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33 Fun things to bring to the beach with your kids

Amy Hatch began her career as a print journalist, and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Urbana, Ill. with her husband and two children.

We're in love with this cool gear for family fun at the beach

There's nothing like the ocean on a summer day, and we found the best beach gear for kids of all ages — moms and dads included!

From sand toys to safety to clean up before you get in the car to head home, we found the best items out there to make your day at the shore one for the ages.

Neon pink seahorses large cooler bag

Neon Pink Seahorses Large Cooler Bag |

This cooler bag is perfect for stowing essentials for the littlest beach-goers, or use it as a small extra cooler for beverages or fruit. (So Young, $37)

Four-in-one land and water baby carrier

4-in-1 Land & Water Baby Carrier |

Moms and dads don't need to stay on the sand anymore with this amphibious baby carrier. It doubles as a strap-on chair and a shopping cart harness, too. (One Step Ahead, $50)

Sand-Off! sand removal mitt

Sand-Off! Sand Removal Mitt |

Leave the sand at the beach with this clever gadget that makes getting clean fuss-free. A mitt filled with natural powder, it whisks sand away so fast your kids won't complain. (One Step Ahead, $10)

DriCat waterproof iPhone case

DriCat waterproof iPhone case |

Keep your iPhone safe from sand and surf with this waterproof case you wear on a lanyard around your neck. Your phone will be fully functional so you can still grab those Instagram snapshots. (Island Beach Gear, $48)

Waterproof iPad case

Waterproof iPad Case |

Did the kids drop your iPad in the ocean? If you're using this waterproof tablet case, you don't need to worry. This anti-fogging case floats and even lets you take underwater photos. (One Step Ahead, $40)

Toweligator beach clamp

Toweligator Beach Clamp |

This clever clamp can be used in hundreds of ways. Use it to keep a towel wrapped around your toddler, to hold your sunglasses while you're in the water or anchor your beach blanket. (Amazon, $10 for two clips)

Beach thingy

Beach Thingy |

Yes, this neat little chair is really called Beach Thingy. This chair has prongs — just stick it in the sand, set it to the most comfortable angle and sit back and relax. (Fab, $20)

Picnic Time portable Ventura reclining seat

Picnic Time Portable Ventura Reclining Seat |

This lightweight backpack chair comes in fun colors and is made of polyester-covered cushion for maximum durability and comfort. It can be adjusted to six different positions. (Amazon, $41)

KidCo GoPod activity seat

KidCo GoPod Activity Seat |

Why should the grown-ups be the only ones who get to sit in a beach chair? The KidCo GoPod Activity Seat folds up into a bag with a shoulder strap. Perfect for keeping curious toddlers contained. (Target, $50)

Sand-Away beach sheet

Sand-Away Beach Sheet |

If a beach blanket is more your style, how about one that repels sand, dries fast and weighs next to nothing? A carry bag is included with this washable blanket. (One Step Ahead, $20)

Vertty beach towel

Vertty Beach Towel |

Don’t waste your money on cheap beach towels that shred after one season. Instead consider investing in a Vertty, which comes in a unique shape, with a waterproof pocket and in a size large enough to cozy up in with a friend — or to use as a nursing cover on the go. (Vertty, $90)

Lightload beach towels

Lightload Beach Towels |

While a full-size towel is great, they can be hard to tote. Keep a couple of these full-size towels, compressed to the size of a hockey puck, tucked in your beach bag for an extra-wet day. (REI, $9)

Sunsnapz midi blanket

Sunsnapz Midi Blanket |

Keeping the sun off baby's delicate skin is a snap with this blanket, designed to provide lightweight coverage at SPF 50+. (Sunsnapz, $39)

Quut Scoppi sand scoop

Quut Scoppi Sand Scoop |

This cool shovel toy lets kids use their hands and feet to help move enough sand to build some amazing castles. And, the hollow handle doubles as a water funnel and the design makes it easy for little hands to use. (Magic Cabin, $30)

HandTrux backhoe

HandTrux Backhoe |

Perfect for digging huge moats or burying Mom or Dad in the sand, the HandTrux Backhoe gives kids (and grown-ups) extra excavating power for hours of fun. (Amazon, $15)

Hollie & Harrie sombrilla

Hollie & Harrie Sombrilla |

This easily adjustable, portable canopy is a sweet alternative to the usual beach umbrella, and offers 95 percent UV protection for your whole family. (Hollie & Harrie, $180)

Explorer Series 8MP underwater video camera

Explorer Series 8MP Underwater Video Camera |

Built into a scuba mask, this camera lets you capture underwater stills and moving images of all the little fish, even the human ones. (Liquid Image, $80)

Vacation vault

Vacation Vault |

Don't fret about leaving your keys, smartphone and wallet on the shore while you go for a dip. Lock them all up in this small, portable safe. (Wayfair, $21)

Biodegradable beach toys

Biodegradable beach toys |

If you still feel guilty about the plastic shovel you left on the beach in 1987, these are the sand toys for you. This set is made from corn, contains no toxic chemicals and will biodegrade if you leave them behind by accident. (zoë b organic, $22)

Quut Ballo water bucket

Quut Ballo Water Bucket |

This unique ball-shaped bucket will make building sand castles and washing hands so much easier. The round design helps prevent spills. (Magic Cabin, $20)

SmartShield sunscreen towelettes with insect repellent

SmartShield Sunscreen towelettes with insect repellent |

Stay safe from the sun and also ward off insect bites with these handy towelettes from SmartShield. They contain SPF 30, are free of DEET and only need to be reapplied every four hours. (SmartShield, $63 for a box of 50)

Supergoop SPF 30+ endless summer pump

Supergoop SPF30+ Endless Summer Pump |

You can never have too much sunscreen. This 18-ounce pump bottle will keep your kids — and you — safe all summer. (Giggle, $48)

Sand rollers

Sand Rollers |

These lightweight toys make playing in the sand more creative than ever. Use them to make different textures and patterns. (One Step Ahead, $10 for three)

Printed paddleball set

Printed Paddleball Set |

Who says paddleball needs to be plain? This set from Vera Bradley will brighten up your beach bag. (Vera Bradley, $10)

Djubi Classic

Djubi Classic |

This twist on paddleball turns your paddle into a slingshot that launches the ball at your opponent. (Amazon, $29)

Waboba Pro ball

Waboba Pro Ball |

This fun little toy bounces on water, making it perfect for playing in the waves. (Amazon, $9)

Invisible playing cards

Invisible Playing Cards |

If you’d rather relax in the shade, bring along these plastic playing cards. They're waterproof and perfect for a game of solitaire. (MOMA, $8)

A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates

PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates |

Answer the question, "Hey, Mom, what's this?" in a snap with this handy guide to marine life. (Amazon, $18)

Itzy Ritzy Travel Happens sealed wet bag

Itzy Ritzy Travel Happens Sealed Wet Bag |

These leakproof zippered bags are perfect for toting diapers, wet bathing suits and even sandy shoes with a minimum of mess. (Itzy Ritzy, $18)

Beach flag

Beach Flag |

Make it easy for everyone to stay together with this beach flag, which can be personalized to mark your turf by the surf. (One Step Ahead, $15 to $20)

iPlay Flexi Specs toddler sunglasses

iPlay Flexi Specs Toddler Sunglasses |

Keep your toddler's eyes protected and keep them looking stylish. These sunglasses stay put thanks to the wraparound strap, and provide 100 percent protection from harmful UV rays. (Giggle, $10)

Insulated cooler beach tote with collapsible mini-table

Insulated Cooler Beach Tote With Collapsable Mini-table |

No one wants sand in his or her sandwich. This totable cooler not only holds 24 cans, but also doubles as a small, foldout table. (Linens-N-Things, $62)

Monogrammed beach drink holders

Monogrammed Beach Drink Holders |

Keep your can out of the sand with these cute, personalized drink holders. (Etsy, $32 for two)

Picnic Plus tub cooler

Picnic Plus Tub Cooler |

Bring the party to the beach with this portable cooler that keeps food and drink above sea level. (Amazon, $51)

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