops pulling T in the trailer

Activities and fun at the beach

Toddler Approved has some fun sand castle and cake posts to get your toddlers having some sandy fun at the beach.

The Educators Spin On It kept to the same routine and took their normal Tot School to the beach with lots of ideas for educational activities that are a lot more fun when you take them outside.

Looking for a packing list for a beach trip then Play Dr Mom has the essentials with a novel way of transporting it all to the beach.

From Carrots are Orange some great Low Tide – strand line beach activities that would keep inquisitive toddlers entertained.

When you have your nature finds it’s always a “what do I do with it” moment – No Time for Flash Cards has a great easy to make on the beach nature jar which will also help limit the amount of the beach that you bring home as well.

We always seem to forget about ourselves and Taming The Goblin gives some advice to Mum’s and Dad’s that it’s worth while remember.

This is something I have never thought of doing but looks a lot of fun – some coloured sandcastles on the beach from A little learning for 2.

Activities and fun about the beach when you come home

Preserving the memories from your beach holidays is half the fun of going – Curly Birds has 2 ways (linked within the post) of preserving those childhood beach memories.

Making a fish diaroma is great fun – Learn with Play @ Home has some fun fish and an underwater scene to make.

If you managed to escape the beach without taking half of the sand from it with you then The Imagination Tree has some cloud dough sandcastle building with glitter and shells (what more could a toddler/preschooler want).

The Imagination Tree also has a wonderful beach small world play and some sand play dough as well.

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Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and now mum. She's passionate about supporting learning at school at home, bringing books alive, giving kids life skills and exploring the world around us sharing Creative, Family Friendly, Fun Ideas for the whole family on Rainy Day Mum

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  1. Breege says

    The best beach tip I’ve heard is to bring talc with you. Its great for getting sand off hands. Dust the wet sand encrusted hands with talc and rub until the sand falls off, then you can use a wipe to get the talc off. Then lovely clean hands for eating sandwiches without the added sand.

  2. Jeffrey says

    Tip number 5 simply made me smile. Our toddler, who was so excited going to beach practically ran to the water without getting changed into beach apparel.
    Jeffrey recently posted..cool piano booksMy Profile

  3. says

    We bring eleven month old twins to the beach along with their friends…Best tip ever is a blow up baby pool. (We have a battery powered pump)
    Tip # 2 is a huge baby fence, when you have lots of babies to watch it really helps to keep them together and you can have a big area for them to play.
    Paula recently posted..June 2012My Profile

  4. says

    Great list of ideas! We just moved to a town on the ocean that has a town beach. I had visions of myself plunked down in a beach chair reading novel after novel this summer, but my adventurous toddler son has other plans. I spend most of my time chasing him all over the beach. He loves to walk up to random families and sit in their beach chairs. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I have to admit I have met a bunch of people this way :)

    2sisters2cities recently posted..Fresh Produce Tuesday- Week #12: Kale RecipesMy Profile

  5. says

    Wow a post packed with great ideas and suggestions. We just love the beach, reading your list it does remind me how much easier beach trips become as they grow older and can be responsible for packing their own things for the day, though I am still in charge of lunch or it would just be crisps and cake!
    Coombemill recently posted..Silent Sunday / Project 52My Profile

    • says

      I’m glad it gets easier – it’s a millitary operation at this moment – one of the reasons that we haven’t had a holiday for over 2 years – just a day trip is planned in fine details

  6. breakfastfor8 says

    Many beaches this summer will be Lost Kidz safety zones -so make sure you have the Lost Kidz App downloaded on your phone in case your toddler goes astray!


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