Many momstown chapters have been taking field trips to the beach this month to frolic in the sand and sun. I’ve just returned after 17 days at the beach and it’s safe to say I’ve had a good sand exfoliating, am wind blown and water-logged. I have 3 exhausted, sundrenched and happy kids.
We survived with 3 super-busy young kids at the beach on the shores of massive Lake Huron. A safety gate would have been an enhancing factor to keep them all corralled. But by the third day we figured out a good rhythm.
How to manage with wiggly excited kids at the beach? How to get organized enough to actually enjoy yourself once you’re there? Here are my handy tips to having a super beach day.
1. Dress & prep before - critical to arrive with bathing suits and hats on and sunscreen pre-applied.
It’s near impossible to apply sunscreen to a sandy leg without ripping off skin (highly recommend the spray sunscreen for the reapplications). Plus it takes 20 minutes for it to activate so don’t risk the sunburn.
2. Cover up - Leave the little glamour suits at home and cover everyone in UV shirts and suits. Even cotton t-shirts provide coverage of SPF30.
The cute frilly bathers are darn cute but a red sunburn isn’t. Covering means you don’t have to be quite as perfect with the sunscreen – which is good with kids running away into the water non-stop.
3. BYOS - Bring Your Own Shade
We lugged a UV tent every day but honestly only set it up once as it took too long. Last year when beaching with a newborn, we needed that shade but this year a plain old beach umbrella was quicker and easier and still gave us refuge from the sun.
4. Go Light – leave stuff at home
You’ll only need half of what you think. We lugged down 2-3 folding camp chairs every day and finally had the smarts to leave them at home. Who has time to sit with 3 young kids?? If I’m sitting, I’m in the sand building castles or wiggling toes in the lake. Bring some beach toys like a few pails and shovels but the less you bring, the more imagination will be used.
5. Safety first – take no chances.
Lifejackets or water wings are common with kids by water, but not nearly common enough. Beware of strong currents, quick depth changes and the general excitement that causes careless behaviour. Read this to brush up on the signs of drowning – scary how fast, and silently, things can go wrong. Don’t take your eyes off your kids - forget the beach scenery - glue your eyes to them to keep them safe. Have a running toddler? Bring a stroller to strap her into for the moments when you can't keep your eyes on her.
6. Don’t be a lobster – cover up yourself and be a role model.
Are you wearing a floppy hat like you make your kids wear? You should. Applying sunscreen as liberally? I missed my shoulders and burned my first beach day this season – don’t forget yourself in the keenness to make sure everyone else is taken care of.
7. Picnic time!
All this beach fun makes kids hungry – super hungry! Pack lots of healthy snacks (they’ll eat almost anything!) and drinks. These picnic tips are terrific suggestions for beach friendly foods.
8. Shoot away!
Pack your camera and capture the awesome memories at the beach. Ensure you tuck it away so the sand doesn’t get into the lens and crevices though.
9. Collect memories
Bring home special rocks, shells and sand to make a collage or put in a bottle to showcase their beach treasures.
Have an excellent beach day! What’s your favourite beach activity?