Heading down to the beach as a family is a great way to enjoy our area. But being prepared will make everything easier. Just keep in mind that the sun and sand with little ones is not the same as adults.
- Show up early. What’s one advantage of being a parent of young children? Your day starts early, which means that you get a jump on beach crowds! Getting to the beach by 9am means that you’ll be able to park close, snag a nice spot on the beach, and enjoy a pleasant morning before the midday heat sets in.
- Ziploc is your friend. Zippered pouches are a great idea at the beach, when dirty diapers and wet clothing need a place that seals them off from the rest of your possessions.
- Freeze your food and discover additional cooler space. Ice packs can take up a tremendous amount of space, so supplement them with frozen food. Popsicles will work, but you can even freeze water bottles, grapes, and yogurt sticks to keep the rest of your food cool.
- Bring your own shelter. Pop-up shelters and tents are all the rage, and for very good reason. These easy to carry shelters allow your kids to stay out of the sun, and will help to cool down kids who are overheating.
- How to haul everything? Think ahead about how you’ll carry everything you need from and to the car, especially with little kids in tow. Wheeled carts can be indispensable, as they allow you to roll a heavy load behind you while you carry a sleeping baby or reach for the hand of a straying toddler.
- Be smart about sunblock. Choose a physical sunblock that contains Titanium Oxide or Zinc Oxide, as these sunblocks are effective against the sun’s rays immediately upon application, protect against both UVA and UVB rays, are easy for sensitive skin to handle, and are environmentally friendly. Reapply a product with an SPF of at least 30 every two hours, or every time your kids get out of the water.
- Find a spot by the lifeguard station. You’ll be right in the line of sight of the lifeguard while in the water, and your kids will have a handy way of spotting you when they trek back to the blanket.
- Anticipate leaving for home. Even when your kids are exhausted, they’ll still put up a fight when it’s time to leave the beach and go home. Start a countdown an hour ahead of your departure, and keep reminding them that they’ll be leaving soon.
- Be prepared with a dust broom and pan in the car. Your kids will continue to pick up sand on the walk back from the car, so brush them down with a soft dust broom to eliminate excess sand. You can do the same for towels, toys, and other items, too.
- Let it go. Your beach day will not be perfect, and it will be messy. While there will be sun and sand and fun, there will also be stains, falls, tears, and sweat. Take a deep breath and embrace the chaos of the family beach day!
What are your family’s favorite beach day tips? Let us know in the comments section!