Beach survival guide for parents
Beach survival guide for parents
Sun-filled beach days are what all great memories are made of. Hours of fun can be had exploring rock pools, jumping waves and building sandcastles. But sometimes – just sometimes - when you’ve got kids in tow, sun, sea and sand doesn’t always add up to the photo perfect image that you’ve been dreaming of. We’ve all been there.
Keep your cool with these simple family beach day tips.
Pick your beach wisely
Don’t go to that secret spot with a 20 minute walk to the beach. When it comes to family-friendliness it’s all about access. An easy stroll from car to shore is at the top of most family check lists and if there are toilets, parking and an ice-cream shop too you’ve found yourself a winner!
Yes, these beaches tend to be the busiest but they’re busy for a reason and having other families nearby is no bad thing (see ‘take or make pals’ below). Pentewan Beach scores highly on the facilities front and being just footsteps from our pitches, getting there couldn’t be easier.
Check the tide
Unpack next to the water’s edge when the tide is on the turn and at the very best you’ll have to suffer the inconvenience of moving your things up the beach to a drier spot when the sea rolls in. At the worst, you could be cut off. Many of Cornwall’s beaches have huge expanses of space between the low and high tide line which can make things dangerous if you’re not familiar with the changing conditions.
Take the right kit
Beach goers typically fall into two camps; those that take everything but the kitchen sink and those that simply tuck a towel under their arm and throw on a cozzie. Try to pitch yourself somewhere in between. You’ll need enough to keep the children entertained but take too much and you’ll regret it as soon as you step on the sand. Buckets and spades are absolute essentials but do you really need one in every size and design?
If you can’t bear to travel light, treat yourself to a little trailer and enjoy feeling super smug as you roll your processions across the sand with ease and grace. They also come in handy when you’ve got tired little ones at the end of the day!
Sit right next to or behind a landmark
Make a beeline for a recognizable landmark such as a lifeguard sign or unique natural feature, or better yet get yourself a super distinguishable windbreak (the more garish the better!). Point these out to your kids so they’ll be able to find you should they wander off. It also comes in handy when trying to find your way back from the sea on a busy beach.
Pitch a tent
This one links in with ‘take the right kit’ but if you’ve got young children a beach tent is a must. Not only do they protect from nasty UV rays but they
also provide shade and a perfect spot for daytime naps. Get yourself a pop up version to keep things simple.
Take or make pals
Round up friends and family and hit the beach as one big group. The kids will have plenty of fellow action-seekers to keep them busy and you can sneak in some chill time while somebody else is on babysitting duty. Holidaying with just your close family? Search out families with children of a similar age and pitch up nearby. With tunnels to dig and castles to build making new friends couldn’t be easier.
Plan the action
Yes, beach days are all about being free and easy but sometimes you need a few activities at the ready to get everyone started. From creating sand art to going on a treasure hunt, beach games can be as weird and wonderful as your imagination. Head over to 12 super fun things to do on the beach for ideas and if you fancy a spot of rock pooling, it’s this way to the best beaches, what to look for and what to consider.