Aussie family beach days are where core childhood memories are made. Those long, lazy days, the sparkling water, hotter than hot beach sand, beach cricket and melting ice-creams. But every mum and dad knows that there’s so much more to a family beach day than jumping in the car and heading off!

Once kids come along, there’s a long list of must-haves you need to take to the beach – it’s no longer just a towel, sunscreen and a good book. So we’ve put together a handy list of family beach essentials – from the obvious to clever additions you may not have thought of.

We’ve kept our list as simple as possible – because let’s be honest, you could take a hundred things to the beach and the kids will still want something else!

10 Must-Have Family Beach Essentials


1. Sunscreen

It’s no accident that sunscreen is at the top of our list – it should be the first thing you toss into the beach bag (after applying it, of course!). And gone are the days of toting a different sunscreen for the kids, or family members with sensitive skin, thanks to new SunSense Sensitive Protect SPF 50.


It’s a sunscreen that is suitable for the whole family – for babies six months and over, to mum and dad with dry, sensitive skin. Providing SPF 50 protection, SunSense Sensitive Protect is specifically designed for sensitive skin and can be used on kids aged six months and up. It’s also four hours water resistant, dermatologically tested and fragrance free with the addition of Vitamin B3 that moisturises the skin.

And SunSense Sensitive Protect SPF 50 is made in Australia, by Australian owned SunSense. Bonus!

Always read the label and follow directions for use. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear to further reduce risk. Frequent re-application is required.

2. Shade

The Aussie sun is harsh, and at the beach, reflecting off the sand and water, it can often feel much hotter. So an escape from the sun’s rays is also a must.

Whether it be a good old beach umbrella, or a fancy beach shade structure, make sure you include sun shade in your beach essentials. If it’s going to be a windy day, make sure your structure can stand up to blasts!

3. Hats

We’re still on the sun protection part of our list, and hats should also be making an appearance in your beach bag. Wide-brimmed hats that protect your neck are the best option, and if you can, try and get them in a water-resistant material with SPF protection.

And make sure you include sunglasses for the whole family as well, to help protect everyone’s eyes against the sun’s rays.

4. Towels

I’ve always gone with the rule, however many towels you think you’ll need, pack an extra two! Kids will use their towels throughout the day, often without enough time to dry in between, so it’s worth keeping an extra couple in the car for the final dry off of the day before heading home.

And of course, you’ll need towels to sit on as well. So yes, extra towels are a must!

5. Toys

Of course the beach and water are the ultimate playground, but it doesn’t hurt to throw a bucket and spade in the beach bag – because sandcastles are always a good idea.

A cricket set, footy or soccer ball are also handy if you’re planning to stay a while – a beach game is a great way to round off the day as the temperature cools down.

6. Snacks & Drinks

Once you’re all set up on the beach, you don’t really want to leave to run and get snacks every five minutes. So stock up with fruit salad, water, sandwiches, lollies – anything that will keep the kids (and mum and dad) going!

7. Lip Balm

If you’ve ever been caught out at the beach without lip balm, you’ll understand why it makes our list of essentials! Conditions at the beach can be harsh, so having lip balm handy and applying regularly will hopefully stop anyone getting sore, chapped lips later on.

8. Baby Powder

But my kids are out of nappies, you say! No, this isn’t for nappy changes – baby powder is your magical helper to ensure you don’t end up with a Sahara Desert’s worth of sand in the car. Just sprinkle it on the kids’ feet and leave it for a few seconds. It will absorb any water, and then you can just brush the sand off their feet, without it sticking. Genius!

9. Change of clothes

Keep a comfy, extra change of clothes in the car just in case. Clothes that make it to the beach often end up wet and sandy, so this is your insurance policy for a peaceful drive home!

10. First Aid Kit

With sticky sand, sharp rocks, and competitive games of beach cricket someone is bound to get a scrape or knock – so keep some bandaids and a cold pack in the car at the very least. Make sure you also throw in some insect repellant in case the flies and mozzies are out for a play as well!

Mouths of Mums is proudly working with SunSense to bring you this article. The SunSense range is specifically formulated using quality ingredients to provide specialised choices for you and your family. 

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • Great list – it’s amazing how many people forget a first aid kit whenever they go out.


  • Thanks for sharing. None of us wants to wear a hat !


  • Definitely need all these with our scorching sun rays!


  • Sunscreen and a towel…. That’s how I grew up! You need an overnight bag just to carry it all these days!


  • I would like to try out one


  • And a cart to carry it all!! Remember the days when it was a towel and maybe some water!


  • Love the baby powder hack! I was sceptical at first, but it actually works!!


  • I love sunsense sunscreen especially their tinted SPF50 so great


  • Now I am adding that Bug Bite Thing. Summer evenings at the beach I get bitten every time!


  • Don’t forget a massive beach bag that lets the sand out !! And with lots of side pockets !


  • We ALWAYS have sunscreen and a couple towels in the boot of the car for last minute beach adventures! We love living near the sunny beaches of QLD.


  • I almost always forget the lippy!


  • I love the baby powder idea. I guess the powder comes off the feet along with the sand prior to getting into the car. Thanks for the tips.


  • We live at the beach so I have a small bag in the car with a hat, towel, sunscreen abd chair so I’m always ready.


  • The Baby Powder! Definitely trying this, this summer!


Post a comment
Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating