The key to a fun and relaxed beach day with a toddler is not too much stuff and organization. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the little things that you carry around for your small child. Here are a few simple tips that can help you streamline the process of getting out the door to the beach with your child without all the fuss.
Designate a Beach Day Bag
I have a designated beach bag. I keep all my beach necessities inside this bag and hang it in the same place. I never have to go on an hunting expedition to find the sunscreen or goggles, they are always in my beach bag. My beach day bag staples include; sunscreen sunglasses, hat, goggles, book or magazine, comb, light conditioner, lip balm, a bottle of water, waterproof camera, and towels. I always keep this bag stocked and ready to go. This makes it easy to be spontaneous. I like to use large resealable plastic baggies for my sunscreen, and conditioner. The plastic baggies are a great way to keep you organized and to prevent spills. I also invested $5 dollars for beach chairs and I found at a garage sale. The chairs are great for keeping you up off the sand and staying comfortable. Lastly I always bring an umbrella to provide some much needed shade on our beach trips.
Research your Beach
We live in Florida on the Sun Coast so we go to the beach a lot. I go on-line to check if there is an entry fee, usually a car with 3 people runs $8 for any Florida State Park. But it can be more if you have a car full of people. All Florida State parks have a website and they list the entry fees. However, general search for public beaches in my area gave me a list of all our beaches that did not charge any entry fee. But it is a good idea to have a few dollars in cash just in case there is any entry fee and most beaches do not accept credit cards. Doing a little research can steer you in the right direction for a beach with no entry fee.
Pack a Picnic
Packing a simple picnic is a budget friendly way great way to avoid spending big bucks at beachside food stand or restaurant. I always pack a picnic lunch for our beach outings, in fact I rarely leave the house without food for my 3 year old son. Your picnic doesn’t have to be super fancy. Pick a few of your kids favorite things and put them into plastic baggies and voila! You are all set for a great beach picnic your kids will love. I usually go for apples, chips, and peanut butter sandwiches. Also don’t forget the to refill your used water bottles. This a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle your old water bottles or soda bottles, plus you’ll save by not purchasing something from a store when you are out. You can make lemonade or ice tea ahead of time and refill your empty water bottles at home and put them in a thermal lined cooler bag to keep them cool. I also use one of those reusable bags from your grocery store, for my my son’s beach toys. It a great way to keep the sand from spreading to every corner of your car. After he’s done digging the toys go into the ‘toy bag’ and the bag can easily be emptied out and washed to reduce sand in your house.
Deep Sea Clean
The first stop after coming off the beach is to the outdoor showers, a definite necessity if you don’t want to bring an inch of sand home with you. I wash the sand off everything here, toys, swim suits, goggles. in one p my and strip off his swim trunks and get all the sand off there. Most outdoor showers have benches so you can put all your stuff down while you shower off and reorganize. Washing off all the sand here is a great way to keep the sand out of your car and your home. The extra clean clothes are always a comfort to my tired son after a hard day digging for shells at the beach.
Keep Them Comfy
I always bring along an set of after beach clothes. I make sure they are clean and comfortable.
I put on an extra set of comfy clothes, pajamas work great, right after the shower.These are always soothing and calming for my little guy after a day in long day at the beach. Don’t forget an extra set of clothes for yourself, that way you can be comfortable for the ride home too. Once my son is showered and in clean dry clothes, he goes into the car seat with a snack. This gives me time to load up the car and make sure I didn’t leave anything. This also gives me a chance to wash off the sand toys and put them back in their designated bag sans sand, refold any towels or blankets and shake off any remaining sand before getting into the car.
Don’t forget the trash
Take an inventory of your food stores and throw away any trash there at the beach trash cans. Or bring with you an extra plastic grocery bag and bundle up your trash to be thrown away once you are at home. Getting rid off all the food items, wrappers, containers at the beach will make the unpacking at home cleaner and faster.
Going to the beach is a great way to spend the day with your little one. They will love to play in the sand and waves and you will get great pictures and even more special memories. So take a little time to prepare using these simple steps for a laid back and fun day at the beach.