Top tips for enjoying the beach with a toddler

Top tips for enjoying the beach with a toddler

As anyone who reads this blog knows, we are big fans of a staycation. The UK has such a diverse array of landscapes and amazing places to visit, that we’ve barely dented our wishlist. This year we had a brilliant camping trip in the Norfolk Broads and, for the first time, actually had a lovely a couple of days on the beach as a family. Enjoying the beach with a toddler it not always the easiest thing to do, however I’ve got a few tips to help things go smoothly.

Set up Camp

The first thing I did this year was make ourselves a little base camp. With the amount of stuff you need to cart around with small children, going to the beach with a toddler is never going to be a straightforward affair. However, I found that having somewhere to stash our stuff and keep it relatively sand free was a real bonus. We used a small pop up tent and it worked a treat. I also felt better leaving our stuff zipped up while we were in the sea, plus it doubled as a changing room, which made things easier.

Here’s our beach base camp, complete with coolbox and storage.

Make it an Adventure

The seaside makes a such a great backdrop for spending time outside with the whole family. Aside from the usual sand castle making and paddling in the sea, the beach is a great place for a family microadventure. We love taking our stove out and cooking up some lunch, but why not go exploring rockpools or sand dunes, fly a kite or a scavenger hunt. If you’re a little more active, there are also several coastal paths around the UK that are great for exploring.

We love taking our camping stove out and about, it makes a great beach barbecue


Building a sandcastle fort is great for keeping kids (and big kids) entertained for a while

Be Prepared 

As much as I do like the beach, the mixture of sand, sun and sea makes it a challenge, especially with young children. There’s not a lot you can do, but just take lots of changes of clothes, including warm clothes if you’re planning to be out all day, and extra towels. A liberal dusting of baby powder at the beginning will make it easier to brush sand off a wriggly toddler. Also, lots of snacks and drink will ensure the day is a happy one. I tend to use lots of plastic boxes to keep sand out of the food and a few spare plastic bags are great as rubbish sacks and for keeping shoes and spare clothes sand free.

We loved introducing Finn to the great British art of paddling

Sun Safety

I don’t need to tell you, but if you’re planning to spend all day outside at the beach with a toddler, it’s vital to be safe in the sun. A high factor sunscreen, plus a hat and swimsuit with UV protection is a must for young children (and adults!). A large umbrella is also a good idea for giving a bit of shade, especially during the hottest part of the day. Remember to make sure that everyone drinks plenty and stays hydrated.

I always make sure that Finn is covered up in the sun

If you like the idea of camping near a beach, Halfords have some brilliant ideas in their camping guide. It’s full of tips to help you find the best destinations across the UK, plus lots of tips to make sure you have everything you need to enjoy your holiday, from the right camping equipment to the best campfire entertainment.

What are your tried and tested tips for enjoying the beach with a toddler?

This post was written in collaboration with Halfords.



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