Here in Chicago, we are so lucky to have Lake Michigan hugging our east side. While folks from the coasts might scoff at our shores, the beaches along our Lake are downright tropical once summer rolls around.
We live a short walk from the Lake, and last weekend we took the kids to the beach on a hot and sunny day. They love digging in the sand and splashing in the icy water, and I love watching them have so much fun together. Chris helped them build a giant sand castle, a task that kept them so contentedly busy.
After 90 minutes in the sand and sun we are all pretty much ready to head home. At that point, the sand in their swimsuits starts bothering the kids and the sun has drained their energy. Plus, as a general rule I try to keep the kids indoors (or in the shade) from 12-3pm, when the sun is at its peak and we are most vulnerable to overexposure.
Every time we walk to the beach I seem to forget one little thing that would make the trip perfect. While we can always improvise and get by, I thought it would be wise to post my “beach list” here so I can reference back next time we head to the Lake:
Beach toys – I forgot these last weekend so the kids improvised with plastic cups from the beach bar!
Cash for ice cream treats – as soon as the kids see the men pulling the ice cream carts, they have to have one!
Klean Kanteen water bottles with ice cold water
Beach blanket and towels
Beach umbrella or mini tent – we don’t have one of these yet, but it would make our trips to the beach SO much more pleasant, especially for little Ben (who hates the sun) and for me (because I burn so easily)
Sunscreen – check out the Environmental Working Group‘s list of approved sunscreens: http://www.ewg.org/2014sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/
We don’t bring snacks to the beach. Let’s be honest – eating on the beach is no fun. Sand sneaks into the food, kids whine about sand stuck in their food, there’s no way to get the sand out of the food…no thanks. I’d rather be home in time for lunch!
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