Some of my happiest childhood memories are of hanging at the beach with my family. Sandy sandwiches, juice boxes, and plastic pails as far as the eye could see! Growing up 15 minutes away from Malibu definitely had it's perks. Looking back, I don't know what kind of superhuman strength my mother summoned to haul all four of us into the car with mountains of gear, let alone all the way to the beach. How my parents wrangled all of us is something I truly will never be able to understand. I remember asking my mom once how and why we did many activities when it was so difficult just to coordinate a simple outing and she said, "We just did it. It was either that, or do nothing at all, which wouldn't be any way to live. It was hard and annoying and there were lots of meltdowns but then we got to be at the beach, or Disneyland, or Mexico, or whatever it was. It was always worth the work."
So here I've made a little list for you for the next time you decide it's worth the work and take your little ones off to the beach! Good luck and have fun!
And make sure you reapply when you all get out of the water, or after an hour or so. I am hyper-terrified of sunburns, so I reapply every half hour. I know it's excessive and probably useless but I don't care. It makes me feel better. Don't forget their little ears, and the backs of their knees and the tops of their feet!
A rash guard on a baby is just so practical, and they do look precious! Though there is truly nothing cuter than a baby in just a swim diaper.
An umbrella is one of those things that was a kid I thought was such a pain to have to help my mom carry since she was the only one who sat under it. Of course, that wasn't true at all, it was a lifesaver when we got overheated and would need a break from the sun. And now all I want is to sit under a beach umbrella. Every day. Forever.
Precious and practical, what more must I say?
A must at the beach, in my opinion. You can keep a child occupied with a shovel and some pails for HOURS. No need for fancy toys and contraptions. This is it.
Obviously, normal towels that you have on hand will do just fine, I just love these because they are thinner than most towels, so they take up less space and are lighter to carry around, and they also dry faster!
Don't waste time walking to the nearest cafe every time every time someone gets thirsty. A reusable water bottle is better for the environment and more convenient to whip out. Don't get dehydrated!
Just toss a tiny one in your bag in case of any scrapes or cuts. It's better to have something on you in case of any kind of incident than to have to run to a disgusting beach bathroom and see what you can cobble in terms of first aid there.
Might as well jam everything into the least amount of bags as possible so you don't drop dead of exhaustion as soon as you get to the beach.