Our Top Gear for Beach-Bound Parents
Summer is here in full force. Why not take the time this season to while away a few days down by the shore?
When you do, don't get caught unprepared. Gather your gear and be ready to go at a moment's notice. You don't need much, just a few necessities for you and your little ones. Here's what you need to be made in the shade.
- Protect Your Skin. The first order of business is sunscreen. You'll want one with an SPF of at least 15, though experts generally recommend that you seek higher protection. Also, go for a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. You might even want to get a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face entirely. For kids, hats are a great way to keep little scalps from getting too much exposure.
- Supersize Me. Forget those skinny towels. Think big this summer and get a jumbo beach towel or blanket. Many of the online shops such as Stuff4thebeach.com and beachstore.com boast beach towels and blankets that are 6-feet wide and at least that long. That's a nice patch of blanket on which to rest sand-free.
- A Lightweight, Comfortable Chair. Invest in a sturdy folding beach chair. A chair is a great perch from which to read or relax and still keep an eye on the kids.
- A Sturdy Cooler. If you're going to spend the day by the surf, you'll need some vittles. Look for a strong, reusable cooler (some even come as backpacks) so you can pack a healthy lunch, plenty of water, and healthful snacks for the whole family.
- Sand Toys. Nothing keeps the little ones transfixed at the shore better than a bucket and a shovel. So get a beach play set for the kids, with an assortment of digging tools, sieves, buckets, and other fun plastic sand toys.
And, no trip to the beach is complete without a stop at your local bookstore. Grab that book you've been eager to read or ask the shop owner for a recommendation. Beach plus book equals bliss.