In the days before children, getting ‘beach ready’ meant waxing, fake tan and a fabulous new bikini! But alas, no more. Planning a day at the beach with young children is a military operation of epic proportions that raises such questions as; how many towels should I bring? How do I stop the sandwiches getting sandy? And, how will I get all this stuff from the car to the beach anyway!?
But do not fear, a fun day at the beach with your little angels is possible if you follow our top tips.
Use a pop-up tentLightweight and easy to put up, a pop-up tent provides a shady, protected place to take a beach side nap or play out of the glare of the sun. It is also a great place to store your stuff, preventing it from getting too sandy.
Plan what you’re going to take.
Pack a ruck sack, it’s more practical than a shopper style bag with zip pockets to put your essential easy to reach items and will mean you have free hands. Pack snacks and your picnic in separate small containers, just open one at a time to stop the sand spoiling your food. Top Tip. Freeze your fruit portions and vegetable batons plus your drinks and use them as ice packs
Plastic carrier bags are not great for the environment but they're your best friend at the beach, and shoving a handful of them into a pocket of your back pack will save you in any number of situations. Essential for bringing wet soggy beachwear home too!
instead of taking a bulky blanket or lots of towels, think about taking your largest duvet cover, it's large enough for 2 to lay on and room for your child to play, great to just shake off the sand and folds small enough to fit in your back pack!
The Kidunk tops and trousers are made from a beautiful quality, robust fabric which is designed for play but they are totally breathable and even the Teflon coating doesn’t affect this.
Spot the lifeguard
There's a surprising benefit to being near the lifeguard station, it makes it easier for your older children to remember where you are in case you get separated and your close by if you need any assistance.
Apply sunscreen before you hit the beach so that it soaks in before you hit the sand! Top Tip- Use spray on sunscreen for your little darlings that is not transparent so you can see where you are covering. Take sun hats with neck and shoulder covers, sunglasses, beach shoes and cover-ups, minimizing sun exposure between 12 and 4, and pausing every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, to reapply sunscreen.
Plan a beachy "Treasure Hunt"
When your little one’s tire of building sandcastles (and they will), try this fun trick of burying colourful items like big shells, a shovel or play fish in the sand, then have them hunt for the hidden loot. Put one bucket in the centre and the children have fun digging for the 'treasures' while you give them clues from the comfort of your duvet cover.
The baby powder trick!My favourite tip involves baby powder! Make de-sanding a dream with a liberal sprinkling of baby powder – it makes getting clean a breeze, even in difficult to reach places such as between their little toes and bottom areas! Massage it on to easily and gently remove all the sand even when it's wet.
Be Smart About When You Leave
Every parent has felt all the joy and happiness of the day draining away as their children melt down the moment it's time to leave the beach. Spot the signs and stay ahead of the game, pack up before they get too tired so that if you need to you can pick them up and leave swiftly before a tantrum takes hold.!
Keep a Dust Broom in the Car
Finally, keep a soft-bristled hand brush in the car for one last de-sanding your children’s bodies -- and your own feet -- before you buckle in for the drive home.