What better way to enjoy summer than to hit the beach? Going to the beach with kids is very different than when you used to go alone. It can be daunting to go to the beach with kids, especially if you have a baby or toddler. But don’t let that stop you. With planning and preparation, beach day with the kids can be exciting and fun!
Timing Is Everything
Midday might sound like the best time to avoid the crowds at the beach. But the thing about noon is that UV rays and the sun’s heat are at maximum. On the other hand, the afternoon is also nap time for most kids. Your best bet to avoid meltdowns?
Hit the beach as early as possible or go in the evening. If you think you can’t make it in the morning, prep the previous night. Pack all your beach essentials and bundle them into the car. Keep your lunch, snacks, and water ready to go in the fridge. Now all you have to do is get the kids into the car when they wake up in the morning!
If you missed the window of opportunity in the morning, don’t despair. Evenings at the beach can be fun too. Most people leave just before the sun sets, so it gives you and your kids plenty of room to run around. Enjoy the cooler temperatures and the beautiful sunset instead.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Whether it is a cloudy or clear day, you need sunscreen. Sunscreen is essential when you’ll be near the water all day. Selecting something that is safe for kids and waterproof. The best time to apply sunscreen on squirming toddlers is just after you strap them into their car seat. Start a timer on your phone and don’t forget to reapply when you’re out on the sand.
You need more than sunscreen for a successful day at the beach. Make sure you have some shade for when your kids eat or want to rest after playing in the sand. Whether it’s an umbrella, a pop-up tent or both, set up some shade for the entire family to enjoy.
Pack the Right Clothes
What do you need for the beach except for some swimsuits and towels? No matter how hard you try, their clothes are going to get wet and covered in sand. Make sure you have a change of clothes for each child. Hang their damp clothes on the umbrella or beach chair so they can dry out before you stuff them in a bag. It makes it easier to get the sand off as well.
Don’t assume that the younger kids will share a towel. One for every person is best and you may even want to throw in an extra or two. You never know when it will get cold at the beach, especially towards the evening. Pack some full sleeve shirts or light jackets in the car for when that happens.
Food and Drinks
The best things to eat at the beach are anything cool and wet. Think popsicles, frozen treats, juice, etc. Fruits like watermelon and grapes are great as well. Make sure to pack a cooler with insulated water bottles.
A great idea to keep sand away from your food and snacks is to pack little bags with kid-size portions. That way, you keep sticky fingers out of the large bag of chips! You can also fill a bucket with water and midget in the sand next to the cooler. Anyone reaching inside has to wash their hands first.
Play with Your Kids
Don’t forget to pack a few toys for your kids to play with. Anything that lets them play with the sand is a good idea. A few buckets and plastic shovels for sandcastles, a frisbee for throwing around, a beach ball for playing catch, etc. But don’t make the mistake of taking too many either.
Going to the beach is its own entertainment, so play in the water and sand with your kids. Run around the water line and help curious minds explore the tide pools. Have a competition to see who can find the prettiest/largest shells. Build castles, moats, and entire fantasy lands for their action figures. Your imagination is truly the limit to what you can at the beach!
A beach day with the family promises plenty of fun and excitement. It might not be the relaxing time you remember but it’s fun all the same. Create some great summer memories with your kids and hit the beach!