Monday, June 20, 2016

Beach Day: 4 Tricks For Having An Easy Beach Day With The Kids!!!

Here where I live, we've been having a heat wave. The first of many to come I'm sure. Today was the hottest of the last few days, hitting close to 90 where I specifically reside. Seeing as how today is officially the first day of summer, we've decided to skip staying home in front of the fan and head straight for our favorite picnic spot. The beach!

Now going to the beach can be a little hectic when you have kids by your side. With all the toys, sand everywhere, and trying to keep a close eye on your stuff along with the little ones, sometimes going to the beach can be more stressful than relaxing. At least for this momma and I'm only dealing with one precious boy. 

Seeing as how we have easy access to the gorgeous San Diego beaches, we've gone quite a bit and after many trials and tribulations, I've finally gotten our beach routines down to a science! Well, down to a comfort level that let's us all rest and play with ease. Keep in mind though that this is for one adult and one kid. I will however mention a few added tips I found useful for when we were accompanied by fellow parent/kid friends. So without further ado, here are my top tips on how to 

1. Bring your own blow up pool!
My son loves the water, but he tends to get a bit freaked by the huge waves. He's a little guy who could easily be taken down, so his worries are understood. He also tends to get cold easy and immediately wants to go build sand castles. This leads us to be running back and forth every couple of minutes to compensate for his mixed body temperatures. I'll be perfectly honest, this isn't my idea of fun. So to allow for my son to have easy access and keep this momma from walking constantly between a bunch of people every 5 minutes, I decided to bring our very own blow up pool! 


My son's pool is an alligator/dragon type pool that comes with a mini slide. We bought it at our local grocery store for $20 and it's been the best $20 I've ever purchased. Not only do I use this on rainy day's for our indoor ball pit (see HERE for my "rainy day ideas"), but it makes for a perfect summer time pool no matter where we are! I will say that this does take a little time when you're blowing it up without an electronic pump, but really it only took me about 15 minutes to blow up the entire thing with my hand pump. It's a good workout for the arms. At least that's what I tell myself. 

Our pump came with a blow up chair we purchased at Toy's "R" Us, but you can purchase one at Walmart for $12 that blows up items like pool toys and sports balls. 

This allows me to blow up the pool in any location and with a simple toy bucket - and 5 trips to the ocean - we filled the pool to a nice "waiting pool" level. Not too much that he's soaked, but just enough so he can sit and relax. 

The alligator pool is big enough to accommodate two small kids comfortably. To be honest, I fit inside it with him. With this big pool, he's able to be in the water, play with his toys without worry they'll be dragged away in the waves, and we don't have to worry about running back and forth. Plus, this makes for an AWESOME cleaning station. Simply grab another bucket of water and rinse off the toys, kids, and shoes. Then dry them off on a clean towel and the only thing sandy will be the feet. You can take care of those with my next tip.

2. Bring gallons of "cleaning" water!
I always have 2-3 gallons of tap water in my car. This allows me to handle practically any "dirty" situation that we may face. I'm not the biggest fan of sand all over my son's car-seat or hearing "I'm itchy" the entire car ride home. So to avoid the showers - and complaints of water in his eyes - I simply make a rinse him off with the water I bring with me. You can do this in the pool like I previously mentioned or simply rinse them off next to the car. My son wears sandals that can get wet, so he stands in those. 

As for privacy, I rinse off the top half first, wrap him up in a towel, them secretly rinse off his legs with water while he holds the towels out like he's eaten an entire turkey. Plus I open up the driver and rear car doors, giving us a tiny bit of shelter. My son's privacy is my first concern. 

Packing extra clean clothes is important for this, because you don't want to put them back in dirty clothes. You have no idea how many peaceful trips home we've had, just because my little guy is clean-ish without complaints. Besides, 9/10 times we stop for ice-cream at the Rite-Aid down the street from the beach - it's just our "thing" - and having a "clean" kid is so much easier to deal with. Trust me on this one!

3. Pack food that will help hydrate!
When we go to the beach, we never take our woven picnic basket unless I pack an insulated lunch bag as well. Seeing as how I really wanted to stock up on fruit, I used my bigger lunch bag which does not fit inside our basket. This also eliminates sand in our food.

Staying hydrated on a hot day at the beach is extremely crucial, especially with little kids. Fruit is our favorite. I do pack chicken sandwiches or edamame as well, but today was extra hot, so we went full fruit. 


My favorite packs are the "Fruitful Medley" - includes mango, watermelon, antelope, blueberries, kiwi, and pineapple - and a pack of fresh sliced watermelon and mango. My son prefers the watermelon (hence the separate pack) and I prefer everything with extra mango (hence the other two packs). Of course with this fruit, we also make sure to drink TONS of water. I pack my son's water bottle with only ice and an extra water bottle for me with only ice. Then I buy a couple huge waters from Trader Joe's and drink away. 

Gatorade's can feel refreshing on hot days like this as well, but because we were having so much natural sugar (the fruit), I didn't want to add to my son's sugar intake. So water was our only drink. 

4. Use a laundry basket to carry all your beach needs!
Seeing as how most of the time my son and I go to the beach alone, I'm always stuck carrying everything by myself. This isn't always easy and I don't like making multiple trips, so I decided to use a plastic laundry basket. I can't even begin to tell you how much easier this has made things. It holds all of my son's toys, his alligator pool (when deflated of course), our umbrella, our towels, our water, and our lunch. 

I got our laundry basket as a gift for my son's baby shower, so I'm not exactly sure where it came from, but I've seen a really cool one that would be PERFECT for beach - and park - activities! It's the TORKIS at Ikea and it's only $5! (See HERE) It's super flexible and a really decent size. Seeing as how you could use this for so many things, I think it's a great investment. I'm actually thinking about buying one for myself, as it's a little bigger than the one we currently use. Plus having a plastic basket to hold your beach stuff, makes for an easy clean up! 

Also, if you have boogie board, you can simply place it on top of the laundry basket and use as a mini table! Score!!!

And there you have it. My top 4 tips on how my son and I have an easy - and stress free - day at the beach! Now that I've actually gotten things down to a smooth operation, I actually enjoy the beach more. Yes blowing up the pool and deflating can take a little extra time, but I truly feel it's time well spent. My son's happy, I'm happy, and everyone can relax without worry. Who would've thought 4 easy tips could make for a relaxing day, even with kids! 

So go out there and enjoy this gorgeous weather! Happy Summer everyone and may it be filled with sunshine and delicious food!

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