Are you heading toward a beach this weekend? My kiddos' favorite warm weather activity is going to the ocean or a lake. Fresh water, salt water, they don't care. As long as they can get wet and play in sand, all is right in their world. They get along at the beach, and they get tired at the beach (early bed time, yeah!), so all is right in my world there too. This is why we go to the beach several times a week in the summer and have for years. I can look back at times (oh, and there were many) when a beach outing was a complete disaster. Times when I had forgotten things, brought useless things, stressed out about all the other things I should be doing at home or for work. Now I think I have the packing, hauling, and beaching mastered as much as I'm going to. Here are my tips.
How to Survive a beach outing with kids
1. Make sure you can carry and haul ALL your beach gear. Yourself. In one trip. I'm not saying this because you HAVE to carry it yourself, I'm just saying make sure that you CAN. It's easy to get the kids to help carry things to the beach area because really, they want to get there faster than you do, but it's a whole other story when it's time to go. They will be overtired, or in the case of my daughter, in the midst of a sit-in to protest leaving. This is WAY less than helpful when it comes to getting the gear back to the car. Making sure I can carry everything myself also stops me from overpacking. Beach bags I love: L.L.Bean canvas totes (hand stitched in Maine), Beach cart to check out: Foldit
2. No matter the age of the kids, make sure they have beach toys. The first time we went to the beach this year, I didn't bring the beach toys. I figured that at almost 7 and 9, my kiddos were too old for pails and shovels. Oh, was I wrong. Shovels and pails are a necessity to build the coolest castles and moats. What was I thinking?! Sand toys are a perfect tool for kids of all ages to show creativity and imagination. Our favorite beach toys: (for all ages) American Plastic Toys, INC Pails & Shovels + Sand Toys, (for older kids) Aerobie Superdisc + Pro Ring
3. It's all about the finger food. Something about the beach makes my kids want a snack every 10 minutes. In fact, within 10 minutes of our arrival, one of my kids is guaranteed to ask for something to eat. Instead of having to worry about (and usually forgetting to pack) utensils, plates, bowls, I make sure everything I bring can be eaten with our fingers. Our favorite beach foods are chopped veggies, fruits (berries, apples, watermelon), chips, pretzels, sandwiches or grinders, calzones, and even cold chicken wings and legs. My top made in the USA beach snack/meal time necessities: Eat Cleaner all natural biodegradable wipes for clean eating fingers, Polar insulated water bottles for cold drinks.
4. Relax! It is was once actually HARD for me to sit on a beach and do nothing. I would stress about the time I was wasting- I should be doing laundry, I should be working on an article, I should be doing something useful, because who has time to RELAX?! I know this affected my kids, because, really, how much fun is an irritable mom at the beach?! Now, I look forward to our beach time as my time to unwind and disconnect. My relaxing beach time indulgences include American made Caramel Creams candies for my sweet fix (they melt just right from the sun and are soooo tasty), Celestial Latte Dirty Chai on ice in my Polar bottle, and a downloaded audiobook (because I still haven't figured out how to read a book AND keep an eye on the kiddos).
Source List for American Made Beach Gear
Kid Beach Must Haves
- American Made Swimwear & Swim Accessories for Children of All Ages
- Made in the USA Review: Fantastic anti-plastic dishes and beach toys by Zoe b Organic
- American Made Swimsuits for Women: An USA Love List Source Guide
- Your Search for the Best Swimsuit Ends Here (Bonus: It's American Made!)
- Style Tips for Finding the Right American Made Swimsuit
- Mi Ola Swimwear
- Magicsuit ‘Yvonne’ Halter One-Piece Swimsuit
- Vitamin A Swimwear
- American Made Swimwear for Men
- Made in USA Sunglasses
- Made in USA Sunscreen: The Ultimate Source List
- Organic Sunscreen Options All Made in the USA
- Nine Non-Toxic Sunscreens We Love
- 1888 Mills Towels
- Panama Sun Hat
- Beach Essentials We Love, All American Made
- American Made Shoes: Sandals and Flip Flops
- Eco Lunch Gear
- Neat-O's reusable snack bags
Disclosure: This post is sponsored, however, sponsored or not, our opinions are always our own, and at USA Love List we always aim to write fair and balanced reviews to promote only the very best of American-made products.
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