5 Things I Will NOT Take to the Beach with Kids

My previous post on 5 must have items to bring to the beach with kids discussed what I have found helpful.  Today, I am talking about 5 things I will NOT take to the beach with kids.  Pinterest cracks me up sometimes with the ridiculous parenting ideas and tips.  Some of the suggestions would take so long to prepare or take up so much space in the beach bag, rolling cart or wagon that it is just ludicrous.  So here is my commentary about what you should not take to the beach with kids to save your back, your patience and your time:

  1.  A zillion sand toys or inflatables – guess what don’t bother lugging all the stuff.  I am guilty of doing it for years when my kids were younger and when I had less kids.  I would bring every sand toy under the sun – the water wheel, the dump trucks, the sand toys that make shapes, etc.  Then after a long time I realized no one was even touching most of the stuff but it would all get dumped out.  Once it is dumped out, it all has to get rinsed off before you leave.  Don’t bother – bring a few buckets and good shovels.  Leave the rest behind.  Inflatables blow away and many are not even allowed at public beaches.  Leave them home to avoid meltdowns when you get there because when little Johnny is so excited to ride his brand, new inflatable shark in the water and the lifeguard will not allow it, Little Johnny will have a fit.
  2. A fitted sheet – I have seen all over Pinterest how great it is to just turn your fitted sheet upside down, put a few items in the corners and like magic you will not have sand on your beach blanket.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME????  Granted I have not tried it and I won’t be trying it in the near future and here’s why.  I sweat at home putting a fitted sheet on a bed, the struggle is real.  Can you imagine trying to use a fitted sheet upside down with the wind blowing and the kids begging to go into the water?  That would raise my stress level to a new high and that it is the start of the beach day.  Let’s say I am able to get it set up looking Pinterest perfect (see here for example).  Did they have a toddler test it out?  A preschooler?  An adult?  My guess is many will trip over it.  My other guess is any baby, toddler, young child or even adults will not brush their feet off before they step into it, so magic sand free environment is gone effectively immediately and I’m still too sweaty from setting the whole thing up to care.
  3. Baby powder in a sock – Here is another Pinterest favorite.  Just put baby powder in a sock and gently rub it on your child to remove any unwanted sand.  OK great looks wonderful.  Another one I haven’t tried and won’t be trying.  First of all, if I toss that powdered sock in my beach bag there will be powder everywhere.  If I let the kids have the powder sock, it will immediately turn into a weapon and the sock hitting will commence (but that actually might be fun – won’t hurt that bad and it will poof powder everywhere).  How about we do it the old fashioned way – walk over to the water (or beach shower if available) and rinse off!  I’ve been doing it for years – it works!
  4. A baby pool or tarp – Have you seen all the pictures of the people who bring the baby pool to the beach on Pinterest?  At first glance, I repin and comment awesome idea.  Little Johnny will just sit in the baby pool and I can read a magazine.  NOT!  You will lug the baby pool to the beach, you will set the baby pool up, you will carry buckets and buckets of water back to the baby pool and you will place Little Johnny in the baby pool.  You will not be able to read even one page of your magazine before either Little Johnny crawls out because he wants to touch the sand, little Johnny falls over or little Johnny needs a swim diaper change.  Don’t bother.  Let Little Johnny sit at the water’s edge.  It is usually much more entertaining.  And please, please, please don’t bring a tarp so that bigger kids can sit in a pool of water.  The best part of digging a hole at the beach is making is so deep that you reach water.  The goal of the child is to reach water and make their own pool.  Bringing a tarp = cheating!
  5. A baby tent – I know some people love their baby tents.  I have tried to love baby tents through the years.  I do love the idea of it.  But for some reason when I try to execute the idea it never works.  I bring the baby tent to the beach.  I set it up.  It blows away.  I try all the tricks to keep it in place.  I try to keep it a sand free environment.  I am never successful.  I have tried to nurse a baby in the bigger tents.  Such a pain.  I gave up and sat in a beach chair – no one even notices.  Everyone probably noticed me trying to squeeze into a baby tent to nurse the baby though!

What is on your list of things you will not take to the beach with kids?

Read more tips, activities and suggestions about heading to the beach with kids.