Monday, August 6, 2012


I love the beach!  I love the soft sand, the crashing waves, and the soft serve ice cream cones that taste different when you eat them at the beach.  One of my favorite things to do in the summer time is to go to the beach.  Around here, the closest beach is the Jersey shore.  It is not exactly like the crystal clear waters and bright clean sands that you may find in Kauai (my favorite being Hanakapi`ai beach which you have to hike to on the Hanakapi trail...  and which so far is the most scenic trail I've ever hiked)  However, Jersey Shore has a culture of its own with greasy fried boardwalk food, games, rides... so for lots of folks around here, Jersey Shore is a tradition.  My favorite Jersey shore beach at the moment is Ocean Grove.  It is the shortest drive for us and is quiet and never too crowded during the times we've been there.  Further more, I think it has the best quality sand and water compared to the other Jersey Shore beaches we've been to.

Now, going to the beach with little kids is a whole different ball game.  This past weekend, my two older girls made friends with these other two girls exactly their same age but they had an older brother instead of a younger brother.  I got talking to their mom and she told me that this is the first year where she finds herself really "relaxing" while at the beach.  Her youngest is two and a half and her oldest is six.  So all her kids are capable of playing on their own with some supervision.  Previous years, she still had to deal with sand eating.  Well, that's about the stage we are at with our youngest who just turned one.  However, different from his sisters, E actually fell asleep while I was bjorning him and I was able to transfer him to our beach tent where he stayed asleep for greater than an hour!  He did this two days in a row.  The crashing waves must remind him of his sound machine that we use in his room when he naps and sleeps at night.

So couple of tips I found helpful when going to the beach with little ones:

  • using the spray type of sunblock is much faster to apply on the kids and less greasy especially when it is time to reapply and there is sand everywhere!
  • having some sort of beach tent is huge when there is a baby involved because if they can fall asleep under some shade then you've just bought yourself some "relaxing time"  (i suppose a towel and an umbrella would work too but if baby wakes up and you want them out of the sand a little longer they may play in the tent if u have enough entertainment for them)... if possible get the kind that just pops open without all the poles.  I miss our old tent that does that.
  • we didn't try this yet but a friend of ours would bring an inflatable kiddie pool... fill it up real good once and may save lots of back and forth trips with little buckets for the kiddos' sand creations... plus they can splash in it or just play in it and be entertained for hours again buying more "relaxing time" for mom and dad
  • water shoes helpful if lots of shells on the beach or if sand is super hot
  • keep reapplying the sunblock!
  • beach toys... gotta have lots so they stay entertained and best if more than one of each type is brought to decrease the chance of fighting
  • so how to lug all this stuff to the sand?  we've used a wagon... or their stroller... may be hard to drag on the sand but I think it's still easier than carrying it all by hand
  • finally, decrease expectations, relax, and have fun!

Anything else you all can think of?