This summer, be prepared when you hit the beach with your kids. When you pack, be sure to consider how long you will be out so you know how much supplies you will need, such as packing for a snack or for a full lunch if you plan to spend the whole afternoon at the beach. If you have young children, you may want to additionally bring diapers/water-safe diapers and water-wings or other flotation devices. Make a checklist of all the things you will need to stuff in your beach bag, and be sure not to forget these necessities.
Sunscreen: Never leave home in the summer without your sunscreen, and be sure your kids are covered with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 that blocks out UVA and UVB rays, and that they reapply their sunscreen on a long day after several dips in the water.
Hats or Visors and Sunglasses: Sun protection does not just end at sunscreen – protect your kids’ eyes with sunglasses, and give them hats and visors so that they can better see what they are doing on the beach instead of squinting into the sun.
Water Bottles: Bring plenty of water, including a jug and cups if you have it, as dehydration can set in quickly after just a few hours in the sun. Even if your kids say they are not thirsty, make sure they are still sipping on some cool water throughout your outdoor activities.
Towels: Consider bringing double the towels you will need so that your child has one to use to dry off, and a second one to sit on in the car if your child and the first towel are both soaking wet.
Beach Toys: Keep the kids busy for hours with a shovel and pail for endless sand castle creations, or pack a Frisbee or football for older kids to toss on the beach.
Clothing: If you don’t want to bring your kids home in their wet bathing suits, pack a few shirts, shorts, and underwear so that they are ready to change into more comfortable clothes for the ride home.
Swim Shoes: Swim shoes are a must for rocky North Shore beaches, so avoid the ouch with a set of swim shoes for each child.
Lotion or Aloe Vera: Speaking of ouch, in the event that you miss a spot when covering up with sunscreen, bring after-sun lotion to apply in the car before the burn fully sets in.
Snacks: Instead of shelling out all of your cash at a beach hut for some simple snacks for the kids, bring some snacks of your own that will withstand the sunshine for a bit, such as granola bars, chips, apples, or crackers.
Brown Paper Bags or Plastic Bags: If your kids are the beachcombing kind, slip some bags in your beach tote for them to fill with their various treasures that they want to take home.