10 things to pack for a day at the beach

The kids break off school this week {so excited!} for their summer holidays and I am thrilled. Over the last few weeks, you could see them getting more and more tired. So they’re as ready for the summer as I am. Anything for a break from packing those lunchboxes every morning and trying to get them into school before the bell! We are now looking forward to slow mornings, picnics at the park and if the weather is kind, days out at the beach. 

We absolutely love the beach and Northern Ireland has some stunning coastal beaches; so there are plenty to choose from. Our personal favourite is Castlerock beach and it is one we visit regularly over the summer holidays. In fact, we are hopping on a train this weekend to spend a day at there to celebrate the start of the summer holidays. We love to do everything from play in the sand dunes to bodyboarding, as well as looking for crabs in the rock pools. 

What to bring to the beach

Which is why I thought it would be nice to put together a post to share what I bring with me for a day at the beach, with kids. 

What to bring with you to the beach

Protective clothing: I always pack hats, swim tops {as they have UV protection/plus they dry super quickly} and sunglasses for the children. 

Suncream, suncream & more suncream: We’re not used to the sunny weather here in Northern Ireland. So suncream is essential {and not just because we’re Irish!}.  I would rather come home with sand at the bottom of our pockets and sea shells than burnt cheeks & noses. 

A Beach shelter: My youngest is 5yrs old and bringing any form of shade is a smart move when you’re spending a day in the sun. I picked up my Beach shelter from Halfords and it cost around £17.99. Bargain! It just means the kids {or us parentals} can have a little protection from the sun when we need it. 

A Picnic {and cooling bars}: I love a good picnic; so do the kids to be fair. However, even though there is a risk of eating slightly sandy sandwiches, the food being present prevents hangry children. Nobody wants a hangry child. I have this super handy, wheeled cooling hamper that is perfect for picnic days like this. Remember those cooling bars in your hamper, nobody wants warm sandwiches for their lunch! 

Plastic bags/Ziplock bags: These are perfect for bringing hope any wet clothes. I have forgotten to pack these on pretty much every beach trip prior to 2018! So, I’m doing a little forward thinking this year. Ziplock bags are also great to prevent anything valuable from getting wet; such as mobile phones, watches etc

First Aid Kit: Kids fall, they hurt themselves and it’s a good idea to have some plasters and germolene on hand {just in case!}

Copious amounts of water: Being on the beach, on a sunny day is a recipe for sunstroke and dehydration if you don’t take care of yourself. I am forever bugging my children to drink more water when we’re out and about. Packs of six are really cheap from local supermarkets. 

Money: I am one of those people who never carries spare change with them. It annoys me if I’m honest. I solely rely on my debit card. Daft move – which I have learned on more than one occasion. Because guess who doesn’t take debit card payments? That’s right; Ice cream vans! 

Towels: Bring more than you’ll think you will need. You can thank me later. 

Change of clothes: You may not think you’ll need these, but you will. But if you want a sand-free ride home, you’ll need them. 

What to bring to the beach

Naturally, other items we take {because we are a gluten for punishment!} are our bodyboards, wetsuits, aqua shoes etc. I carry all of these in my double bodyboard bag – which was one of the best £20 I have ever spent. A day at the beach for us is not sunbathing, oh no! It’s catching some waves, admiring the stunning Castlerock scenery, playing catch, kite flying and even a few games of frisbee thrown in there for good measure. All ingredients to a pretty epic day in the sun, on the beach, with the kids. 

Are there any essentials items that you bring to the beach that I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to know! 

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