You can have so much fun at the beach. I know no one especially likes the sand and it gets everywhere, you get a sore throat from barking “don’t throw sand” 42 bajillion times, but it is worth it. We live pretty close to Scarborough beach, about 40 mins away so many a day have been spent at the nicer, more secluded beaches. I was thinking about beach trips and what to take with you, because quite often you end up taking so much, or nothing at all and then having to buy it (like buckets and spades… there is always a que at those shops right?!) so I thought I’d put together a little list of what we take on out trips to the beach, and just as importantly what we bring back!
To the beach we go!
- Towels and swimwear. This is pretty much a given isn’t it? Even if (like me) you probably won’t get into your swimwear and will keep your shorts and top on, its wise to have. When you choose swimwear for kiddos you really want something that is going to protect them from the sun, the beach is often the most common place for people to suffer burns because it isn’t as warm as inland, and it is windy so people tend to forget the extra protection assuming they will be ok! We’ve used Sunuva swimwear which is lush but on the pricey side and we’ve used the cheaper options from Next which are, bluntly, just as good and cute to boot!
- A change of clothes for everyone. Everyone. I always take a change of clothes for the boys but forget them for me! The last time we went in France Edith fell over in the sea and got a bit of a surprise as a wave crashed over her – admittedly it was all impromptu so I didn’t have a change of clothes for her OR me or anyone else… it was one wet ride back to camp!!
- Toys. Don’t be one of the people queuing at the beach for toys, the kids will only get frustrated, not to mention they are always double the price! Most supermarkets sell normal beach toys etc, or if you want something that will last forever and is absolutely awesome with so many different functions then I can personally recommend Quut beach toys, they are awesome and we had so much fun digging, scooping, building, knocking down. You get the idea!
- Change (cash in coins). This is something I always forget but change is good to have for public toilets, ice cream, water and parking. It’s less frustrating than trying to find change too as most small places at the beach won’t change your notes – trust me, as someone who is more at home in the city and has asked for a cappuccino and the apple pay at a beach hut before, I know how annoying trying to find change can be. Assume you are in medieval times and you’ll be fine at most beach towns.
- Snacks. Yes they are going to get sandy. Yes that is gross, but at 3 years old Reuben didn’t mind the sandy cocktail sausages and Edith doesn’t mind them at 3 now, they just want something to keep them going. I would recommend things like mini cheddars, weetbix biscuits, cocktail sausages or chicken bites, and pre cut fruit. Things like bananas are great for the journey home, but unfortunately too many times the boys have been distracted and put half a banana down, only to find it is inedible when they want it later!
- Water. One of those massive 5 litre bottles. We take it for topping up our drinks bottle, but also for washing off all of the sand when we get to the car. That way we don’t have to be uncomfortable until we get home for a shower!
- Your mobile phone. For emergencies as well as for pictures. There is a great app called Amber alert that stores all of your child’s details and a recent picture of them. It is suppose to be really difficult to recall simple information like hair and eye colour in moments of stress so this is great to have just in case your child wanders off and gets lost.
So you’ve had your fun, now what to bring home:
Beaches are havens of treats for art projects and the like, I honestly can’t recommend foraging for goodies enough! We never leave the beach empty handed and always take a little bag along with us for storing our goodies until we get home.
- Stones and pebbles. These are awesome fun not only can you add them to rockeries or fairy gardens (see my post here) but you can enjoy painting them and then use them to decorate the house!
- Shells. There is no limit to what you can do with shells. Make jewellery, add the to art work, use them to paint with, use them as templates, add them to a rockery or fairy garden OR you could even make a terrarium when you get home to commemorate your beach trip!
- Coral from the beach. You can’t legally take coral from the open sea in most places, and morally, you never should as it’s a vital part of the sea’s ecosystem, that being said any broken bits you find on the shore are fair game and so beautiful! I have some coral that my husband and I found on the beach on our honeymoon in our bathroom. It is beautiful and although it is essentially only fragments that I have bunched together it looks lovely and reminds us of a time when we could actually sleep more than 4 hours in a row!
That’s it really, you can bring other things like bits of wood or fossils if you find them, just make sure they aren’t sharp or rotten!
I hope you get to enjoy at least one beach day this year, we had so much fun and hopefully we’ll get to go a few more times in the not too distant future!