10 Sanity Tips for Toddlers at the Beach

©SMR Butterfield

It’s 31 degrees today. Sunday. Family time. I have a great idea! Let’s go to the beach! But once we have finally installed ourselves with tons of gear and too much sticky sun cream, I am almost ready to pack up and go home again… Long gone are the days of lazing on the beach listening to my Ipod, reading my Ipad, staring at my toes, sipping a cool drink, while making sure I get an even tan…
It’s just that Oscar loves the beach SO much, and I do love the idea of being at the beach that I want to make the effort, I just wished it was a little bit more relaxing for everyone involved. So I researched and compiled a top 10 list of tips promising to make a beach visit with toddlers a little less of a hassle and a little more fun. Here we go… lets go to the beach, take two.

  1. Baby powder. It turns out, baby powder works as an antidote to sand! Simply dust the powder on your toddler’s sandy hand and feet, and magically the sand brushes right off.
  2. Time. Is, as always, of the essence. Go early and go for 2 hours max. Not a lot of wind equals a calm ocean and little sandstorms. 2 hours is really all you need, it’s like the saying ‘nothing good happens after 2am’ sort of thing (accept for sunburn, crankiness and meltdowns…)
  3. Water. So much water. Why not scale it down a bit and bring a mini blow up paddling pool (or blow up mini boat) that you can park a safe distance from the sea. Great fun and less of a stress factor. You can supervise from your sunbed while still getting that beach feel.
  4. Gazebo. Just do it! It looks as bad as a people mover, but who cares. No sweaty beach shelter that accumulates tons of sand, just a gazebo. It might take some time to set up but then you have a walhalla of shade.
  5. Plastic measuring cups. Yes the ones from the kitchen drawer. Strong together so you can’t loose them!! So much more interesting than that spade.
  6. Mesh bag. Just like the lingerie laundry bag.  The perfect place to hold treasures (like sticks, rocks and shells) and you can easily rinse off the sand without weighing down the bag. A large laundry bag is also great to hold beach toys.
  7. Full bellies. Go straight after breakfast and be home before lunch. Who wants to eat warm and sandy sandwiches? A smoothie in a thermos and lots of cool water is all you need (and maybe some crackers in a ziplock as an emergency backup).
  8. Sunscreen.  A no-brainer, but reminder to self – needs to be applied before we leave home to avoid exfoliating…
  9. Taking Turns: Split the 2 hour beach session in 2 x 1 hour slots of childminding each so you can both work on your tan, snooze, beach walk or read a bit too.
  10.  Sandcastle. With a moat and shells and rocks and sticks… Takes a bit of work to build, but once completed, it’s great fun breaking it down and it can also attract some play buddies. (Tip: great activity for dad while you take the first slot of relaxing!)
    Sources:
    Babycentre
    The Taylor House