Ok, ok. So we may have *just* started spring, but it’s been a long and brutal winter for most of us. Don’t judge me for jumping straight ahead to summer after a weekend of glorious sunshine and 80 degree weather! While we haven’t officially hit Summer yet, I know it’s just around the corner.
With the sun setting after 7pm, our weekends seem longer and we’re able to squeeze in some extra fun during the week too. We’ve been hitting the sand after school and getting our beach on before dinner with our newfound extra hour of sunshine. As my husband is getting home from work, my little buddy and I are walking in the door smelling like summertime. (He isn’t jealous at all – lol).
“And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling.” — Shanti
Living near the beach in Southern California means always having a beach bag packed and ready to go any time between March and October. As any parent knows, going to the beach as an adult versus going with kids in tow are two completely different beasts. As a new mom, I completely overpacked. I know you did too (or maybe you still do?!?).
However, over the years I’ve found that you really don’t need as many family beach day essentials as you think you do. Here is a list of our go-to items, just 4 things you truly need, perfect for the minimalist.
I’m a big fan of swimwear with built-in UPF sun protection so I’m loving Under Armour’s new 2019 kids’ swimwear line. Whistler has always worn a rash-guard at the pool or beach, so we’ve gone through quite a few over the years. My biggest pet peeve is how quickly most fade, but our new Under Armour Big Logo Surf Shirt is made from salt-resistant materials which help prevent fading and wear. Add in it’s UPF 40+ sun protection and quick dry fabric and this shirt is a keeper.
While Whistler thinks his Under Armour Plaid Check Volley Shorts are pretty cool looking, like the UA Surf Shirt, I’m really loving that it’s also made from salt & chlorine-resistant materials to help prevent fading and wear in the water. With it’s quick dry fabric, I can worry less about bringing half of the ocean into my car and onto the seats – and more about how long we can watch the sunset before having to head home.
And don’t forget to protect your eyes too! Bring those sunglasses and make sure the kids are wearing them as often as possible (I know this isn’t always possible – hah!). Hats are a great idea as well, especially for younger children.
I used to bring 3-5 different types (one for the kids, one for our faces, one for the husband, two for me) but that got old real quick. After realizing that while we all started off using different products, we did eventually all end up using the same product for re-application, I started just bringing that one product instead.
Apply your individual preferences at home, but when you bring an extra tube or spray bottle along with you to re-apply, just make sure it’s something multi-functional that everyone can use. For us, a waterproof SPF 50 for sensitive skin meets everyone’s needs and provides adequate protection for an afternoon. Make sure your lip balm has SPF in it too!
Forget lugging the reclining beach chair or some fancy mat back and forth. The moment I gave up “needing” these things and simply bringing towels instead, was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Sit or lay on the towels and enjoy the feeling of warm sand. Bonus is that whoever goes into the ocean usually ends up wearing a towel home so that’s one less thing to carry in your bag on the way back!
This is a no-brainer, but bring water. We use our favorite re-usable containers, fill them with water and then just keep them in the freezer. The block of ice water (which also doubles as a cooling device) will stay cold for several hours, but still melt enough for drinking when needed. If you need it to melt faster, just cover it with warm sand!
What about toys, you ask? Won’t the kids get bored without them!?!?
You’re at the beach – everything is a toy! My son builds sand castles and digs ditches with his hands. He finds so many sticks, shells, rocks, bugs, animals to play with that he never ends up playing with any of the toys we have ever brought with us.
So one day, I just stopped. I didn’t tell anyone and guess what? No one noticed or complained they were “missing”. Go figure. The one exception I do like to pack is a frisbee. It’s flat, light and anyone can play. It can also double as a shovel or shell collection container!
Sponsored post by Red Tricycle for Under Armour. All opinions are my own.