I think these are two ingenious beach inventions!! The beach spike sticks right into the sand so you can set your drink down without it getting all sandy and tipping over onto your beach towel, and then the double walled wine glass with a lid keeps your wine or mixed drink or beer, or whatever nice and cold for longer. And it has a lid. Genius. I bought mine a few months ago and even use it at home! It's such a great idea, that I bought one for my mom and mother in law, and as an early birthday present for my sister in law, since we all go to the beach together each year. And countless numbers of my friends have them too, and are obsessed as I am. Definitely a necessity!
Beach Mat and Towels
Maybe slightly more important then the spike and glass, are the towels, ha! We like having a big beach mat down so the kids can play or I can lay on my stomach (for about a minute and a half, before I have to chase down one of the monkeys :)). I love this one that rolls up and has a strap on it, so you carry it over your shoulder or toss it in your bag. And you know I'm a sucker for any and everything personalized, so everyone has their own personalized beach towel to wrap up in.
The kids are not old enough to enjoy just lying on the beach catching rays like their mommy does. :) So obviously, toys are a MUST. We have a whole host of fun things to do that we take down to the beach:
Buckets and Shovels (Classics)
Wheelbarrow and Rakes
Inflatable Baby Pool (awesome if you have a baby that's not quite walking yet, or just started to walk. They can sit up with the adults and play in the water, and it will keep them occupied for a good stretch)
Paddle Ball or Velcro Ball Game
Blow Up Swords (my sister in law brought these to the beach last year and they were a hit with the little ones, and also the silly daddies :))
Sand Digging Claws
Beach Ball, Football, Whiffle Ball Set, etc.
Corn Hole and Ladder Golf (for the adults :))
And there are so many more fun new toys, check them out here.
Beach Bag Toiletries
There are the not-so-fun parts of the beach stash that are absolute necessities too, of course. Here's what I pack in a smaller zippered bag inside the beach bag for easy access:
Extra Diapers and Swim Diapers
Aloe Vera lotion (Everyone knows that aloe vera is good for sunburns, but I read recently that aloe vera gel actually creates a seal on the skin making it hotter! But aloe vera lotion seeps into the skin and doesn't create a seal, so it cools the skin better)
Baby Powder to easily remove sand (works really well!)
Bandaids and Neosporin
Sunglasses, Hats, Flip Flops and Coverups for EVERYONE
I like to maximize my beach time and stay out as long as possible. But you just cannot stay out in the hot sun all day long without a bit of relief, especially with kids. Hats and coverups are key for all of us, and sunglasses to protect our eyes. The girls have a thousand pairs of sunglasses, and cute floppy straw hats. Ben has a few cute bucket hats, and I have a big straw hat and a few baseball hats (as does Scott). T shirts are easy coverups for the boys, and we girls have tunics and loose dresses that we use as coverups to shield ourselves from the sun.
And, the tent. Perfect for getting out of the sun, baby naps, eating lunch, and just getting a bit of shade. There are lots of different kind of beach tents, and we usually use a big tailgating tent since they provide plenty of room and shade, and are very easy to assemble and put up.
I don't know about you, but my poor mama back cannot take switching from back to front for 8 hours on the beach anymore. Plus, it's next to impossible to keep an eye on busy beach babies laying on a towel! So, last year we got some great beach chairs from Target, and have been more comfortable on the beach ever since. Cupholders? A necessity. The ones we got also have backpack straps so you can carry the chairs on your back rather than having to tote them with every other bag you're carrying. The kids chairs are not a true necessity (we took them a few years ago, and the girls only sat in them one short spell), but, OMG, aren't those adorable?!
So what have I left off? There are about 4000 more things that I like to bring to the beach with us, but these are the absolute necessities. What are your necessities? What can you not go to the beach without?