1. Bring sun coverage. We don’t just mean lather on the sunscreen (an obvious)…bring a tent, large umbrella or other object that will provide respite from the heat. This allows for a sun break and offers a place for little ones to nap, if needed.
2. Plan for hunger, thirst and scope out a sand-friendly place to eat. Portable prop up trays and/or tables are great to keep sand out of food, and consequently, out of children’s mouths. Kids use up a lot of energy in the sun and water, so bring nutrient dense foods, apples, cheese sticks, frozen grapes, peanut butter sandwiches on whole wheat (avoid any meats), hummus and veggies. Also, prepare frozen water bottles because everything melts so quickly. By the time the children are thirsty, it will have turned from ice to ice cold water.
3. Aim for “comfy” weather. Go early in the day or late in the afternoon rather then the middle of the day when the heat is at it’s highest. Overall, this will make your day more enjoyable and the chances of sunburns are a lot less.
4. While lifeguards are a must, they are not a replacement for mom and dad. Don’t rely solely on the lifeguards; make sure you watch your child at all times! Also, other parents are not responsible for your children. If you want to rest and relax yourself, bring a babysitter or a friend who can take on “supervision duty” while you take a break.
5. Bring toys and rely on Mother Nature to provide entertainment when taking breaks from the water and waves. Children love the water, but it’s important to break, rehydrate and reapply sunscreen consistently. Bring sand toys to keep your child busy. Also, remember Mother Nature provides entertainment. Look for seashells, start a collection that you can bring home to paint or string the ones with holes to make a souvenir necklace! This will help to avoid a fight when you tell them to get out of the water.
The beach is a place to make many wonderful family memories. If you are prepared, it will be a great bonding experience for families of all sizes and children of all ages. Life should always be as wonderful as a day at the beach!