This past summer, we finally made it out to the beach with all three kids. We hadn’t been to a beach since our 6 year old was in utero, so it was an extremely big deal for all of them to see the ocean for the first time!
I knew that a family beach day would be a little different from my days hanging out at the beach pre-kids. It was a little less relaxing, but tons of fun all the same!
It also required quite a bit more planning and preparation. I thought I’d share some tips that I learned here on the blog!
WHERE TO GO FOR A FAMILY BEACH DAY
Whether you want to spend just a day or a full week-long vacation at the beach with your family, you’ll definitely want to pick the right spot. If you have kids, you might want to pick a beach that isn’t too crowded or commercialized, and maybe even choose a beach with calmer waters so they can play without getting pounded by the waves.
Here’s a list of some beaches that would be great for a family beach day!
WHAT TO BRING TO THE BEACH
If you want to have a successful day at the beach, it’s super important to bring the right essentials. With kids, unfortunately that can mean that you have quite a lot of stuff to haul around, but I still try to keep our stuff to a minimum as much as possible. Here are my non-negotiable items to bring:
This is especially important if you have a baby in tow. Gotta keep their little heads out of the sun! A tent is really nice if you need to put them down for a nap while your older kids play.
It’s also amazing to be able to zip up the walls and keep them contained for a little while if you need a break from chasing them. This one folds up pretty easily (make sure you watch the video tutorial and practice before you leave the house!) and even has a backpack carrying case to make it super easy to transport.
This might be obvious, but I thought I’d share my favorite brand. I’ve always been leery of chemical sunscreen, and recently new research came out that they definitely contain cancer-causing ingredients.
Mineral sunscreen is a safer choice, but it’s often so thick that it’s difficult to get it applied to everyone in the family in a reasonable amount of time. So when I discovered spray on mineral sunscreen, I was super excited! It makes getting everyone ready for the beach so much easier.
Sunscreen is great, but the best way to protect your family from sun during a beach day is with clothing! I love these long sleeve suits from Amazon for my girls, and this is what I got for the baby this year. And since you won’t have to apply sunscreen to the areas that are covered, you can get out the door even faster!
Keeping everyone hydrated is of utmost importance when you’re out in the sun all day! This water bottle is huge and will keep your water cold all day long.
I don’t like to bring a lot of toys because it’s more to carry and we just don’t need many toys to have an awesome time at the beach. But this ice cream sand pail set is tons of fun, and it’s always fun to have a body board to ride the waves.
BEACH SNACKS FOR YOUR FAMILY
You’ll probably find that everyone is super starving after burning off all their energy splashing in the water.
I find that it’s easiest to pack peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. It’s not fancy, but it’s easy, and you don’t have to worry about them going bad in the heat.
For beach snacks, I like to stick to stuff that is individually packaged. They’re easy to grab if just one kid is hungry, and it avoids sandy little fingers reaching into the communal bag of pretzels. Think applesauce pouches, carrot sticks, fruit snacks, or nuts.
FAMILY BEACH DAY SAFETY
Safety is the biggest priority for a day at the beach with your family. Thankfully, it’s pretty rare for kids to drown at the beach (lakes and bathtubs are a lot more dangerous!), but it’s still important to keep these safety tips in mind:
- Be aware of rip tides. Know what they look like and know how to get out of one.
- Keep a flotation device nearby.
- Know what to do if you or someone else gets dragged out to sea.
- Teach your kids to never enter the water without an adult, and supervise them closely.
- Read this guide to beach safety
Melinda worked with children for years in a professional setting before becoming a full-time stay at home mom. She currently has three young children, and enjoys sharing tips and ideas about parenting and how to manage a home with excellence. She’s been featured on Heathline and Her View From Home.