What would summer be without a trip to the beach? Whether you're ocean-side or lakefront, these simple suggestions will help make the day fun for everyone.
- Slather sunblock lotion on yourself and your children before you head outside, to ensure total coverage. Spray formulas are especially good to use once you're on the beach, since they're less messy.
- Protect your family against harmful rays by using a beach umbrella and avoiding peak sun hours. Plan to hit the beach early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the sun isn't as strong. The beach may also be less crowded during those times, giving you more room to spread out.
- Bring bug spray. In addition to using sunscreen, spray bug repellent on yourself and the little ones to avoid getting bit by those pesky mosquitoes and flies.
- Pack a picnic lunch. Building sand castles and bobbing in the waves can be thirsty work. Fill a cooler with an assortment of juice boxes and bottled water, plus sandwiches, summer fruits and peeled vegetables to feed your little beachcombers throughout the day.
- Play ball! A wide beach is the perfect place to help your children sharpen their throwing and catching skills. Just be sure to stand far enough away from your neighbors' towels.
- It's amazing how much sand gets stuck to your kids' bodies by the end of the day, isn't it? Instead of dipping them in the freezing-cold ocean or rubbing their skin with a towel to get the sand off, simply apply baby powder to their bodies and wipe away clean.
- Bring a piece of the beach home with you by collecting a bucket of seashells. Your child will enjoy using them to make sea-themed craft projects. Glue shells to a piece of construction paper or poster board to create ocean artwork. Or glue googly eyes to a clamshell to make a marine pet your kids will love.