Last month we provided a checklist of 10 essential items to pack in a beach bag. This time we’re revisiting the topic with a focus on mums and kids. If you’re a mother with small children, a trip to the beach can be a bit of a headache as well as a joy, but you can eliminate some of the stress by making sure your kids’ beach bag has everything needed to keep the day fun.
Don’t forget the swimsuits, of course, but be sure to pack shorts and shirts as well, to decrease sun exposure when the kids are taking a break from the water. Or, for UV protection both in and out of the water, check out the boys’ and girls’ Arena Water Tribe jammers and shirts with 50+ UPF rating.
Everyone loves to go barefoot in the sand. If the sand is super hot, though, or if there are rocks along the shore, children will need sandals or beach shoes to protect their feet.
To avoid sunburns and minimize long-term skin damage, be generous with the high-SPF sunblock. Slather it on before you leave the house and reapply every two or three hours at the beach. And don’t forget hats and sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection.
Bring towels to dry off with, and either big beach towels or a large bed sheet (less sand sticks to it) to use for relaxing, picnicking and playing between turns in the water.
Snacks and drinks
Even if the beach has a snack bar, you’ll probably want your own supply of healthy snacks to keep the kids’ blood sugar up until lunchtime. Frozen grapes or blueberries (or any fruits or veggies) will help keep your children hydrated. If you take foods like crackers or trail mix, make sure they’re not overly salty. Be sure to have plenty of water to drink, too.
Wet wipes are good for cleaning hands before and after eating, or after applying sunscreen. With small children, messes are inevitable, so it’s best to be prepared.
First aid kit
Assemble a mini first aid kit to stash in your beach bag, just in case someone falls or gets a scrape or splinter. Include alcohol wipes, adhesive bandages, tweezers, an instant cold pack and aloe gel for sunburns.
Fun is the whole point of a trip to the beach, so don’t forget the toys: buckets and spades, plastic cars, Frisbees, beach balls…whatever will keep your children entertained.
If you don’t have a dedicated wet bag, be sure to bring some extra plastic bags along for wet clothes and towels and sandy toys.
When it’s time to clean up, sprinkle some baby powder on the kids’ hands and feet. The sand will slide right off and stay at the beach where it belongs.
Do any of you mums (or non-mums) have any additional tips for a happy day at the beach with kids?