I’m the type of parent who gets to the beach and realizes I didn’t bring any diapers for the baby, let alone swim diapers. I will forgot towels, a beach blanket and beach toys, but I’ll have a 12” sub resting next to a LaCroix tucked safely in my bag. And Sun Chips. And a chocolate-chip cookie. There’s really no excuse for this, other than my blood sugar needs more attention than a newborn.
Chicago’s beaches will be calling us any day now, and with all of the helpful tips and hacks on the internet, a day at the beach has the potential to be seamless and organized. You just need all the best information in one place!
Here are nine of the absolute easiest, most genius parenting hacks for your next beach day.
Put your phones in a plastic baggie
I’ve heard a mason jar, Pringles can, even an old peanut butter jar, but they are not as effective because you can’t text or efficiently screen your calls through a mason jar. Plastic bags are perfectly sand and water resistant, and touch screens are easily accessible through the thin plastic.
Baby powder for sandy feet and legs
Baby powder removes moisture, and once you remove moisture the sand will easily wipe off little feet. No more sticking sandy toes in shoes!
Fitted sheet trick
A beach blanket is a fan favorite, but have you ever considered a fitted sheet? Its light, portable and way harder to kick sand over, amiright? Put your beach bag, coolers and towels etc in the four corners and you have a nice little “fenced off” area for kids to play. Also, it can be annoying when people walk right through the center of your blanket to get to theirs; this fitted sheet trick will deter sandy steps from strangers as well.
The sponge lei
If your kid gets overheated and dehydrated, this hack will cool them down and hydrate them at the same time. Cut up new sponges into a few pieces and string them like a necklace. Wet and freeze them, and store them in your beach cooler until the little ones get hot. Yes, it may sound funny, but it is completely functional and brilliant. OneCrazyHouse.com has a really great DIY sponge lei to replicate.
Store snacks in containers that have snap-shut lids
The crinkly bags that chips and pretzels come in are a sandy disaster waiting to happen. When you can pour a perfect snacking size portion into the palm of your hand, there’s no need to reach in the bag with wet/soggy and sandy paws. The containers are durable but also disposable so you don’t need to feel guilty if you don’t have room to bring them back home. (There’s always less room on the way back somehow.)
If you’ve ever dropped your house keys in a lake, you know how much time and energy this trick can save. Plus, if you have a favorite wine, or a date night you want to remember forever, picking a cork from that special bottle can be meaningful as well as practical.
Mesh laundry basket for sand toys
Stop taking half the beach home with you. Sure, your beach bag with the colorful pom-poms is totes adorbs, but there’s no way it will make it home unscathed. Mesh will let the sand shake out easily, and at $5 a pop, they won’t break the bank like that department store tote.
DIY sand toys
No need to go out and buy colorful plastic buckets, you have perfectly good “toys” in your kitchen. Tupperware in different sizes can make great sandcastles, while plastic measuring cups and wooden spoons can help scoop. Straws and other random trinkets can help spark imaginative play as well. Load them up in your mesh basket for easy storage to and from the beach.
Fill old spray bottles with ice water
I still buy hairspray and most of my sun tan lotions in good old-fashioned spray bottles. Wash them out (really well) and fill them with ice water. You can cool yourself down without wearing a sponge lei (kids sure look cute in them though!) You can also add a little apple cider vinegar or aloe vera so when your skin starts getting red you have immediate relief.
I hope you liked these mom-inspired beach hacks! Let us know if you’ve used any of these tricks or plan to!