Yesterday my family returned from our yearly outing to Seaside Heights, NJ. Being blessed with the best possible mid-July weather possible, we spent every day on the beach. That’s 6 full days in the sand and the surf with two kids, ages 2 and 8. We had a blast but I’ve come back with a few tips on how we survived.

1. Bury a Bucket of Water


If you have kids and you’ve brought them to the beach you know nothing is safe. They will walk across your blanket, get sand in your bag, and spill your drinks. They will also be covered head to toe in sand. This makes having snacks or doing anything really, annoying and awfully gritty.

To counteract the sandy hands, we usually keep a bucket of water near our chairs specifically for rinsing our hands. It works like a charm when we’re able to KEEP the water in the bucket but with a 2-year-old this is nearly impossible. That’s when I got the idea to bury it.

It worked for hand washing,


feet washing,


and ball washing,


It also served for hours of entertainment.


Of course it wasn’t without its flaw.


Kids will always find a way.

2. Back-Pack Chairs

This is the first year I’ve brought a chair to the beach. In the past I was always a blanket girl. My parents were blanket people. I never remember bringing anything but blankets, towels and a cooler to the beach when we were kids. But when I saw this chair at the store a few days before we were going I fell in love.

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It’s a chair the folds up into a backpack …

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with a cooler and additional pocket.

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It’s was a little pricey but I can tell you now from experience, TOTALLY worth it. I was able to carry everything I needed on my back, allowing me to pick up the 2-year-old when needed, and the chair is unbelievably comfortable. I highly recommend it. Click here to see the Rio Ultimate Backpack Beach Chair with cooler – Blue Textilene on Amazon. That’s the one I got.

3. Freeze water in reusable bottles

Instead of buying a case of water at the beach, I used 2-3 reusable water bottles and froze them every night before going to bed. This serves 2 purposes 1.) cold drinking water on a hot beach and 2.) ice packs in the cooler for snacks.

4. Bring food in smaller snack packs

We are snack hounds at the beach. We bring things like melon, pretzels, chips, blueberries, crackers, Goldfish, etc. I’ve learned the hard way NOT to bring the full bags. We make single servings in small baggies as to not ruin the batch when a stray sandy hand finds its way in.

5. Splurge on the Spray Sunscreen

This year I declared my hate of spray sunscreen. It’s half the size and doubly expensive as the lotions.

Then I went to the beach with two of the whitest white kids I know, my own. We apply sunscreen at least once an hour. It’s a necessity and exponentially easier with spray sunscreen. I stand corrected; they are worth the extra cost.

I’d love to hear your beach tips. Bringing the kids is fun but it’s also a challenge. 

Published by Roni

A 40ish - wait, what?! - Mom who loves to try new things, share her adventures, and inspire people to reach their goals.