This past weekend we headed to Hull for a beach day. Courtesy of Dean, I was up at 5AM and got to start my day bright and early. Bright eyed and bushytail I was not, but it gave me plenty of time to get together all the beach essentials and make lunch & snacks. Below is my list of 10 essential items needed for a day at the beach with kids.
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1. Hooded Beach Towels
I found a really cute butterfly one for Faith at Target for under $15 and Mud Pie frog bath poncho at +HomeGoods for $7.99 a few months ago. That deal cannot be beat since it's priced at $35. I can usually find that kind of random stuff in the Kids section at Home Goods.
Below is a round up of other beach ponchos that I think are really cute. It's important that it's a poncho so you can throw it over the wet swimsuit and also serves as a great coverup when you want to remove the wet swimsuit and change your kiddo into some dry clothes.
If you fancy a poncho for yourself, this blue striped one at Pottery Barn is on sale for $19.99.
2. Swim Diapers
I know that swim diapers are ridiculously expensive and if your kid poops in one, they can get a bad case of diaper rash. But what's worse is when a regular diaper that explodes. The clean up is horrible. I could have done without these this past weekend since Dean wasn't really in the water - I think it was too cold - but it was good to have as backup.
3. Sun CanopyThere are lots of ways you can go about setting up a shady spot at the beach - an umbrella, a canopy, etc. Last year we purchased the Embark Sun Shelter at Target for $45. It took us a while to figure out how to set it up, but the effort was totally worth it. It can comfortably fit two strollers and 2 coolers under the canopy and a total lifesaver last year when we took our kids to Newport. It gave Faith a place to take a break from the sun and relax and gave Dean a napping spot in the stroller without covering it in blankets. It also provided me a semi-private area to breast feed. If your kids are older you can probably get away with an umbrella, but if you have multiple kids under the age of 5 and a lot of stuff, I think these are the worth the investment.
4. Picnic BlanketLast year I found a roll up picnic blanket at Target on clearance for $9.99. Even at $24.99 (in red gingham print - my fav!) they are great for the beach. The material makes it super easy to brush off the sand and it rolls up & velcros with handstrap for carrying.
5. Jogging Stroller
Any stroller with young ones is crucial unless you feel like offering up a piggy back ride, which you probably won't because you'll be just as exhausted as your kids at the end of a long beach day. Even though I brought my BOB jogging stroller, I had a tough time getting it through the sand dune before hitting my stride in the more packed down sand closer to the water. However, the stroller offers up handlebar to hang bags off of and storage underneath.
6. Wagon / Beach BuggyFor one day at the beach, I had 3 bags and 1 cooler in addition to my sun canopy, jogging stroller, and umbrella stroller (I can't fit my BOB double jogging stroller in the Civic). On the way to the beach, I had my brother and his girlfriend helping me to carry everthing & wrangle my kiddos. My husband came later with our Step 2 Wagon, which came in handy when we left since you somehow always have more stuff at the end than less. Our friends we went to the beach with had a beach buggy and I definitely need to invest in one. It's AMAZING! The cooler fits between the bottom base and the net. Your bags can be thrown into the netting and I saw them hang 3 beach chairs over the front and back handle. For $39.99 from Christmas Tree Shops, you can't go wrong.
7. Snacks / Sandwiches / Drinks
I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Even if you chose to buy fried food at the beach, you still need snack offerings and water for the kids. Kids are always hungry and fried food will not go far to keep them satisfied.
8. Beach ToysWe brought basic toys that included pail, shovel, and plastic animal molds. Building a sand castle occupied a little bit of time for Faith, but she mostly wanted to be down in the water. Dean's too young to really do anything and mostly just ate sand. Below are a few selections in case you haven't picked up quite the collection of beach toys yet, including a dump truck that I'll definitely need to include on our next family beach trip.
I found a pair of Crocs for Faith at Marshalls for $14.99 and she will not wear anything else. I was never a huge fan of the original Crocs, but they've done a lot of cute variations on them and they function perfectly for the summer time. Below are some boy and girl picks.
10. Baby powder
BEST. LIFE HACK. EVER. for the beach. Seriously, I don't know how I went this long in life not knowing this trick. Baby powder removes sand - it's amazing. Every time my kids wanted a snack, I dumped a little bit of baby powder in their palm and the sand rubbed right off without any irritation or harsh rubbing. The one thing I will note - the skin has to be mostly dry. Faith came in from the water and had wet sand on her. I rubbed her down a bit with a towel and then shook the baby powder all over her legs and it came right off. Side bonus note - baby powder smells good - so win win.
What is one of your absolute essential items for the beach? For your kids? I hope you all have an amazing 4th of July holiday and get to get outside and enjoy the nice weather.
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