Family Beach Day

By: Trent Soares
Here are some things that I have learned as part of my experience with taking a toddler to the pool/beach/lake. Outside of the obvious of packing sunscreen and floaties I would like to share some parenting tips that have helped my family.
Getting from the car to the perfect spot is tricky. You always have to be ready to pick the kiddo up so I have found that buying a wagon or rolling carts with tough, sand-ready wheels are a smart asset. I have had a huge success with loading up my wagon prior to the trip. That way the drop off and pick up is smooth because there is room in the car for the load. Bonus features are ones that fold up, this is extremely clutch for keeping the garage gym dream alive.
I have an infant and toddler. When my daughter was one we bought a half pop-up tent that provided as a protected place to take a beachside nap. The last thing I would want to be dragging around is a big old umbrella. Plus the pop-up tent folds up a lot more smaller.
Now obviously you need to bring a cooler but maximizing space in here is key.  Who has room for bulky ice packs? I like to freeze water bottles, applesauce packs, and half cut grapes the night before. I don’t have to worry about ice, and at the end of the day, the cooler is empty if not, lighter than before.
Treasure Hunt
Unfortunately my kids are nowhere near playing catch yet so bring a football or frisbee is out of the question. Randomly creating a treasure hunt gave us a solid hour of playtime. We were looking for flip flops, golf balls, wristbands, Nemo and Dori. Once everything was found I got to hide them all over again and enjoy the search party from the comfort from my lounge chair. I would suggest planning ahead and bringing bigger objects.
I hope these tips can help you and your family maximize your beach/pool/lake day of fun!