As I move closer to when my little one is due my mind is wandering to the beautiful weather outside and how I will get ready to take my sweet little boy down to the beach once he is old enough to go. I grew up on the beach going with my family and friends as often as possible when I was a child. We certainly didn’t have the high end of everything to protect us but we absolutely had a fantastic time and have wonderful memories from every childhood trip to the beach. I remember my dad setting up a parachute with a long bamboo pole in the middle and stakes around it to protect us from the sun while we played near or in the water. We always had fishing pole, and sunscreen most of the time we camped out and had an amazing amount of fun. But I certainly remember getting some terrible sunburns as a child and that is a terrible thing to happen on vacation so I wanted to give you a few hints to keep you little ones safe, burn free, and with lots of happy beach memories.
There are some fantastic new products for kids now that were not available when I was a child in the 70’s and 80’s to help keep them from being sunburned. The first is clothing with SPF. You can get hats, shorts, shirts and swim suits with a great SPF to help protect your little ones from the sunburns. Be sure to look for the proper sunscreen for your little ones as well this will give you that little bit of extra protection. Apply sunscreen before you head out to the beach and often while you are in the sun! When I was a child my parents were creative with the sun protection. Notice my little brothers turban or cloth diaper to protect his little head.
Make a safe spot for your little one to enjoy the water too. When my brothers and I were kids my parents dug us a little lagoon just past the major break in where the water washes on to the beach. They made a small wall with an opening for some water to wash in then closed it up so we weren’t trying to fight with the waves as they came in. Or if they left it open it was just a small bit so a trickle of water could get in to our little pool area. I have seen mothers bring small blow up pools down to the beach they fill those with beach water and put them near the water and under the shade so the little ones can enjoy the beach but not be over whelmed by waves and too much sun.
Instead of a parachute which is awesome if you are up for the work! You can now rent umbrellas and chairs so you don’t have to worry about taking lots to the beach beyond your sunscreen and a bag with snacks and sunscreen. I remember everyone carried an armful of things when we went to the beach but we had a fantastic time most of the time. I have a few extra suggestions of things to throw in that beach bag to help keep your little ones cool calm and collected.
1. Inexpensive beach toys, dollar store is perfect for these! Something to build a sand castle and pour and sift, sand and water will keep them busy for hours.
2. A plastic zipper bag for treasures. I would suggest something that will trap smell just in cast they pick something that is still alive and you don’t find it right away!!!
3. Baby powder will help get all pesky sand off as you head in for the evening.
4. SUNSCREEN, don’t forget it!
5. Flip flops for the walk back if they are walkers.
6. Wagon to pull them in if they are not walking.
7. Hats, sunglasses, clothing with SPF material.
8. Water, fruit, cooler, to stay hydrated.
9. White Vinegar, just in case jellyfish are nearby. Even broken parts of them can cause stings.
10. Trash bags. For diapers or trash you may make. You always want to leave the beach cleaner than it was when you got there.
11. Camera for those irreplaceable candid moments in the sun!
A visit to the beach with little ones can be fun and educational for all involved just remember to tap in to that inner boy scout or girl scout and BE PREPARED! This will make your trip so much more enjoyable and memorable! See you at the beach!