We are indeed blessed to be surrounded by so many beaches here in West Michigan. We have the big lake and countless smaller lakes all around us. So, it’s inevitable that we will find ourselves at the beach at some point!
And while beach outings can be a blast, with all that fun comes sand, sand and more sand. And soggy stuff. And sunburn.
So…do we try to avoid the beach? No way! We just find clever ways to deal with the pesky things so we can enjoy the beautiful sights, refreshing water and warm sun!
Here are some handy tips to save your summer by making your trips to the beach easier and stress-free.
2 – A Mesh Bag Helps Leave the Sand and Water Behind
A mesh bag is a lifesaver for those many pails, shovels and other sand toys the kids play with on the beach. Just load up the toys and shake the bag. The excess sand will fall out on the beach rather than in your car or your floors at home. And, the mesh will allow the toys to dry better as well.
3 -Forget Ice Packs – Keep Everything Cold with Food and Drinks
Save room in your cooler by freezing water bottles, juice pouches, yogurt tubes and grapes. Not only will you return home with a lighter load, but you will also have super cold drinks to quench your thirst.
The kids will love slushies made with frozen juice pouches – just be sure to bring along some scissors to snip off the top and a spoon to eat it with.
And for even more fun, freeze some water balloons! They will keep your goods cold and make for a refreshing beach activity later.
4 – Keep the Sand Away (and the Kids Corralled) With a Fitted Sheet
Pack a fitted sheet in your beach bag and anchor it down in the corners with coolers and bags. This will help keep the sand from blowing or being kicked on your sheet and beach gear. And as an added bonus, it can fence the little ones in a bit.
5 – Keep Wet Items Separated with Ziploc Bags
Plastic bags are an easy and inexpensive way to keep your wet bathing suits and towels from getting everything else wet. And the opposite holds true – you can keep things dry as well!
Be sure to include various sizes of plastic bags for all of your beach day needs in your order from Family Fare’s Fast Lane. They will deliver your groceries straight to your car – no need to load the kids into the cart and haul them through the store. It’s easy and so convenient!
6 – Remove All That Sand With a Dust Broom
Keep a small soft bristle dust broom in the car to remove sand from the floor of the car, seats, shoes and anywhere else it lands. You will be so grateful later to leave that sand where it belongs – at the beach!
7 – Leave-in Conditioner or Detangler Will Make for Less Tears Later
Save yourself the agony of tears and turmoil later by applying leave-in conditioner to your child’s hair prior to going to the beach, or by bringing detangler along in your beach bag.
And don’t forget a wide tooth comb or a wet brush to make fighting those sun-kissed tangles that much easier!
8 – Mark Your Sunblock Bottle to Help You Remember When to Reapply
Write the date and times of reapplication on your sunblock bottle to make remembering to reapply sunblock a no brainer.
Sunblock needs to be applied prior to heading out into the sun and then reapplied every two hours (give or take). Read your sunblock bottle instructions and write the reapplication times on the bottle with a marker – super easy!
9 – An Empty Jar Can Save Your Phone, Keys and Wallet from Taking a Splash
There are few things that make your heart sink faster than when your valuables sink to the floor of the lake. Simply clean out a jar (peanut butter, mayonnaise, or whatever will do) and insert your phone, keys and wallet to keep them dry and even sand-free. And with a large enough jar, it will even float!
10 – Use a Kiddie Pool or Cheap Shower Curtain to Make a Small Lakeside Pool for the Little Ones
A big lake can be a little scary with small children. To make it a little less scary, but still fun, bring a kiddie pool and fill it with water (a bucket would come in handy here) to create a little lakeside pool for the little ones. They will love it!
Or, if your car has limited space, buy a cheap shower curtain from the dollar store, dig a hole in the sand and use the curtain as a liner for another lakeside pool alternative. Then, you can simply toss the curtain when you leave or pack it up for next time.
11 – Order Dinner Fixings Before You Leave
At the end of a good beach day, everyone is tired out, but in the best way. Tired as you may be, you still have to figure out dinner. If you plan ahead, you can pick up a nice ready-made dinner on the way home from Fast Lane. Family Fare has a great deli where you can pick things like a rotisserie chicken and potato salad. Or go with a frozen pizza and breadsticks. Either way, you can pull up to Family Fare and grab your order without dragging exhausted kids into the store. (Don’t forget to throw in some ice cream bars for the perfect end to a perfect beach day!)
Carla is a wife and a mom to one adorable little girl. She enjoys reading, catching up with family and friends, organizing, finding new and fun things to do with her daughter, taking far too many pictures, and binge watching TV shows and movies on Netflix with her husband.