Between sandcastle and sunburn: What you should consider with children at the beach

Splish, splash, we’re taking a bath! In one of Mother Nature’s somewhat larger bathtubs: the sea. While this prospect is met with cries of joy from kids, parents’ heads start to chatter. We, therefore, provide you with an overview of things you should consider when a vacation by the sea is on the agenda.
Your first beach vacation with the kids is just around the corner: anticipation and nervousness alternate like the tides. Are you wondering what to pack for the beach, when the best time to visit the ocean is and how to stay as relaxed as possible? So that you do not have to rack your brains, we have collected the most important tips for your vacation at the sea.
Safety first: well protected from the sun, accidents and theft
In the hectic morning rush, you decide without further ado to just smear the little ones with sunscreen on the beach? Not a good idea: always apply waterproof sunscreen with a high SPF at home, otherwise the grains of sand will give you an unwanted peeling effect. Sun spray is easier to spread than cream and less sticky. Don’t forget a light head covering and ideally pack an umbrella: even if you can get hold of a parasol on the beach, you’ll be glad for another shade provider. Also remember to pack some first aid items such as waterproof plasters, small scissors, disinfectant spray and cooling gel. It’s best to keep money in a place other than a conspicuous purse – for example, in an empty, washed-out sunscreen bottle. Before going to the beach is also an ideal time to remind the little ones of the first commandment of safety:
Never go with strangers. Not even if they have a cute puppy with them.
No chance for a growling stomach: the ideal catering
“Bello coco, coco bello,” shouts a coconut vendor somewhere, and your offspring will take notice. So that the blood sugar level does not sink to the same level as the sea level, it is best to take enough snacks with you: After all, the natural enemy of a relaxing day at the beach is a hungry child. Take food with you that is easy to portion and doesn’t get sandy easily, like blueberries and grapes instead of cutting fruit. Cookies – without chocolate, of course – are also good for the beach. A cooler bag, a set of camping cutlery and empty bags for packaging waste and leftovers are also recommended. And of course, nothing goes without drinks: make sure your kids drink enough on a hot day in the sun. Our secret tip: Put a few (not quite full) water bottles in the freezer the night before and leave them in the car on the beach on bathing day. Over the course of the day, the ice will melt and you’ll have a cool refreshment ready for the return trip.
Fun and games: Entertainment on the beach
Less is sometimes more: Most kids like to play sand castle architect on the beach anyway and don’t need much more than a shovel and a bucket. Small toys get lost in the sand easily and you certainly don’t feel like digging for various small items at the end of the day.
Take one or two children’s books with you, because at some point your offspring might start to get exhausted and it’s time for a quiet reading break. Pack water wings and tires for the little ones and don’t forget beach-appropriate shoes – walking on heated sand is like walking on red-hot coals. And don’t forget your own entertainment: While the kids fight fierce water battles, you can cosy up with a magazine. Of course, make sure you never lose sight of the little ones.
Practical tips to keep a cool head
Even if you like to doze an hour or two longer on vacation, it’s worth starting your day at the beach as early as possible. That way, you’re more likely to get a well-located spot and not arrive at the hottest time. If you’re travelling with a baby or toddler, take a sling rather than a stroller, which gives you a clear advantage on sandy ground. And bring one or two more towels than you think you need: Trust us, you’ll need them. Ziploc bags are great for storing clothes and shoes and putting them back on later without getting caught in a sand bath in between. You should also pack a reusable plastic bag for your wet bathing suits. Speaking of unwanted sand, a mesh bag can save you some nerve. While the light-coloured grains quickly collect in backpacks and burlap bags, they simply fall through the net.
And as beautiful as time at the seaside is, the mood can quickly change, especially when it’s hot and strenuous. Sometimes it’s enough to turn a day at the beach into just a half-day at the beach and spend the afternoon a little more quietly. Despite all the tried-and-tested tips, we have to face the facts in the end: One or other “Hoppala” can hardly be avoided on a family vacation. Take the waves as they come and don’t get stressed. The most important thing is still that you enjoy the time with your loved ones.

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