Your Family Beach Day Made Easy With These Hacks and Activities
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It is always exciting when you are planning an upcoming family beach day.
Every family that has gone on vacation to the beach can tell you that some of their favorite memories were made there. Unfortunately, some of the worst ones can be made at the beach too.
It is no secret that it can be stressful spending time at the beach with kids. Regardless of age, there are always challenges to overcome.
If you have a baby, you are constantly searching for shade and packing tons of diapers, bottles, wipes, and so on. If you have a toddler you struggle with the sand, the snacks, and the occasional poop. If you have elementary-age kiddos then you have to worry about trying to get sunscreen on them, reminding them to actually eat and drink, and the chance they suddenly get brave and start heading for the waves.
You may not be able to avoid every hurdle, but you can definitely avoid a handful. These packing ideas, hacks, and activities will help you do just that.
What Should I Bring to a Family Beach Day?
Tent – Our most recent and the current favorite item is this amazing tent! We originally got it for our upcoming beach trip but have used it at family cookouts, pool parties, and took it to a public pool as well. If you don’t have one yet you need to get one momma! They are great for kids of all ages and even adults and fold up nicely back into the little pouch (but it does take practice).
Snacks and Food – Ok, you are an amazing momma so you have already got this one down. A little tip for you though, you don’t always need to bring a huge cooler. There are beach bags and beach chairs (like these) with a cooler attached and that is usually enough room for us.
Kids Beach Chairs – Speaking about chairs, look into getting beach chairs just for the kids. Helps keep yours clear from extra sand and much better for the kids instead of sitting on a towel while eating.
Toys – Another one you have probably already planned for, but let me offer a few more ideas. Instead of the standard sand toys (or in addition to) try some construction vehicles or bring some embellishments to help turn the kids into mermaids or other characters.
Mesh Shell Collecting Bags – Many kids love to collect shells at some point during your family beach day. Your husband usually ends up having to stuff his pockets full of shells and hoping he doesn’t lose them. Well instead of that mess, try these collecting bags. Perfect for your kiddos to find their favorites and shakes off some of the sand.
Water Shoes – These are a GREAT idea for kiddos! Honestly, we have purchased made for the beach water shoes before, but as our son gets older he prefers his regular Crocs. Either with work great to prevent stepping on any sharp shells or the occasional beer bottle lid.
Sunscreen – This one you definitely already knew but still had to include it on the list. Whether you are a spray or lotion kind of family, don’t forget to have a sunscreen stick as well! This makes getting the face so much easier and the coverage is much better!
Ziplock Bags – Pack a few extra of these in case the one you already have your phone in gets ruined or you have found a few extra items to store. They are easy, small, waterproof, and therefore perfect for the beach.
Portable Charger – Not only do you have to keep your phone safe but for it to take any more pictures it has to be charged. Before leaving for the beach charge up a portable charger and take that with you.
The Best Family Beach Day Hacks
The fitted sheet – It’s an oldie but still so good! If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot on your next family beach day. Keep the sand out and the valuables in with this trick.
Baby Powder – Did you know there is a way to get that extra sand off? It’s baby powder! Sprinkle some baby powder on their hands before eating or on their legs and feet before getting into the car. It will magically take that extra sand right away!
Kiddie pool – This one is perfect for those little little ones and even the older kids like it when they need a break from the waves. Take a blow-up kiddie pool with you and fill it up with some water and toys. It is now their own beach away from the scary stuff. When you’re done simply deflate it (or just keep it blown up if you want).
Mesh Bags – These are great to use when picking up all the toys at the end of the day. Gather the toys and place them in the bag. Dip it in the ocean and you will take much less sand home with you! I use mesh bags for as much as I can!
Hawaiian roll sandwiches – On any normal day we love Hawaiian rolls! However, they are perfect for a beach lunch as well! Cut the tops off all in one. Layer them with your choice of meat and cheese, place them back into the prepackaged container, cut each sandwich, and store them in the bag until lunchtime.
What Can a Family Do at the Beach?
Obstacle course – You can make an obstacle course easily with the items you already have. Scatter some chairs, boogie boards, and coolers and make your course. Don’t forget to be mindful of others around you though.
Paint rocks (and shells) – Take some sharpies with you and let your creative kiddos color some rocks and shells. They can leave little notes and bury them for the next person to find.
Scavenger hunt – Think of it on the spot or use this printable to have a scavenger hunt. You can find much more than sand and shells on the beach.
Favorite sport – Take along a football, frisbee, or other game your kids already love and do it at the beach.
Tic-tac-toe – You can easily have a game of tic-tac-toe with some sticks or shells.
Musical towels – Why not play some music and play a game of musical chairs (but beach edition). Definitely will burn off some energy.
Do you want to build a sand(snow)man? – Instead of sandcastles, try to build a snowman out of the sand. Definitely will take a bit more time but is so worth the effort.
Skeeball – Who knew you could play a game of skeeball on the beach. Flatten some sand for the pad, build a small hill and make a few holes in it. Roll down some balls and try to get them in the holes. Ta-da you have beach skeeball.
Clean-up – Take some time to teach your kiddos to do their part and clean up the beach. On this day take some extra bags with you.
Hopscotch – You can use some sticks, rocks, or shells or simply draw the course in the sand for this one. Easy and fun!
Limbo – Perfect for the beach. Use anything that is skinny and long such as a stick, umbrella pole, or maybe even a boogie board.
Pictionary – We all love to draw in the wet sand when the tide is low so why not make a game out of it. You can play some Pictionary while you enjoy the water.
I-Spy – This is good anywhere anytime so why not the beach. While you are taking a sunscreen or snack break play some I-Spy and see if you can find more than brown and blue things.
You Are Ready For the Beach!
Now you know what to take, the best hacks, and what to do when your kids need a little entertainment.
These tips, hacks, and activities will allow you to limit a bit of stress on that next family beach day and make a few more amazing memories.
Share your favorite family beach day memories or any tips, hacks, or activities that are missing here.