Spending the entire day at the beach seemed easier before you had children, right? Now, the process of getting ready and spending the entire day at the beach (as much fun as it is) can seem like a lot of effort. Avid beach goers, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way to make going to the beach with babies, toddlers and young children easy.
Bring A Pop-Up Tent
A pop up tent is one of those things that’s going to enable you to spend more time at the beach. Using the tent, we’ve encouraged our toddlers to run around and play, but then to know when they need to have a rest. Having a blanket inside, and giving young children or infants a shaded place to rest outside of the sun makes the day that much easier. Choose a pop up tent that you can get up quickly, and also take down. We’ve used this one (and loved it) and one from Costco.ca
Use Baby Powder to Get Rid of Sand
Stash some baby powder inside of your beach bag. Use the baby powder at the end of the day, before everyone gets in the car, to make it easier to get rid of that sand that sticks to skin. Simply rub it on the skin, and the sand will come right off.
Save Money on Sunscreen + Use the Container for Storage
Buy Sunscreen at Costco, when it’s on sale. You’re going to save at least half of the price of the sunscreen in the drug store, and it will stop you from having to buy it from a beach front convenience store, at double the price. When you’ve used the first bottle of sunscreen, was it out and use it as a container to store cash, keys and other items you don’t want to leave in the car but that you want to keep safe from sand.
Invest in a Beach Blanket
The beach blanket is going to be a heck of a lot easier to remove sand from than a regular blanket. Plus, it’s going to fold up well, and be easy to transport back and forth. The side that faces the sand is often made of nylon, where the up side is more comfortable to lay on. The JJCole beach blanket is one that we’ve been using for 3+ years, and it’s been durable and easy to clean (plus it’s budget friendly!)
Replace Your Ice with Water Bottles
Don’t waste your money on ice for the day out at the beach, use frozen water bottles instead. Freeze bottles of water the night before you leave and use those in a cooler to keep your snacks and other items cool. Through the day, as they thaw, you can drink the water to ensure that everyone stays hydrated.
Use A Wetbag
Plastic bags and tote bags will do the trick just fine, but if you’re going on a beach trip where you’re going to spend at least a couple of hours driving home (hello, Devonshire beach), you’re going to want a wet bag for those swimsuits. The wet bag is going to protect everything else inside the tote bag and give you a place to stash the swimsuits.
Hack: When you’re packing up two piece swimwear for kids, link the swim top to the bottom through one of the sides before clasping them together. No more lost swimwear pieces when you get home.
Sunscreen the Kids Inside
Before you leave for the day at the beach, put sunscreen on everyone. It gives everyone an even base coat for the day without getting sand all over the kids, and yourself. Bring along the spray for the beach, it’s easier than trying to apply sunscreen to sandy and wet kids. One spray, and you’re finished.
Stash Away ‘Beach Sand Toys’
We’ve got a bag of sand toys that comes along to the beach with us. It’s includes a couple of Green Toys sand kits because they last and last, year after year, and are near impossible for the kids to break. If you want sand toys that are going to last, buy this set. There’s a new addition this year though, with the $3.99 ikea ice cream toy set. These toys are only for the beach, they’re stashed away in a bag and they only come to the beach with us. When we get back home, they’re back in the bag.
Bring a Boogie Board
More than a toy that’s going to encourage the kids to float in the water, the boogie board can double as a surface to eat when propped up on the sand or even a chair back if you don’t want to drag the beach chairs along with you to the shore. You can even use the boogie board to haul things back and forth along the shore, at the end of a long day.
Floating Rafts Make for Good Naps
Floating rafts (even the two dollar ones from the dollar store) make for a great place for young toddlers and kids to rest a bit without having to lay on the sand. Blow then up and use an umbrella or a pop up shade. Buying things like rafts, tubes and other floating toys before you head to the beach, and even before the season, can help to save you quite a bit of money when you consider the prices at beach front stores.