Even though we live in Seattle, wet rainy gray Seattle, I have to say that our summers are the BEST!! The sun shows it’s bright yellow face, and it’s the perfect weather for the beach.
It can be quite a feat to take three kids to the beach, with all our gear, by myself. But it’s possible, I’ve got it down.
Here’s my tips to making a family beach day happen with relative ease!
1. Sunscreen before you get in the car
This will save you time and relieve you of a huge headache if you apply sunscreen on your kids before you go. The sunscreen has time to soak in and then your kids can start getting wet and sandy right away. If you don’t, you end up with sandy hands or sandy kids mixed with sunscreen, not fun!
2. Go early
If we get to the beach by 10:00 a.m. at the latest, there’s plenty of parking right in line with the spot where we like to settle down. That way, I can take a few trips to the car at the beginning and the end if I need to, and I don’t feel like I’m leaving my kids to fend for themselves for too long. Plus, it’s a little cooler in the morning and there’s not as many people. We end up staying for 2-3 hours, so we’re gone before the crowds come in the afternoon.
3. Bring a big blanket or sheet for the kids
They don’t need their towels yet (I’ll talk about that later). All the kids need is a place to sit to eat or take a quick breather. My kids want to play in the sand for three hours straight. So it’s not worth having anything else laid out for them. And a sheet works great. It’s light and does the job of a place to sit. It also washes up easy.
4. Pack food and water
I have a “food” bag I bring. It’s a reusable plastic grocery style bag. It has handles, it’s boxy, and it fits our lunch and a water bottle. If you can, feed the kids before you get started, before they complain that they have sand all over their hands. If you get food in their tummies at the beginning, they won’t be little hungry monsters so much at the end.
5. No getting wet for the last 30 minutes of beach time
This one is sometimes hard for my kids to do. BUT if you can, this way, the sand has time to dry and should hopefully fall off by now using your towels. I bring one towel to brush off the sand and the other 3 towels go in the car where they all sit, just in case I miss any that didn’t brush off.
** NOTE: If you have wet sand on their bodies at the end, bring a bottle of baby powder and douse the kids in it. Rub the baby powder around the wet sandy areas and it will help dry out the sand and rubs right off.
6. Fill a kiddie pool with hose water before you leave the house
I’ve just discovered this and it’s genius! Normally when we get home from the beach I like to hose my kids off before they go in the house. But the hose is so cold and they can hardly stand it. For this last trip to the beach, I noticed our small kiddie pool was sitting out. I decided to fill it with water and let it sit in the hot sun for three hours while we were at the beach. When we got back, it was perfectly warm for them to sit in and wash off the extra sand, saving my bathtubs. I love this trick!!
Now you’ve got a few tips and trips, it’s time to head to the beach. Get out into the sun and feel those warm summer rays while they last.