Kiss the spur of the moment trip to the beach goodbye. Now that you are a parent it’s not so simple to plan a day at the beach. Not to worry though your outing will be easier with these tips on how to pack for a day at the beach with kids.
The Best Products for A Day at the Beach with Kids
When getting ready for a day at the beach with kids some planning is necessary. You want to be sure you have everything you need to take with you when heading out for some fun in the sun.
You know you need to bring the basics such as sunscreen, towels, and a beach blanket. But there are essential items to make your life easier when heading off to the beach. Such as a beach umbrella and sand buckets to keep the kids entertained.
We know the best way to fight the sun’s harmful rays is to put on sunscreen. But what many of us don’t know is the harmful effects that sunscreen can have.
Sunscreens are either a chemical sunscreen or a mineral sunscreen. Chemical sunscreen soaks into your skin and absorbs the suns rays. Mineral sunscreen acts as a barrier to protect your skin by reflecting the sun rays.
Stay away from sunscreens that have oxybenzone listed as an active ingredient. Oxybenzone is an allergen and hormone disruptor.
It’s also bad for coral and marine life so if you’re going to Hawaii this summer don’t use sunscreen that has this ingredient.
Mineral Sunscreen uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as active ingredients. Both of these ingredients are minerals that occur naturally. To protect your skin from the sun Mineral sunscreen acts as a barrier. Blocking the harmful sun rays.
Alba Botanica Kids Sunscreen this is the brand I use on my kids and myself. It is not a mineral sunscreen but I don’t feel guilty using it, unlike other brands I have used in the past. It’s lightweight, rubs in easily, and smells good.
Babyganics sunscreen is another brand that I use. It is a mineral-based sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens take a little more time to rub into the skin. So I recommend waiting until you get out of your vehicle before putting this sunscreen on. Warning, it will leave white marks on your car seats. I learned this the hard way. But I do like this sunscreen. You’ll learn to be patient with the application.
Thinkbaby is a mineral sunscreen. It is thick but according to reviewers, it rubs in well. And it doesn’t leave the white film.
I have not used this brand of sunscreen yet but I plan on buying it when my current stash is empty. I’m not fond of the white film mineral sunscreens leave so I’m looking forward to trying this brand.
Babyganics Sunscreen Stick makes it easy to put sunscreen on little one’s faces. It’s hard to keep them still. Another challenge is not getting it in their eyes. That’s why the sticks are so helpful.
More Sun Protection
If you are worried about what kind of sunscreen to put on your kids try covering them up more. So less of their skin is exposed and you don’t have to worry about covering them head to toe in sunscreen.
Also no matter what you do it always seems like you miss a spot. Or, don’t reapply sunscreen often enough and they end up getting burnt. So having more of their body covered is very helpful.
You’ll need all the sun protection you can get when you spend a day at the beach with kids.
These type of swim suits provide more coverage for my little ones. This swim suit blocks 97% of the sun’s harmful radiation. So you don’t have to worry about slathering your little one with sunscreen from head to toe.
Sun hats add extra protection by keeping the top of your little one’s head covered. Depending on how big the brim of the hat is, it could give extra protection to the back of their neck and to the forehead. My little ones can’t sit still very long. I try to cover their faces with sunscreen but it can be a challenge to get it all over their face. So having them wear hats helps to give them extra protection.
Water shoes are perfect for protecting little one’s feet in the water and out of the water. Sand gets super hot in the heat.
The water shoes protect little one’s feet. So they can run around and enjoy the beach without scorching the bottom of their feet. Also, you won’t have to worry about them getting the top of their feet burnt.
In my 20’s one of my summer goals was to fry in the sun in the hopes of getting bronzed.
Now when I go outside I want to stay in the shade as much as possible and I want to keep my kids out of the sun as much as possible. Most likely you won’t be able to find shade at the beach, so you’ll have to bring your own.
Having a beach umbrella or a beach tent will come in handy when spending a day at the beach with kids. You’ll have a place to retreat to when you feel like you’re getting too much sun.
This Canopy Umbrella will keep you out of the sun. It’s painless to set up and breaks down making it convenient to carry. If you need a place to retreat to from the sun or wind this beach umbrella will give you plenty of protection.
The Coleman Sun Tent is perfect for staying in the shade when you’re spending a day at the beach. It also gives you protection from the wind if it kicks up. I live in the Pacific Northwest and it seems like it is always windy at the beach. Good for flying a kite but not so good for keeping the sand out of your eyes. This beach tent will make your day at the beach more comfortable.
Keeping Little Ones Above Water
Safety first when your little ones are around water. Especially for the ones that don’t know how to swim. Of course, you keep an eagle eye on them but the minute you blink they’ll be heading straight for the water. So you want to make sure they’re protected.
Puddle Jumper Kids Life Jackets are adorable and will help your little stay above the water. These floaties are less constricting than a vest. And give little ones more ability to maneuver in the water.
Classic life jacket styles are a good choice for little ones who might not like having floaties on their arms.
When spending a day at the beach with kids you can’t forget a sand bucket and shovels. No trip to the beach is complete without building a sand castle. Kids love playing in the sand and getting messy. This is what my kids look forward to when we go to the beach.
Microfiber beach towels are awesome! If you are a beach goer you need these in your life. These towels are lightweight, very compact, absorbent and dry quickly. Microfiber towels are not like regular towels. They are not thick and fuzzy. But they get the job done. I hate bringing soggy, sand towels home with me. My life changed when I discovered microfiber towels.
These beach blankets are foldable, easy to maneuver and can fit the whole family. It is also water resistant and sand proof. This kind of beach blanket is a better choice to bring to the beach instead of chairs.
How to Transport Everything
Collapsible wagons are great to have when heading outdoors. You don’t have to make many trips back to the car or try to carry everything in one trip. Since this wagon is collapsible you can fit it in your vehicle. This wagon is an all-terrain wagon so you will be able to navigate it through the sand.
More Helpful Tips For A Day at the Beach with Kids
A mesh bag can come in handy for shaking the sand off toys and other items your kids may have collected at the beach. That way the sand can stay at the beach on not find a new home in your vehicle.
Bring a wet bag, the kind for cloth diapers, to put wet swimsuits in so everything else stays dry.
Having a large tote bag will come in handy to carry some of this stuff from your vehicle to the beach.
You’ll also need a cooler bag to keep your food and drinks cold. I prefer a soft cooler bag to a hard plastic cooler because you can fit more into it.
It’s easier to carry with a strap that you can put over your shoulder. Also if it’s empty by the time you head home you can fold it flat making more room in your wagon or vehicle.
Bring a ziplock bag to keep your phone and other electronic devices sand free. No matter how careful you are it always seems like sand gets kicked onto your phone.
Keeping it in your beach bag would keep the san out but it would be hard to listen to music that way. So put your phone in a ziplock bag. Then you don’t have to worry about sand getting into the nooks and crannies of your phones.
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Hacks for Getting Rid of Sand
Keep a gallon of water in your vehicle. Then when you’re leaving for the day use the sand bucket for cleaning everyone’s feet before getting into the car. That way you don’t have to go to the car wash to vacuum out the vehicle.
Another trick to get the sand off is to sprinkle baby powder or cornstarch on your feet. Or on other areas of your body where sand is sticking to you. The baby powder or cornstarch absorbs the moisture making it easier to rub the sand off.
Pack food in smaller portions. That way you won’t have a pound of sand in the giant bag of pirate booty you got from Costco.
Also cut up sandwiches into smaller pieces. If a piece gets dropped the whole sandwich doesn’t get ruined.
Another tip is to cut up fruit and make individual fruit cups. Then no one can cry about dropping a piece of strawberry or watermelon into the sand.
Get to the beach early so you can find a spot to claim as your own. Plan and start packing for your trip the night before. That way you can head out bright and early the next morning.
Getting to the beach early has many benefits. Like closer parking or being able to find a parking spot.
Getting to stake a claim on an area of the beach in hopes that no one will try to cross into your territory.
The sun is strongest between 10 am to 2 pm. So if you get to the beach early you will have a few hours before the intensity of the sun hits.
If heading out early is not an option. Take your time and get to the beach later in the afternoon. While other families are packing up. Instead of planning on having lunch plan on having dinner.
Maybe you can even start a bonfire and roast marshmallows while watching the sunset.
Enjoying A Day at the Beach with Kids
It is possible to have fun at the beach with your kids. You may not be able to go to the beach on a whim. But with a little planning, you can have everything you need to have a fun day at the beach.
How do you plan for a day at the beach with kids? Do you use any of the items on this list? What are the must-have items you always take with you to the beach? Let me know in the comments below:)
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