Tuesday, July 29, 2014

tips for beach fun with a toddler

Two or so weeks ago we went on a little family vacation to the beach [has it really been so long ago?!]. We went with Landon's parents and sisters and while we were down there two other families that are friends with Landon's family came down to the same place we were staying. It was lots of fun and very restful [most of the time]. I want to go back and stay forever [eh... kind of]. I'm going to share some pictures of our trip sometime soon, but before I do I just wanted to share some things that were helpful to us / things that we did as we had a little toddler in tow that allowed us to enjoy our vacation a little bit more.

- bring a big beach bag. I had always managed to use a little bag in the past or none at all, but to carry a toddler, three towels, sunscreen, hats, diapers, wipes, extra change of clothes for the boy, beach toys, sunglasses, books [just in case I had a minute to read], waters, snacks, and a few other things required a bag, and a big one. I splurged [for me at least, it was a penny short of $10] on this one and am so glad I did. It helped me carry the boy and the stuff with at least a little bit of grace and poise... I'm sure it will serve us well over the next two decades. 

- have toys for the little one. Just a few sand toys helped occupy Emerson for hours. 

- bring snacks. We aren't really snackers, but let me tell you Emerson ate so many snacks while at the beach I thought he was going to gain 10 pounds [or maybe just two]. He didn't, but that's how much the boy snacked. The snacks gave him something to do, kept him occupied, and even kept him still for long bouts of time, which is amazing. 

- bring extra water [to drink]. Use a fun water bottle or a simple one... Most of the time E wanted my water bottle more than the water in his zippy cup, so it soon became his and I had to get a different one. I was just happy that he was drinking water, it's very important you know. 

- bring a pool floaty. It's good to have one so the little guy [or girl] can splash in the pool [assuming there is a pool]. Unfortunately for us Emerson didn't really like the pool, there was no kiddie pool, and the pool didn't have a gradual incline into the water, it was the steps and then 3 or 4 feet deep. He didn't like it, but we kept trying and encouraging the float. Maybe next year? You never know what your little one will like, so it's important to be prepared.      

- bring a little blowup pool. It may sound silly, but it was a life saver [and probably the one thing I would recommend the most]. Emerson didn't like the ocean one bit [until the very last day we were there and he let Landon take him out a little bit further into the water. He giggled, kicked, splashed, and waved at me for all of four minutes and then he was done]. Having the little pool allowed E to enjoy the water without being scared in the big pool or the bottomless ocean. We carried the pool down in the morning and then Landon and his dad would fill it up with ocean water. E loved it. He loved sitting and splashing in it -especially when someone got in with him. We were all so thankful for the little pool at the beach. We would set it up in the shade of an umbrella and know that our little guy could have as much fun as he wanted without getting too much sun. At the end of the day we [read: Landon and/or his dad] would empty the water and just carry it back to the room. 

- bring baby powder. I had a bottle of baby powered sitting unopened in Emerson's closet since before he was born. I'd never used it [obviously] but, I can't imagine not having it at the beach. If you don't have some, get it. You will be so thankful you did. After the little one rolls around in the sand and splashes in the water they will be covered -and you all know how hard it is to get all the sand off you. When the little one is done playing [or just wants a snack free of sand] just sprinkle [or pour] baby powder on the sand covered areas and rub it around. The sand will fall off and the baby will be dry. It's instant. It's amazing. It's magic I tell you. You will be thankful you have it and sad you don't [if you don't have it that is]. 

- Enjoy the beach and the baby/toddler as much as you can. It's so much fun to see your little one exploring, laying in the sand, smashing sand castles, splashing in the water, trying to walk on the sand.... Soak in every minute. If friends and family are there with you, let them play with your little one so you can enjoy a minute to read or lay out without having to worry about the little peanut. 

Anyhow, those are my tips for optimizing your fun at the beach with a little one. I know it helped us have fun and really enjoy each day we had there together. What are some of the things you do at the beach with your little one[s]? 


Jillian said...

Very helpful tips!!! Thanks for sharing :)

Lauren said...

great tips! a beach vacation can be super easy for entertainment purposes...but man, there can be a lot of gear involved!