Canadian summers are short, but are they not amazing?
Summer is time for weekends at the cabin, mornings in the garden, and evenings at the lake. But what used to be a simple task of loading up the car and heading out to the local beach pre-kids, has become sort of a pack-the-kitchen-sink scenario with kids. It’s just a day at the lake, no need for the entire house.
Instead, just remember these 8 Simple things and you’ll be rocking your beach day with kids in tow.
You'll need diapers to get to the beach and to get home from the beach. But at the beach, cloth swim diapers provide a great low-waste alternative to single-use swim diapers while tackling the job of capturing poop and keeping babie’s bum always cute. Don’t forget to pack diapers for the drive home, nap, and for hanging around the beach.
2. Sun Protection
UV Protective clothing is our first line of defense at the beach, it’s a great easy way to protect the skin without wrestling children with sunscreen. For all those other body parts choose a mineral barrier sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 without additivies like oxybenzone (known to harm coral reefs and freshwater ecosystems).
3. Hats & Sunglasses
I could have included this in sun protection, but lets' be real, hats and sunglasses are the most frequently forgotten beach item. Hats provide additional sun protection and bug protection during lake days, while sunglasses do their thing protect the eyes. It can be hard to find sunglasses that toddlers don't destroy, but check with your local baby boutique for an array of speciality designed glasses for any baby head. .
4. Blankets & Towels
A blanket to lay on and a towel for each wet kid you bring with you. I usually keep a change mat in the vehicle and this can be great for changing baby bums both in the car and at the beach. It’s also a great way to sit on if the park benches are still wet from the morning dew.
Maybe consider a hooded towel or bath robe for your next beach visit. This past weekend, the kids struggled to keep their towels on but wanted to soak in the warmth of a towel post-swim.
5. Snacks & DrinksCan’t go to the lake without food and water. Packing a cooler with a fresh melon, and a few water bottles will keep you going all day. Staying longer than 2-3 hours, might recommend bringing a lunch/dinner meal like simple sandwiches or a pasta salad to keep bellies full.
Favourite Lake Snacks: Watermelon, carrots & humus, grapes, apple slices, sandwiches, and a bag of pretzels.
6. Beach Toys
Depending on the age of your child, this category is going to flux.
Currently, my kids couldn’t care less for the water so we stick with the classic beach toys for digging, building sand castles. This includes buckets, dozers, and lots of shovels.
As kids get older, swim toys and balls might become a top priority.
Planning on going into the water? Consider bringing water flotation devices for fun and play. If your boating don't forget to pack the correct size PFD for your child.
Remember to keep it simple and your kids only have two hands for playing.
7. The Right Clothing
Don't be my husband and wear long jeans to the lake only to have to chase a toddler who had a change of heart when it comes to swimming. Bring your own swimsuit or shorts, and pack a set of dry clothes for everyone for the ride home.
If you don’t already use them to sort all the things you bring to the lake, wet bags are great for storing all the wet and dirty things you’ll bring home from clothing to toys to even the garbage.
Skip the plastic bag and pack your back full of wetbags of all sizes to sort all the things you need to pack home with you.
From wet towels to keeping clothes dry that need to be dry, and even garbage and toys, wet bags provide the perfect answer to many lake day messes.
I personally like the big hanging wet bags as I can fit a families worth of towels and swim suits in there.