The Canberra Times

Sun & fun: Tips for enjoying a day at the beach with family

Sun & fun: Tips for enjoying a day at the beach with family

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With summer right around the corner, it's highly likely that many of us are already thinking about gearing up to go to the beach.

Beach days are a quintessential summertime activity, and with all the dreary weather that accompanies winter and spring, it's common for many of us to wait all year for a really good day at the beach.

We want to make the absolute most of good beach weather, which means that loading the family car up may require a little extra creative thinking.

Here are just a few suggestions of what your family could bring along to make the most of your next beach day.

Think outside the box for your beach day activities

Many of us may bring gear like snorkels, flippers, or boogie boards to the beach for taking full advantage of all waves and heading on underwater adventures.

Sadly, there generally isn't too much to see underwater around the coast of Sydney. There are actually more chances of adventure when on the water.

This is why many families are now taking the chance to dip their toes into the waterside adventure that is sailing yachts. The opportunity to sail out on the water and explore the surrounds of your local coastlines will be exciting for every member of the family.

If you're looking for something a little more relaxed, paddleboarding can be a fun and age-inclusive activity that everyone can enjoy.

Stand-up paddle boarding may also work as a fantastic soft introduction to surfing for younger kids.

As stand-up paddleboards do require a little more focus and balance than kayaking, it can be a great activity for older tweens and teens.

So, whether you've found a dream motoring yacht to jump aboard for some seaside sightseeing, or you're soaking up some sun on top of a paddleboard. You're sure to have the ultimate family day out when you partake in one of these adventurous activities.

Bring plenty of fun and handy beach tools

It wouldn't be a trip to the beach without making a sandcastle or two. Playing in the sand is a timeless activity that all ages can really enjoy, so a good set of buckets and spades will likely never go amiss for many beach days to come.

It's also worth noting, however, that your beach day essentials won't just consist of toys and sporting equipment. Many families will also want to keep their valuables safe when at the beach.w

The last thing you want to be thinking about when you're trying to have a relaxing swim is that all of your belongings may be vulnerable to being stolen.

You can keep concerns of theft to a minimum by keeping valuables like cameras in your car when not in use and by investing in slim waterproof pouches for your phones so that they stay hidden and safe from saltwater damage.

Pack some healthy and refreshing post-swim snacks

Many of us may have strong memories of going out to the coast, having a swim, and then ending the day with some salty fish and chips.

With all the sea salt still in our hair and all over our face, a little bit of extra salt on some juicy battered flake felt like a bit of a perfect end to our beach day.

What we didn't realise as kids was that our bodies really didn't need that extra sodium, especially after hours and hours of play in the sun.

Your beach snacks should ideally be free from extra sodium and focus more on ensuring you and your family stay well-hydrated under the summer sun.

Snacks like sandwiches, oranges or watermelon slices, and drinks with electrolytes in a decently sized esky would all be welcome additions to your beachside picnic lunch in the mid-afternoon when the sun may be a bit too harsh to swim, or even as a little supper once the day's swimming is done.

If you want to uphold the age-old tradition of eating fish and chips by the pier, that's perfectly okay too! Just be sure to bring plenty of drinking water to keep the whole family hydrated throughout their busy beach day.

Practice the 5 'S's of sun safety

Being generally sun smart is just as important as staying hydrated throughout the day.

Chances are likely that your kids are already familiar with the 5 'S's of sun safety through their time at school, but it's highly recommended that you use these sun smart practices at home, too, to reinforce their importance.

SPF30+ sunscreen is always recommended, as anything under 30 isn't likely to provide enough protection against the harsh Aussie summer sun.

Be sure to also bring some extra layers, enough wide-brimmed hats for the entire family, and a beach tent or umbrella to ensure that all family members have access to shade.

Bringing some shade along with you can potentially keep the risks of heatstroke to a minimum, so a beach tent or umbrella is absolutely an essential pack for your family beach day.

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The perfect beach day doesn't come around too often, so it's well worth being proactive about packing your beach essentials.

Have a game plan in place, and ensure that every member of your family brings along their own towels, swimmers, beach-friendly footwear, hats, and sunnies.

Packing well for your day at the beach will keep everyone in great spirits and feeling perfectly equipped to make the absolute most of their day in the sun!