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Family fun

Beach tips, how to plan a great family day

  • 3 minutes

Best time to go to the beach and how make a beach day fun

How to spend the day at the beach is sorted with a checklist for busy families. Plan a day at the beach with the kids with your family and relax. Beach days are fun with plenty of options that do not include lugging a car load of toys.

Sandcastles decoration

WHAT MAKES A GREAT FAMILY BEACH?

Use the handy ten point checklist what is important to identify a great family fun beach.

  • Ease of access as you don’t want to spend several hours getting to the beach with small children in tow
  • Plenty of things to do nearby from playgrounds to cafes and camping grounds
  • Access to safe fresh drinking water
  • Safe shallow swimming spots
  • Rental equipment from SUP, boogie-boards, boat rides, bikes
  • Food vendors with ice cream food carts, coffee outlets
  • Access to clean safe drinking water
  • Public outdoor showers to wash off sand and salt
  • Wooden seafront boardwalks, plenty of seating areas in shady spots and information plaques describing key lookout features
  • Lifeguards in attendance
TIP

Not everything on the ten point checklist is essential, prioritise your list and check whether the planned beach delivers from must-have to optional.

 

HOW TO APPLY SUNSCREEN TO KIDS WITHOUT ADDING GRITTY SAND TO THE MIX?

The best way to apply sunscreen is to slather on a cream while free from clothing at home. Slather and let the sunscreen soak into the skin.  You are creating a shade layer on the skin.

Sand massage
TIP

Clothing for everyone includes a loose coverall providing sun protection on the shoulders, upper legs, upper arms and torso.

Waipatiki Beach, New Zealand @Hawke's Bay NZ
Waipatiki Beach @Hawke's Bay NZ

HOW TO CREATE A TEMPORARY SHADY AREA WHILE AT THE BEACH?

To create a shady spot at the beach carry a beach umbrella and an easy to install tent for kids to eat ‘indoors’ while on the beach.

WHERE TO STORE EXTRA WATER WHILE AT THE BEACH?

  • Freeze used single use water bottles and leave in a chilly bin in the car. Cool melting water at the end of the day is bliss
  • Freeze water bottles and/or carry thermo water bottles for cool water
  • Store damp washcloths, soaked in melting ice cubs in a resealable bag.
  • Pre-cut apples or oranges as a fruit juice supplement
@andrenoboa
@nada_gamal

WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF BAG TO CARRY BEACH GEER?

Beach bags made of mesh are ideal. Sand sifts through and you can easily identify where the sun screen is lurking among the towels and water bottles.

WHERE TO STASH THE MOBILE WHILE TRYING TO MANAGE BEACH FUN WITH THE KIDS?

Waterproof bag or pouch around the neck. Easy for impromptu photos and you can safely jump in the water worry free.

@calebdlucas
TIP

Carry a lightweight mallet to pound unbrella poles, tent poles.

Sandcastle joy at the beach

HOW TO CREATE FUN AT THE BEACH FOR EVERYONE?

  • Forget lugging a bathtub of toys to the beach and use low tide instead to explore the natural world
  • Older kids bring a cricket set, beach volleyball or frisbee
  • Consider whether to hire rental equipment such as SUP, kayaks or boogie boards

HOW TO SURVIVE A DAY AT THE BEACH?

  • Stay hydrated
  • Carry snacks in sand proof wrapping
  • Plan your visit around low tide
  • Check sun UV levels, weather
  • Lifeguards – are they scheduled on duty?
Wharekaho Simpson Beach, Coromandel Pensinsula sunset teenage hot spot hangout, Coromandel, New Zealand
Wharekaho Simpson Beach, Coromandel Pensinsula
Exfoliation, sand the natural beauty treatment

10 TIPS FOR A GREAT DAY AT THE BEACH WITH KIDS

  1. Find seaweed to decorate your sandcastle
  2. Whose got the prettiest shells
  3. What is happening in the rock pools
  4. Discover where the high tide and low tide marks
  5. Build sandcastles and moats
  6. Forage the beach for driftwood however check the driftwood is not already home to beach creatures
  7. Create beach art from angels to sand writing
  8. Wonder about intertidal life and look closely at sand holes
  9. Wait for the incoming tide as it slowly laps around your toes
  10. Snacks are decided beforehand and there is the promise of a reward when they are carefully packed in the mesh tote

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE BEACH?

The best time to visit the beach is an hour or so before low tide for rock pool exploration. For swimmers high tide is optimal.

TIP

Remember to store geer away from the high tide mark and appoint a beach monitor to watch over towels, tent, mesh bags and beach chairs.  The editor of BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDES loves this job as she can write at the same time.

@britozour

IS A BEACH CHAIR USEFUL?

Folding beach chairs are great to sit on yet however small the chair folds into it is another piece of furniture you are carrying. Consider whether a towel is a good substitute for a chunky chair.

BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE

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