Going to the beach used to be so easy. I could throw a towel, some sunscreen, and the latest issue of People into a small tote bag, and be out the door.
These days it requires a minivan packed to the brim full of stuff, and it has become an endless charade of sunblock reapplications, and repetitions of the phrases: “stop putting sand in your mouth”, and “please stop feeding the seagulls”!
Gone are the days of peacefully snoozing, while listening to the soothing sounds of waves crashing nearby.
I used to get really stressed out about bringing my kids to the lake or the beach, actually, if I’m being honest, I dreaded it… but I have found that with a few essential items, my sanity has been restored (somewhat). I think it will be awhile before a day spent by the water will be 100% stress-free, but I have learned, through experience, some ways to make it enjoyable again… not just for my kids, but for me and my husband too!
First and foremost, the most important items to have on hand when spending a day at the beach with your kids, are the ones that protect them from the sun. A good sunblock is key, and this one, by Babyganics, has long been a favorite of ours.
My oldest also likes to wear sunglasses. Partly because he says the sun gets in his eyes, and partly because they make him feel pretty cool. We love Babiators, because they are nearly impossible to break, and they come with a one year warranty… as in no matter what you do to them, even if you lose them, they will replace them in the first year.
One of the biggest necessities for us has become some form of shade. This pop up tent has quickly become my favorite place to get out of the sun. I love it because it’s small and easy to pack, but also because it literally just “pops up”. There is no need to make yourself crazy dealing with stakes and whatnot when you have kids in tow.
A good beach blanket is a great thing to have, particularly to lay in your beach tent to provide a soft spot for tiny babes to snooze.
When you have little ones who aren’t yet potty trained, swim diapers are a must. We love these disposable ones because they slide on like underwear, but also open on the sides like diapers.
Naturally, toys are an absolute necessity to keep your kids entertained, but it’s a huge bonus if they come in their own easy-to-carry tote.
We’ve become really big fans of Keen shoes this summer. My kids wear them almost everywhere, and I’m a huge fan of the fact that they can get wet and be washed easily.
A couple of my favorite beach hacks are bringing a small inflatable pool along to the beach and packing a bottle of baby powder. The pool serves either as a way to contain a not-yet-walking, but on-the-move baby, or it can be filled with water for your kids to play in close to where you have set up camp! The baby powder is the best for sprinkling on sandy feet before piling back into the car. it makes that sticky sand just fall right off.
Lastly, and maybe even most importantly, don’t forget to pack a small cooler full of snacks and drinks to stay hydrated.
You might not get the chance to read a magazine in peace, but I promise, these things will make your life easier, and the beach will be enjoyable again.