When you have kids, preparing for and cleaning up after a day at the beach is no small task. There’s lots of things to remember, lots of things you need to take with you to make sure everybody is safe and has fun, and then the mess of coming home afterwards is quite a headache!
Here are 5 easy tips that will definitely make your day much easier. Not only will it work when going to the beach, but many of these tips will work for any day outing!
Don’t Forget the Must-Haves
Sunscreen. Don’t forget this item! Problem with sunscreen is that it can be messy. If you aren’t a fan of the spray kind (or if it dribbles down the side of the can after you’ve used it), make sure to keep your sunscreen in a zip-seal bag. No mess to get all over everything else in the beach bag!
The beach bag may be the second most important item to pack. A couple of ways to keep things organized in the (gigantic) bags is to make sure you have a carabiner hook that you can use to attach your keys to so they don’t get lost and use an empty makeup back to hold your wallet, cell phone, and any other things you don’t want floating around in the bag.
Ice blocks last longer than ice cubes, so you might want to get one or two blocks instead of bags of ice. Most people put ice in first and the food on top, but if you use blocks, it’s a good idea to put the ice on top (cold travels downwards and the ice is easy to lift up when you get into the cooler).
Freeze bottles of water, juice boxes, fruit, and PB & J sandwiches the night before. They’ll stay cool longer that way and will also help keep everything else cold.
And of course, layer the food so whatever is on top is what you are planning to eat first. Putting the snacks at the very bottom is a bad idea and will make it necessary to rearrange the entire cooler to get to them!
Other Stuff to Make the Day Comfy
First aid kit. A good idea to keep in the car just in case.
You can use paper products to eat off of, but if you invest in some inexpensive reusable plastic plates and silverware, it is more economical in the long run. Don’t forget cloth napkins too!
A plastic tablecloth is a good idea to have with you to cover up a dirty picnic table or to lay on the sand so kids can set their plates along the edges of it.
If you are grilling, don’t forget a utility lighter!
And most important, wet wipes. They’re perfect to clean up spills, little hands, and the plastic dishes after the meal.
The kids are dirty, tired and wet (and you probably are too) and just want to get home. There’s sand everywhere. No problem!
Baby powder sprinkled on skin will help remove stuck on sand.
Pack up everything before the trip into a laundry basket, and then again at the end of the trip. It makes it easier to get everything from the car to the laundry room with the smallest mess factor.
Keep gallon sized zip bags handy to separate wet, sandy, or messy items at the end of the day.
What’s your best tip for a day at the beach?