Getting out of the door with a little one can be the hardest part of a beach trip. Let’s face it, when you’ve got kids, any trip longer than down to the wheelie bin and back can feel like you’re planning a Navy SEAL operation. By the time you’ve hunted down the wide range of toddler paraphernalia you’re sure to need, crammed them into the car, and then somehow managed to squeeze a child or two in as well, you really just feel like a nap.
So, how do you take the stress out of beach days with the kids? Because the simpler the process is, the more often you’ll feel like doing it. Here’s our beach checklist for a stripped-back approach to trips with little adventurers.
1. Grab your dedicated, pre-packed beach bag
Have a reasonably-sized tote that is dedicated exclusively to beach or pool trips.
Consider hanging your DBT (Dedicated Beach Tote) on a hook on the back of your laundry door. When you get back from the beach, hang the towels and togs (already rinsed out at the beach showers) straight onto some extra hooks on the back of the laundry door to dry out. Then it’s all in the one spot, ready to go next time. A couple of hooks in your garage or mudroom would work just as well, wherever you get some decent ventilati.
2. Wack some food and fluids in it
Depending on how long you’re planning to be at the beach, you may be able to just chuck a couple of apples and a water bottle in your DBT and then head out the door.
For a longer trip, consider some lunch, and some extra snacks. Little bodies are at greater risk of dehydration than big folk, so make sure your beach bag includes plenty of fluids. A couple of juice poppers put in the freezer the night before make an easy beach icy pole… AND you don’t have to clean up after them.
But what about toys? Shouldn’t they be on the beach checklist?
Rather than taking a trailer-load of beach toys, encourage your beach babes to engage with the natural environment in creative ways. While it’s nice to mix things up every now and again by bringing along a bucket and spade or a blow-up beach ball, you’ll get the biggest kick out of watching your little ones come up with their own entertainment.
Here are some ideas to get them started:
Make a sand sculpture of an animal and then find some shells, stones and seaweed to decorate it.
Dig a big hole. Watch it fill with water. Instant beach jacuzzi.
Search for crabs, count how many you can spot.
All that’s left now is to enjoy the sun, sand and waves with your crew. They will treasure these memories for life. Here’s to the golden days, and to the hardworking mummas and daddas that make them happen.