You'll need a good shovel and a good bucket if you're going to make sand castles and rivers and all sorts of sandy creations! This will keep children busy for a long time (not to mention parents)... I think I still love this just as much as I did when I was a kid! Other ideas are a beach ball or other ball to throw back & forth, a frisbee, or even a beach volleyball set!
When packing for your trip, don't forget about safety! You'll need sunscreen, you can bring life jackets and other floaties (in the photo below, the beach we were at actually supplied the life jackets). Some things you might regret leaving at home are bug spray, an umbrella for shade, or a little first aid kit (we've needed band-aids before). Always stay near your children and you may want to consider using a buddy system or giving your kids a whistle to blow if they do get out of your sight and are scared or hurt or in danger. Also, be aware of any possible dangers at the beach you're attending (rip currents, big waves or dangerous marine life). Some beaches have different warning flags that signify different dangers.
One of the first times we went to the beach, we gave someone a mermaid tail made of sand. My girls loved "becoming mermaids" so much that this activity is suggested every time we go back! Of course with this activity, it's important to be sensitive to the person who is being covered with sand - never cover their face or head. Keep in mind that sand is heavy and can make it difficult to breathe if too much is piled on someone's chest- that's why we like mermaid tails! Accidents CAN happen, so it's safest not to bury too much of someone's body! You can also create big sand sculptures without involving people in them- it's so fun to create a huge sand castle while working together, but your imagination is the limit - you could sculpt all kinds of things!
Sand can get really hot in the sun, so bring along some flip flops to protect everyone's feet! Have you ever rinsed your legs and feet in the water in preparation for leaving the beach, only to end up with just as much (if not more) sand stuck to you by the time you get back across the sand? Consider bringing a jug of water with you that you can leave in your car - this will come in handy when you get back to the car after your beach day - use it to rinse sand off of everyone's feet & legs before piling into the car for the trip home!
It's always a good plan to cover- up at the beach! Bring cover-ups or T-shirts for your kids and yourself (and of course sunscreen!). You can also find rash-guard styled swimsuits with sleeves that protect your kids from the sun AND make life easier with less sunscreen application. Covering up is important for me as a mom, not only because I'm pale and can burn easily, but because when I'm more covered, I feel free to move around and play with my kids without worrying about exposing myself! I love the board shorts in the photo below that I got from Hapari (they're made from the same fabric as my swimsuit). Don't forget sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes and face!
Bring lots of water with you- you'll need it if you're spending lots of time in the sun! You & your kids will be working up an appetite with all of the fun you'll be having, so be sure to bring some snacks with you (maybe a whole picnic lunch)!
Chairs & Blankets
You'll be fine with a beach towel to sit on, but you may find yourself more comfortable with a large picnic blanket or camping chairs to relax on. They may add to the load you have to carry down to the beach with you, but I always think camping chairs are worth it!
You can see in the photo below that I'm up to my usual "Mamarazzi" antics ;) I love to have photos to document the things that we do with our kids, so a camera or cell phone that takes photos or video is something that's almost always on my list for family outings! That particular trip, I threw on a t-shirt to protect myself from the sun, and was wearing a swim skirt that matched the suit I had on underneath.
What are your must-bring items for a family trip to the beach?
This post is sponsored by Hapari whose swimwear I have been a fan of for years! I have suits that I got 4 years ago, that are still in great shape. I love their brand because they have a ton of different fabric designs and lots of different items available from one pieces to tankinis and bikinis, with different cuts of each type of swimwear, as well as cover-ups and accessories. I recently ordered this tankini with my favourite, the tummy tuk bottoms and a swim skirt. I had a hard time deciding because I'm interested in their new blouson tankini tops too!
There are so many different options of tops (not to mention one-pieces), but here's just a glimpse:
And you can pair the tops with any type of bottom. These are only some of your options:
If you like the suggestions in this post, you can go ahead and pin it for later :)
Does your family have favourite traditions, activities, treats, or toys for the beach? Please share them in the comments!