Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 06:28 pm
A day at the beach sounds wonderful, but with little ones in tow, it’s not exactly relaxing. Keep reading to see how you can enjoy a beach day with kids — it just takes a little planning!
Most of us like to think of the beach as a relaxing experience. We like to sit back in our beach chair with our toes in the sand and a book in our hand. But, a beach day with kids tends to give me a totally different mental picture. I see an experience that is basically the stark opposite of relaxation.
I know this time with littles is whizzing by. Someday, probably long before I’m even ready for it, I’ll be snoozing on the beach without a needy baby in sight. So I want to go to the beach with my kids while they’re still young. And I want to enjoy it with them, darn it, if it’s the last thing I do!
The question is: how? How do we even survive a day full of sun and water and sand (oh, the sand!) with the littles in tow?
Excellent question. I went on a mission, scouring the internet for the very best tips for not only surviving, but enjoying a beach day with kids!
Our 6 Best Tips for Surviving a Beach Day with Kids
Pack thoroughly but lightly.
It’s easy to pack like you’re taking a week’s vacation for just one day on the beach with kids. But how will you get it all out to the beach? Be very intentional about what you pack. Streamline and be creative. One idea to really help lug it all out to the beach (because there is still going to be a lot of stuff, no matter how creative you are!) is to invest in something like this Wonder Wheeler.
Some other things you’ll definitely want to pack are:
- A pop-up tent – for the little ones who won’t make it all day without a nap. Remember to bring their favorite blanket or stuffed animal to help make nap time happen!
- Baby powder – Rumor has it, baby powder makes it much easier to get sand out of the nooks and crannies of your squishy babe.
- Shopping bags – For wet stuff. For trash. For the seashell collection. You’ll be glad you have a stash of these!
- Beach blanket – Sometimes individual towels just won’t cut it. And I’m not interested in adding multiple folding chairs to my haul. A large blanket, like an old duvet cover, is just the thing. Or, you can pick up a “sand-free” beach blanket that you can stake down into the sand in case it’s windy.
- Lots of food – Store the food in individual baggies and containers to protect it from the sand. You can even freeze some of it to act as the ice in your cooler. It’ll save you space. Also, check out this rolling cooler that pops up into a picnic table!
- Beach toys – obviously! There’s the classic bucket and shovel. You could also bring along inflatable beach balls (that can be deflated for easy packing), squirt bottles with food coloring in them for some sand art, a handful of little trinkets to bury in the sand for the kids to dig up, a kite, and a journal for the writer/artist in the family.
Packing for a beach day with kids takes a significant amount of forethought. But you’ll be grateful you thought of everything once you’re there!
Show up early (or late!)
Arriving at the beach first thing in the morning will ensure you beat the crowds. And you’ll have a couple of hours before the sun gets extra hot. You could even be heading home by nap time!
You could also catch a few hours at the beach around dinner time. It’ll be cooling off at that point, and you won’t regret the view of the sunset!
Set up near a lifeguard stand.
There’s something about being within earshot of a lifeguard that sets a mom’s mind at ease. Not only that, it’s a great way for the kids to easily find you if they’ve gone traipsing off. [Also read: Pool Safety — Tips for Keeping Everyone Safe This Summer]
Be mindful of the sun.
Especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., make sure that your kids have their sunscreen on and reapplied every couple of hours. Wearing hats and coverups is very helpful, too!
Beat the meltdowns.
You know, the meltdowns that occur when you announce it’s time to go. Be sure to give the kids plenty of notice. Then, before you officially reel them all in, make sure you’ve packed up your Wonder Wheeler and are totally ready to stroll off the beach. I can’t promise there won’t still be a meltdown or two, but they may be a little easier to deal with this way.
Let’s face it, a beach day with kids isn’t going to be relaxing. But it can be fun! Instead of being frustrated that you never got to crack open that book, or irritated at the sand now piled up in your car, enjoy your time with your littles! Play with them. Crash in the waves with them. Laugh away your cares with them. That’s exactly what I plan to do!
Do you have any other tips or tricks for surviving a beach day with kids? Leave us a comment.