Visiting the beach with kids is one of the best ways to spend time during the summer. The beach provides a wonderful way for you and your family to bond, experience something new, learn about the ocean, and have fun. While the beach provides many amazing opportunities for people of all ages, it can be challenging to go to the beach with kids. Here are some simple tips that you use if you plan to take your children to the beach this summer.
Plan your beach time wisely with kids
Spending an entire day in the ocean and on the sand is difficult for people of all ages, but can be incredibly challenging for young children. Toddlers constantly want to go and do new things. If you plan to sit in the sand all day and sunbathe, this will be a huge letdown. Your toddlers will eventually get tired of the heat and sun and want to do something else.
The best way to visit the beach with kids is to spend the morning at the beach then go back to the hotel during the hottest part of the day and then return to the beach again before dinner. Try to avoid spending the middle of the day on the sand as the sand will get hot and the crowds will get larger. Going back to the hotel or rental property between the hours of 11 and 2 is an ideal option for young kids. It will give you time to get them lunch, hydrate, and nap or have quiet time before going back. (Those post-beach naps are the best).
Plan accordingly for rainy days
It is rare that people can plan a rain-free vacation. If you are traveling to the beach with kids for a week, chances are, you will get rain for at least one day. If this happens, you’ll want to keep your children busy.
Try to bring a new toy or ocean-themed educational activity for your kids. The beach provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to teach their young children about the animals that live there. Simple arts and crafts projects with crayons, paper, and other fun activities are great to do with your children if it rains.
Be sure to pack sand toys
You honestly don’t need much when you head to the beach, but you are going to need something for your kids to do. The best way to keep them occupied on the beach is to bring a variety of different sand toys. Try bringing a bag full of shovels, buckets, animals, trucks, and more. Your little ones will be excited to play with these toys in the sand for hours.
Just be cognizant of the toys you bring with you. If they’re not eco-friendly you’ll want to be extra careful about bringing everything home, too.
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Pack plenty of sunscreen
When the weather is cloudy, many parents underestimate the need for sunscreen. No matter what the weather is, all children should wear sunscreen if they are planning to spend time on the beach. Whether you are in the water or on the sand, sunscreen is an absolute necessity.
We live at the beach and go frequently, so during the Summer everyone gets a good layer of sunscreen lotion before putting swimsuits on. This is done while they’re still naked (mom and dad do this, too – it’s so much easier!) and then I pack a spray sunscreen for touchups while we’re out. I’ve done this for years and it’s a huge help for kids and adults.
Without sunscreen, you are susceptible to getting sunburn and even sun poisoning. Even a little sunburn on a kid will cause a horrible vacation. Remember to bring sunscreen and apply it frequently.
Don’t forget water shoes!
Many young children wear sneakers because they are some of the most kid-friendly shoes you can get. While they are great for most kid activities, they are not ideal for the beach. If you are traveling to the beach with kids, you need to make sure you bring flip-flops or water shoes. These will make walking on the sand and in the water much easier and more fun.
Water shoes are likely the best option because they can be worn both in and out of the ocean. They allow toddlers to walk in the ocean without the fear of stepping on a rock or shell and cutting their feet. They also allow toddlers the ability to walk on the hot sand without burning their feet or asking to get carried all the way to the ocean. This small investment in a new pair of water shoes will help save you frustration and time.
Just in case – a good reminder!
Anytime you’re around water with children, you’ll want to be extra vigilant. If you ever have trouble locating your child, immediately start yelling “I AM MISSING A TWO-YEAR-OLD CHILD. THEY ARE WHITE WITH BLONDE HAIR. THEY ARE WEARING A PURPLE BATHING SUIT.” Scream it as loud as you can and get as many people searching as quickly as possible. Every second counts and this will get other parents and beach-goers to help, too. If for some terrifying reason your child is in the water unaccompanied, getting to them quickly is a necessity.
Some last-minute tips for heading to the beach with toddlers
- They’re going to eat sand. It’s okay. Pack diaper cream if you have a child prone to putting things in their mouth because sand coming out the other end is quite… scratchy.
- Life vests and water wings are awesome – but they provide a false sense of security for your child, so they’re more likely to run in the water and feel comfortable even when they’re not wearing them. Use them (or don’t use them) wisely.
- Be sure to pack some water and snacks for everyone. Self “wrapped” snacks like bananas, apples, and oranges are awesome for kids on the beach. Pretzels and pb+j sandwiches are great as well.
- Freeze juice pouches and bottles of water ahead of time, toss them in the cooler, and by the time you want them, they’ll be icy and ready to drink.
These tips will make your vacation at the beach with kids much more enjoyable for the whole family! Planning ahead and ensuring you have everything your child may need will help you have a fun and memory-filled vacation at the beach.
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