My husband doesn’t enjoy the beach. I am not sure which he dislikes more, the risk of sunburn or the feeling of sand in his shoes. The kids, on the other hand, can’t wait to dive in.
With our trunk filled to the brim with everything we could possibly need, from towels to snacks, we are ready to roll. With our arms over-filled and a wagon loaded up with the rest, we are off to find a spot big enough for us and all our stuff. Maneuvering around a myriad childless people with their one towel and bottle of water, I think back to carefree afternoons at the beach.
Those were the days.
Sounds of “I’m thirsty!” and “It’s hot!” break me out of my daydream.
Over 20 years of trial and error has helped me figure out what it takes to have a fun and (almost) relaxing day at the beach with eight kids. It all comes down to organization and being prepared for anything and everything.
Being prepared ensures you will have a stress-free day at the beach.
Arrive Early – You want to claim the optimal spot for your full enjoyment. Do you prefer sun or shade? Do you want to be out of view of the concession stands? There’s nothing like having the ice cream cart in full view to ensure a tantrum or two…or ten. Also, scope out the location of the restrooms. If your children are anything like mine, I’m sure you will be visiting the bathroom quite a few times over the course of the day.
Bring lots of your child’s (and your) favorite snacks – My children can be occupied for a few minutes when I bring out their favorite snacks. I often reserve special treats that I do not usually buy, such as fruit snacks, for such occasions. A hungry child is a cranky child. If you do not want to wind up shelling out big bucks at the hot dog vendor, throw a few sandwiches in your bag as well. I also like to fill a separate cooler with drinks. Staying well hydrated on a hot day is very important.
Have plenty of sand toys to play with – Keep your kids busy building sandcastles. Take those few minutes to relax in between trips to the water.
Don’t forget the sunscreen – My husband and I have both had sun poisoning and I never want to have that happen again. With fair children who burn easily, I am very vigilant with sunscreen application. Not only am I concerned about sun safety, but I am cautious about what ingredients are in my sunscreen. My children have very sensitive skin and have had horrible breakouts with certain sunscreens. It took trial and error to find the one that works for everyone.
Most importantly, have fun!