Must-Have Beach Essentials for Toddlers

By: Brooke Hamilton


As temperatures rise and vacation season approaches, you and your family are probably looking forward to spending some time by the water! But bringing your toddler to the lake or ocean isn’t as easy as rolling out the door with just a towel and sunscreen.

Let us help you plan for a fun-filled family day at the beach. Here are a few helpful tips on the toddler beach essentials you’ll need to create an unforgettable day for your little peanuts.

Swimwear for Toddlers

First, let's dive into swimwear because we believe that your toddler's swimwear should be both cute and comfortable! 

Whether you have a playful pirate or a marvelous mermaid, there are plenty of stylish swimwear options to choose from that will let your toddler's personality shine. And all of these suits are comfortable, made of stretchy, easy-to-wear material, and gentle on sensitive skin:

  • Tulle swimsuit – Tulle by the pool? Obviously! This pink tulle swimsuit is perfect for the aspiring fashionistas in your life. Complete with a cute scoop neckline and a keyhole back design; your toddler will be the most adorable fish in the sea! They'll also be protected from the sun with a bathing suit material that offers 50+ ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) protection.

  • Reversible swimsuit – The 2-in-1 bathing suit your little one needs! This reversible swimsuit features a stunning design on each side, depending on which side your toddler is showing off that day. And we even have a matching one for Mom!

  • Swim trunks – With an adjustable drawstring, these patterned swim trunks provide maximum comfort. Additionally, the convenient pockets give your toddler the freedom to stuff them full of seashells, shark teeth, and other tiny treasures they discover.

Along with swimsuits, if your little one is still potty training, you’ll also want to grab a few swim diapers to put in your beach tote!

See related: Swim Diapers vs. Regular Diapers

girl in tulle swimsuit
girls in heart print reversible swinsuits
boy in checker print swim trunks

Toddler-Friendly Sun Protection

While your toddler is out in the sun or splashing in the waves, it’s important to keep their sensitive skin protected. To avoid an uncomfortable sunburn, you can set your kiddos up for success with the proper sun protection, including:

  • Toddler-friendly sunscreen – When shopping for sunscreen, opt for a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s 30 SPF or higher (broad spectrum protects from UVA and UVB rays). Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin at least 15 minutes before you take your toddler outside, and reapply every two hours (and each time they get out of the water—even if it’s water resistant).

  • Sunhats – Not only do sunhats look absolutely adorable on your peanut, but they also offer a little shade against the sun’s penetrating rays. Look for kids sunhats with a wide brim that keeps their entire face, ears, and neck out of the sun.

  • UV protective clothing – When in doubt, you can count on a UV rash guard to protect your little one’s upper body and arms from UV rays. With 50+ UPF coverage, this rash guard swimsuit is stylish and offers more protection from the sun. You'll spend a little less time applying sunscreen and worrying about the sun and more time making beachside memories with your mini-me.

Comfort and Safety Gear

It’s time to pull out your biggest beach bag or sand-friendly wagon because we’re about to dive into some comfort and safety-related beach essentials for toddlers:

  • Beach towels – After a swim in the ocean, wrap your little peanut up in a colorful, fluffy beach towel or hooded towel to warm them up and dry them off. Additionally, you can lay a few down in the sand, providing your dripping kiddos with a safe place to land and enjoy a snack after frolicking in the sea.

  • Beach tent or umbrella – It’s a great idea to offer your toddler a fully shaded area where they can take a break from the sun (and maybe even enjoy a quick afternoon nap). Your little one may break a sweat running on the beach and playing in the hot sun, which can lead to dehydration. So it’s a good idea to claim your beach spot with a tent or umbrella—or both!— that creates a comfortable, shady oasis where littles can enjoy some water and a freshly-packed snack.

  • Water shoes – Sandy beaches are covered with, well, sand (and other rough surfaces, including shells, rocks, and possibly even coral). The stiff soles of water shoes allow little feet to explore the surrounding areas safely while still feeling the coolness of the water on their toes.

Beach Toys and Activities

As adults, enjoying a cold drink and feeling the sea breeze in your hair can make for a perfect day at the beach. However, you may want to be prepared with fun beach activities for kids to help keep your little ones entertained.

Along with water shoes and swim goggles, you’ll want to pack sand toys and beach toys, too!

Take a look at these ideas for toys and activities that will keep your toddlers engaged for hours:

  • Sand toys – From shovels and buckets to sand molds and plastic sand trucks, a bag of beach-approved toys can go a long way in encouraging the kiddos to build sandcastles and get creative in the sand.

  • Inflatables – An inflatable beach ball is a classic for good reason! Play simple toddler-approved games such as tossing it back and forth, rolling it through the sand, or kicking it. If you have a few plastic bottles, you can even set up a game of beach ball bowling! Additionally, if you plan on enjoying the water with your little ones, you can bring inflatable water toys like rafts, noodles, or tubes for them to play with.

  • Treasure hunt – Take your toddler on a walk down the beach with one of their sand buckets in search of hidden seaside treasures. You could tell them the first treasure they’re looking for is a pink shell. Once they find that (with a little parental assistance), give them something else to search for, like a piece of seaweed. If your toddler is younger, they’ll have just as much fun picking up all the shells and other ocean items they deem treasure-worthy and plopping them in their bucket.

Beach artUse the fun finds from your treasure hunt to create seashore art. Draw patterns or pictures in the sand and use your treasure hunt items to decorate them. This activity is excellent for helping children develop their fine motor skills and fostering creativity and artistic expression. Best of all, it's free. What's not to love?

Snacks and Hydration for Toddlers

With all the fun they’re having at the beach, your little one might not tell you they’re hungry or thirsty after an hour of nonstop beachside playtime. But even if they insist they keep playing, it’s important to pause regularly for hydration breaks, especially because long periods of sun exposure can lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Cold drinks and tasty treats in a cooler will help you lure them back to the comfort of your shady spot for some well-deserved snacks and hydration. Along with ice-cold water, here are a few other satisfying options for snacks and drinks for toddlers:

  • Fruit-infused water – The night before your beach outing, cut up slices of citrus fruits, berries, and cucumber. Add them to a container of water and let it steep overnight. It’ll add a hint of fresh flavor to the water without all the added sugar from fruit juice.

  • Milk – Most young toddlers enjoy a cold, sippy cup of milk, especially around nap time.

  • Mini sandwiches – There's a certain charm in downsizing grown-up foods that makes them more appealing. Cut kid-friendly sandwiches into quarters, such as PB&J or ham and cheese.

  • Trail mix – From whole grain cereal to dried fruit, combine your kiddo’s favorite ingredients to make a customized (and filling) trail mix they’ll love.

Stock Up on Beach Essentials With Posh Peanut

Your well-prepared packing list now includes fun activities, sun protection like a sunhat, stylish swimwear, cozy towels, and snacks. You may also want to throw a wet bag in your diaper bag to store damp swimsuits and sandy toys. Whether you're gearing up for a week-long beach vacation or frequenting the oceanside all summer long, you'll thank yourself once you arrive with a beach wagon packed full of toddler beach essentials.

Posh Peanut offers an array of essential beach items, from plush beach towels to trendy  kids' swimwear  in various sizes. You can trust that each item is crafted using luxurious viscose from bamboo. This exceptionally soft fabric moves with your baby and seamlessly combines comfort and style. Start checking items off your beach essentials for toddlers list by shopping our collection today.


1. Kids Health. How to Choose and Use Sunscreen. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sunscreen.html

2. Better Health. Sweat. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/sweat

3. CDC. Heat Stress. Heat Related Illness. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/heatrelillness.html