• Stephanie Drax

The Must-Have Beach Kit for Kids

You know that sinking feeling when you've managed to get yourself, the kids and the clobber all the way to the beach or pool, and you cast a glance at the Nivea Family next door and realize that you’re still a novice and they’ve got the system licked? They’re armed with all the practical essentials – the bits that ensure the smalls enjoy every blessed minute in the sun, sand and sea without so much as a shiver, sun stroke or sting. Well, just before you jet off as the summer term ends, we’ve canvassed opinion from the most ‘make-it-look-effortless’ parents so you can quickly grab some key bits of kiddie kit.

The Cosiest Hoodie Ever – Dabble

The team behind Dabble consists of four siblings, so this is very much a family affair. The Burnell-Nugents' annual holidays to blustery Pembrokeshire revealed a hoodie-sized gap in the market, so between them, they’ve knocked up the best design to keep our little ones warm, dry and snuggly. The hoodies have an A-line shape with deep pockets, a snuggly hood and a chunky, easy-to-use zip down the front (so no more squirming wet skin into dry clothing). Dabble sell woven Turkish cotton hammam towels in funky colours too (all made in the UK), and that fabric also lines their lovely hoodies.

Water-Friendly Shoes - Native

This is the kind of brand we wish we’d invented. Cool, fresh and hip, this Canadian company’s footwear is kaleidoscopic, “beast free” (no animal bits at all) and supremely light to wear. They’re so comfortable Steph’s kids have slipped these beauties on (while still wearing pyjamas) and refused to take them off all day. So it’s lucky they’re water-friendly and practically indestructible.

Speedy Drying Towels – The Holiday Shop

Alice Geddes and Lucinda Bull, the sister team behind this British brand, have Aussie heritage, so they know a thing or two about being practical in the sun. They’ve got a host of vibrant funshine accessories to get excited about, from waterproof bags to inflatable loungers, and their star-motif microfibre towels are a beach babe essential (and exclusive to the brand.) They’re big enough to languish on and to worm right into for warmth, and they suck up water and dry in an instant. Genius.

UV Protective Swimwear - Sunuva

Emily Cohen & Sabrina Naggar met on holiday and got chatting about the lack of sun protective swimwear. Ta-da! Sunuva was born. All their styles for babies, boys, girls and teens are made from the highest quality UPF 50+ fabric which blocks out more than 97% of the sun’s harmful rays. But they’re not just sun-safe, they’re stylish too – with rashies, shorts, vests and frilly bikinis in a range of nautical and nice designs.

The Plastic-Free Bucket Scrunch

Imagine a beach bucket you could roll, fold or scrunch into submission to pack or store, and that won’t crack under pressure no matter how hard a child tries to break it? Well, Scrunch has gone and made one – and it’s crafted from 100% recyclable silicone. Their (numerous) collapsible playthings are bright and durable, so they won’t fade or be affected by salt water – we’re talking sand moulds and spades, fishing nets and frisbees, beach bags and balls. And who knew that all this silicone comes from simple sand quartz? After a few chemical reactions, the silicone produced has the strength of a metal with the flexibility of plastic and is destined to eventually deteriorate back into sand. Bye, Bye Plastic!