A total of 340,754,691 people visited the beach in the span of a single year. As parents, spending the day at the beach can sound like a great way to spend time as a family. With little ones, however, it might not feel so relaxing.
A little planning can go a long way! Here are 10 tips that can simplify your visit to the beach. With these tips, spending time with kids at the beach can feel as relaxing as it seems.
Take the stress out of the trip! Keep reading to learn how to have fun with your little ones in the sand with this helpful guide.
- Time It Right
Timing your trip can make or break your day.
Consider getting your kids up early and ending your beach trip with an early lunch. Otherwise, go after nap time in the late afternoon. Spending long hours at the beach during the middle of the day, however, means scorching heat.
Instead, plan your trip based on your child’s usual schedule.
When do they usually get tired? You might want to plan the trip before nap time. That way, your child exhausts themselves and falls asleep as soon as you get home.
Once you determine what time you want to go, start packing accordingly.
If you plan on staying for an early lunch, pack sandwiches. Otherwise, you’ll only need light snacks and beverages.
Here’s an example beach trip packing list that can help you pack like a pro:
- Multiple bottles of sunscreen
- Water bottles
- Baby wipes
- Towels for each person
- A change of clothes
- A portable potty
- Antibacterial hand wipes
- Beach hats, sunglasses, and cover-ups
- Small bills (for concessions!)
- A mini first-aid kit
- Talc-free baby powder (to remove sand from the skin)
- Zip-up bags to store wet bathing suits in
Planning beforehand can make spending time with your kids at the beach a lot less stressful.
- Make Some Shade
The beach probably won’t offer many options for natural shade. Instead, make your own! You can bring a giant umbrella or use a beach shelter to give your kids a break from the sun.
Make sure to add a giant umbrella to your beach vacation packing list!
Sunshine helps the body produce vitamin D, which helps build strong bones. Vitamin D is also responsible for encouraging weight loss, reducing the risk of depression, and boosting your immunity.
Moderate amounts of sunlight can also:
- Help prevent ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, and colon cancer
- Potentially treat rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and inflammatory bowel disease
- Help treat psoriasis, eczema, acne, and other skin conditions
Too much sunlight, however, can become dangerous. For example, ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate the skin, damage cell DNA, and cause skin cancer. People with fair skin are also more prone to sunburn.
However, it’s important to get sunlight in moderation. You’re most likely to get a sunburn when the sun’s rays are more direct (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
You can find out how to protect your child from the sun’s harmful UV rays before your beach trip.
- Take Toys
Keep your kids occupied during your trip to the beach by adding toys to your beach trip packing list. Toys give your kids something to do besides playing on the water.
For example, you can bring a bucket and shovel to help them play in the sand. Show your kids how to build a sandcastle or moat. You can also bring toy cars and build a makeshift race track.
If your kid doesn’t like playing in the sand, consider bringing active toys. For example, you can bring a frisbee and help them perfect their toss.
If the day promises wind, consider bringing a kite.
- Create a Treasure Hunt
If you’re looking for activities to do with your kids at the beach, try planning a treasure hunt. Create a list of items your child can find while you’re at the beach. Bring a bag or jar that they can save their treasures in.
You can also have a contest to see who can find the most seashells.
Don’t forget to teach your kids about endangered plants. There are some plants, shells, and animals they shouldn’t disturb or try to collect.
- Stay Hydrated
It’s important that every member of your family remains hydrated while you’re out in the sun. In general, teens and kids should drink between six and eight cups of water a day. If you’re out in the sun for long periods of time, however, you might want to drink more.
Make sure to add water bottles to your beach vacation packing list.
Otherwise, running around in the sun can dehydrate your kids and make them cranky.
- Pack a Snack
Don’t forget to pack snacks, too. Consider taking watermelon (which helps everyone stay hydrated), grapes, or cucumbers.
Think about foods that are easy for your kids to eat. If your children are younger, consider cutting up larger foods before you head to the beach. Remember, planning ahead of time can help simplify the trip.
- Apply and Reapply
Make sure to apply a healthy layer of sunscreen on everyone’s skin once you arrive at the beach. Make sure there’s a bottle of sunscreen on your list of things to bring to the beach. You’ll need to reapply sunscreen every hour.
If your kids are spending a lot of time in and out of the water, you might want to reapply more often.
- Utilize Bribes
Are your kids refusing to wear a hat or sunscreen? Use a bribe!
Tell them you’ll stop at a shaved-ice cart or get ice cream to encourage them to behave.
- Remain Flexible
During your family trip to the beach, try to remain flexible and patient.
Some trips can last an hour, while others will stretch to five. Try not to force your kids to stay if they’re not having fun.
Remaining flexible will help you stay sane.
- Focus on the Fun
Above all else, focus on having fun.
Summer is the best time to hang out at the beach. You won’t have to rush to get home or stick to a schedule. Instead, relax and enjoy the day!
Remember, you’re building memories! Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures while you’re there, too.
Soak Up the Sun: 10 Tips for Enjoying Time With Your Kids at the Beach
Ready to soak up the sun and play in the waves? Use these 10 tips while spending time with your kids at the beach. With these tips, you can plan for a stress-free, fun-filled trip.
Looking for more helpful vacation tips? Explore the Travel section for more helpful guides!