Tips for a Great Family Beach Day

Tips for a Great Family Beach Day

Use these simple tips to make those most out of your next family beach day.


By: Shayne T.

I love, love, love the beach, and apparently that love has been instilled in my preschooler, who has regularly and consistently asked when we are going back through all of Fall, Winter and Spring. I have to say, I’m so pleased that he loves it as much as I do, but I’ve learned that trips to the shore are definitely a bit trickier with kids in tow. Here are some tips to make your beach day more fun and less stressful.

Shorten your stay. Once you have kids, the days of lounging on the beach until nightfall, are going to come to an end for awhile. If your kids are very young, arrive as early as possible in the morning and head home in time for a restorative car nap for the little ones. Or, break up the day, with lunch and a stroll on the boardwalk, before returning to the water. But only do this if you know for certain that your kids will do well with such a busy day. Avoiding meltdowns is key to a good experience. Always be prepared to pack up and head home when the kids have had enough.

Discuss water safety. Before you even set foot on the beach, or at the very least as soon as you do, have a serious conversation about water safety with your children, no matter their age. I know our mamis and papis might have used to just let us run free when we were little, but it’s just not worth the risk. Set strict boundaries and limits for how far they can go, when they can go, and what they are allowed to do in and near the water. Make sure they know what could go wrong if they do not follow your rules and what to do if they or someone else is in danger. Try not to scare them, just make sure they’re thoroughly informed.

Pack lots of snacks. A few papas fritas isn’t a big deal, but try to stick to nutritious and hydrating snacks that will give your kids plenty of energy for hours of play under the hot sun. Nothing can make a kid crankier faster than low blood sugar. Fruit and water are a must, but pinwheels of deli meat and cheese are a great idea for extra protein and staying power. So are whole grain crackers and whole milk yogurt. You can even blend up some green smoothies at home and pack them in lidded jars in your cooler for a complete, healthy snack.

Bring toys. Sand pails and shovels, balls, Frisbees and reading material are all great things to bring along to keep everyone happy when a break from the water is in order. Just be sure to have something suitable for each one. If you happen to forget the toys--be creative. Use seashells or other beach treasures to bury and dig, draw up a scavenger hunt, etc. Try to stay away from electronics—they could get wet, dirty or ruined.

Lower your expectations. You’ll probably get some time to sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the sea, but chances are you’ll spend most of the day assisting and entertaining your kiddos. So don’t be disappointed if you only make it a couple of pages into that book you packed. These years will pass quickly, and before you know it you’ll have teenagers who want to sunbathe on the beach and read themselves.

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