I love beaches. The sunshine, sea breezes, and the gentle sound of waves; it’s always so soothing only until your toddler starts screaming. A calm and relaxing day with a toddler can be a tough one to achieve; you never know what you’ll have to deal with the very next second.
One minute they are screaming with the joy of playing with sand, and the next minute they are screaming with distress because they tried eating sand. While their cuteness and joy can come in as lightbulbs, there’s no denying that it can be tricky.
However, a little bit of planning and preparation can save the entire family from aggravation. Having gone through similar problems with all of my kids’ toddler phase, I knew exactly by the time of Sophie how to have the best beach day with toddlers.
I am going to share some really useful tips, so all the mommies out there, you better start taking notes!
PACKING BEFORE YOU GO
This is an obvious necessity that you can’t do without on the beach. Especially when you are traveling with toddlers, you need extra accessories to keep your sanity and skin intact. Make sure to pack it a night before so that you’re rushing at the time of leaving and missing out on important stuff. So, here’s what your beach bag should include.
This is an absolutely crucial accessory that you have to keep with you. Of course, the best thing to do is to apply it before leaving the house but keeping it with you is essential, especially because you have to touch up or reapply it after 60-80 minutes.
Nobody wants to come back home with dal shades of skin, and toddlers need extra care and attention; therefore, make sure to keep a pocket-size SPF-30 to apply a layer conveniently when necessary.
2. Towels for everyone
When I say everyone, I mean one for each family member. This is a no-brainer that your kids are going to want to play in the water, and you can’t assume that your little one isn’t going to want to go along. In fact, they might just be the first ones to splash the water. So, make sure you have packed enough towels for everyone.
3. Sunglasses and hats
The more your kid stays protected from the dangerous rays of the sun, the better. So, while you can’t forget packing a pair of sunglasses and a hat for yourself, make sure to pack a pair for the little one as well. The reflection from the ocean and sand is pretty strong, which can be harmful to the kid.
When traveling with kids, it’s difficult to keep them restricted or from running around, especially when you’re on the beach. Being a mom, I know how we are constantly worried about the kid’s safety. The hat and sunglasses will be an extra layer of protection from unnecessary exposure, giving you peace of mind to relax.
4. Extra clothes
With all the water and sand around them and getting wrapped up in the mixture is bound to get them frustrated, and then they’ll want to get changed. My children can’t stand the irritation, so I always keep extra clothes for each one of them.
Make sure to pack an easy-on outfit that they can change in and out of quickly and easily. After they have changed, don’t throw them directly into the bag; hang them over the chairs to let them dry. Then, you can pack them when you are about to leave.
5. Wet bag
When it comes to preparing a traveling with kids checklist for the beach, I have to include a wet bag. My kids always remember to take one last dive into the water right before leaving, which means a last-minute change of clothes.
This is where the dried clothes come in handy, but you can’t throw the wet clothes in your beach bag. However, if you have kids who love to get on your nerves right before leaving, this wet bag can be a savior. You can get a ziplock bag or any grocery bag to keep these clothes in to be dried and washed later.
When looking for how to have the best beach day with toddlers, this is a must. Beach day means kids are covered in sand, and since it will be stuck in every single part of their body, which they are going to carry with them to the car and then to their bed at home. This had been one of the biggest frustrations for me on a beach trip, but then I discovered this little trick called powder.
Sprinkle baby powder on your kids’ bodies, and that would magically take off all the sticky sand grains for you to easily dust off. If your toddler is wearing diapers, this little trick can be a total lifesaver.
If your toddler is still on diapers, you are definitely going to need wipes to keep their tush clean. Especially when the sand would be lingering all the way to their diapers, you’re going to need wipes. Whether it’s sticky fingers or runny noses, wipes should be on hand all the time. When it comes to preparing the best mom bag for travel, wipes are a must.
8. Bug spray
Most people don’t seem to include bug spray in their bag preparation, but for me, it has to go in no matter where you are traveling. You never know when a bug might poke up to bite your kids playing happily or mosquitos flying in even before it’s even dusk.
So, if you don’t want your children to come up crying for a bug bite while you’re relaxing with a good book, keep a bug spray! If you are still confused on what more to pack, read my article for more tips for having an effortless journey will kids here.
OTHER THINGS NOT TO MISS
The packing isn’t only limited to your travel mom bag, but several other things that would keep your kids engaged and allow you to have your own peaceful time:
1. Floatation device
Toddlers can’t swim, but they will want to after seeing their siblings and father enjoying the water. And you don’t want to be left behind to pacify your weeping kid while wanting to bask in the sun with a chilled drink.
The best solution to that is to keep a floatation device with you to send off the little buddy with the rest of the family. If you don’t want to compromise on your me-time, do not forget to pack this.
2. Water cooler
Staying the entire day in the sun means an imperative need to stay hydrated. Make sure to keep a reusable water bottle for each family member with plenty of ice. Trust me, your children are going to approach you after every fifteen minutes for water, and then you’re going to thank me for packing a cooler.
While this is again a necessity, try to keep one with a sand anchor. This will keep your umbrella safely secure in the sand and keep it from being lifted off by a slight breeze. You can also tie the end of a piece of rope to the inside of your umbrella to be extra cautious and save yourself from the embarrassment of ruining someone else’s party.
4. Beach chair
My dear Sophie doesn’t like to be in the sand but wanted the waves to touch her feet, which kept me confused on what to do. My sister bought me a little beach chair for her that suits perfectly for children 21 months and above; she sits on the chair right where the water can touch her feet, and the glee is worth capturing.
5. Beach toys
When traveling with kids, you can’t miss this. Another important packing item to keep your sanity intact is the beach toys but make sure to be selective with them. Packing a huge arsenal of toys is going to divert their attention from the charm of the beach. Instead, just pack them a shovel and a bucket to play with the sand.
The tip would only be to keep an eye on them because they will want to check how it tastes.
5 BEACH ACTIVITIES TO KEEP TODDLERS BUSY
The ideal key to having a classic beach day is keeping the kids busy. That’s the only way they’ll enjoy their day and let you enjoy yours. As long as they are engaged, you can read your book, listen to music or bask in the sun. However, some activities would require your presence as well:
Traveling with kids to the beach marks this activity as a staple. Just get them their tools and leave them in the sand to be creative and bring their imagination to life. This will be hours of entertainment for the little one, which means hours of unwinding for you.
Get your baby a bucket and leave them on the shore to collect the unique seashells and stones that they find on the beach. This would be an interesting activity for them and gives them a souvenir to bring back home.
Beach ball game
It’s the perfect beach game for kids of all ages. Pack an inflatable beach ball with you and toss it in the air for the other person to catch. You can play a two-player game with your little one or involve the entire family in a volleyball game. We usually indulge in the latter and being the competitive family that we are, it’s always super fun.
Whether you are camping or beaching, this game always spikes up the energy in kids and gets them active to win. Include items like seashells, rocks, or seaweeds for your kids to find and give them a certain time limit to return in. Then, hand them over a bucket to store the collection in, and that’s it. This makes for the best tips for traveling with kids.
This is usually our favorite game to play while we are on the road, but we also play it on the beach. It keeps my kids focused, attentive, and away from being needy. What you have to do is say, “I spy a pigeon” or “I spy a football,” and the kids will have to point it out for you. If you are looking for how to plan a family road trip, my article on that can help.
Beach day is always filled with fun, and amusement and my kids are always excited about the picnic. However, if you want to know how to have the best beach day with toddlers, you need to be adequately packed and be prepared with all the engaging activities. I have mentioned everything you’ll need throughout the day to have a cool and calm day!