Beach Necessities

By: Abby Keane

We’ve been spending quite a bit of time at the beach this summer, and have done a fairly good job of perfecting our list of necessary supplies for the beach.

  1.  A Shelter of Some Sort – We use a three-sided tent purchased at the Christmas Tree Shops.  Not only is it important to protect your skin from too much sun, especially for the little ones, but we just burn much too easily in our family.  Depending on how “distractible” your little one is, you might even be able to use this space to encourage an afternoon nap on the beach.  It’s also great to have a shady location to put your cooler, your sunblock, and anything else you don’t want getting too heated up.
One of our two GIANT buckets of beach toys

2.  A GIANT Bucket of Beach Toys – This seems to be what everyone at the beach is doing, and if you don’t have your own GIANT bucket of beach toys, there is a high likelihood that your children will find the nearest GIANT bucket of beach toys, and try to steal it.

3.  Good Hats for Everyone, Especially the Kids – Finn actually loves baseball hats, and wears them very willingly.  Eamon…does not.  My mom found a great hat for him this year, made by Wallaroo Kids.  It has a wide brim around the entire hat, and a Velcro chin strap.  Once the strap is fastened, he mostly accepts that it’s on to stay and ignores it from then on.

4.  Yummy and Cooling Beach Snacks and Drinks – Our favorite of the summer is frozen grapes!  We also usually bring cut up strawberries, sandwiches for lunch, each kids gets a small container of pretzels/goldfish/veggie sticks.  I recommend going easy on the salty snacks, as they can be a bit dehydrating.  We also make sure to freeze a few bottles of water the night before, so that even at the end of our beach day, we still have nice, cold water.

5.  A Good Beach Blanket – Even if you are happy to hang out on just a beach towel, a nice, big beach blanket can help claim your territory and keep others from encroaching on your space.

Water safety item of choice – this all depends on the age of your kids.  For our boys, they are still in life jackets.  For some, this may mean floaties.  Whatever your choice, just make sure to use them!

The final item is most definitely not a necessity, but is a luxury my family has thoroughly enjoyed this summer.  We have an SUV with 4-wheel drive, and we purchased an over-sand permit for the Duxbury beach for the summer.  It was certainly an investment and a luxury, but it has been worth its weight in gold.  Being able to leave items in the car until/unless they’re needed is fabulous.  Not having to lug all the above items and more from the car to the prime beach spot is amazing.  Being able to load up the kids as soon as they hit melt-down stage is surely appreciated by all the nearby beach-goers.  And a final perk – once you back into your space, you “own” the space starting directly behind your car, running in an eight foot strip all the way to the ocean.  It’s really awesome to have so much space for your family.  Although this is certainly not for everyone, if you’re able to do it, I would.  It completely transformed the beach experience for me.

Finally, remember to enjoy!  Build some sand castles with the kids and splash in the waves.  Although the beach is no longer the relaxing experience it once was (seriously, I don’t even bother bringing a book anymore!), it’s great in a whole new way.

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