Let’s face it, going to the beach with kids can be a tough task. Remember the days before kids when you could grab your things and head to the beach for the day anytime you wanted? Don’t get us wrong, having kids is an amazing and rewarding experience, but taking them to the beach for an extended period of time can go either way.
Our top tips to doing the beach with kids:
TIP-1: Go the beach with kids early in the day
It’s always a great idea to go to the beach when the kids are in a good mood, and before they get tired. If they get up early like most kids we know, then leverage this to pack the car and head off early! Not only are the kids fresh and well rested, parking is also so much easier before the crowds without kids arrive and for most beaches, the waves calmer at the start of the day before the wind picks up.
TIP-2: Take the time to pack well
Spend the time to pack well, and include lots of snacks (see below) and toys to make the day more enjoyable.
If you have young kids, think about the usual bucket and spade to collect shells and build sand castles! Don’t have a bucket and spade? Bring some old food containers or plastic bottles you have lying around the house.
Sporting equipment is also great at the beach. Got a soccer ball? Tennis balls to throw to play catch in the ocean? Cricket set for some beach cricket? All works a treat.
Older kids love boogie boards for riding waves. Or splash out and get some inflatable toys to play on in the ocean if the waves allow.
TIP-3: Consider packing a sun tent
Beach tents are great for escaping the harsh sun, particularly at beaches with little or no shade on offer (like Bondi!). Get one with good UV protection so the shade really is safe from the sun. Tents are also great for storing your stuff out of the sand and allowing a nice place for young babies to sleep during the day!
TIP-4: Take plenty of food and water
Nothing makes growing kids hungrier than swimming! Brings lots of great snacks for the kids to enjoy when they get hungry.
Even more important is bringing some water to quench the thirst on a sweltering day. Here’s a tip – half fill a bottle with water and freeze it overnight, then fill it up with more water the next day and you’ll have cool water all day.
TIP-5: don’t forget the sunscreen
Sunscreen is a must for a day at the beach. Get one with SPF 50+ and be sure to use it every 2-3 hours as directed. Also important sun protection includes sunglasses, hats and a t-shirt. As we say in Australia – slip, slop, slap.
TIP-6: Plan some beach sports to keep them entertained
When the kids are over swimming or the water is too cold to get in, get the family playing sports on the beach and unleash the family competitive spirit. Think about beach cricket, frisbee, beach volleyball or even soccer. Nothing brings the family together like a bit of sport on the beach.
TIP-7: Go on mini adventures
When the sandcastles are built, the swimming’s getting tiring and the beach sports are all done – take the kids on an exploration adventure. Depending on the beach you’re at, there can be amazing things to be found on beaches if you only look down at the sand! From finding seaweed to crabs, cuttlefish or shells – all are great for the little ones to discover and observe. Go rock climbing, explore ocean rock pools, write names on the sand before the waves wash them away.
Enjoy special time with kids at the beach by planning ahead and staying relaxed!!
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