We’ve partnered with mommy blogger Chelsea Day from Someday I’ll Learn to help you create an unforgettable day at the beach with your family.
When I was in college, I tried to picture my life as an adult. Like many 18-year-olds, my perspective on the world extended about as far as my own backyard. At the time, living along the shores of upscale Santa Monica, I envisioned beach days spent lounging in private cabanas. The “future me” frolicked amidst perfectly-maintained yacht club sand that was expertly crafted into ornate castles deftly placed for my enjoyment.
I had a vivid imagination.
What I didn’t have was a job. Or children. Reality has a way of taking hold of your ideas and skewing them a bit. Nowadays, when my kids want a taste of beachside life, I don’t drag them into a cleverly-manicured environment. Instead, my family makes our own beach day filled with everything we all want from a shoreside sprawl. I pick and choose my favorite elements from those days I once imagined, and marry that with a fun-filled environment that my kids are excited about too.
A canopy is a nice idea, but it isn’t practical to bring bulky items that weigh us down. We DIY our own cozy spot by attaching a large bedsheet to the tops of four beach umbrellas. As a savvy shopper, I try to think outside the box and find items that can serve double-duty. A quality sheet can be easily laundered and used for bedding back at home, and outdoor pillows are stylish toppers for patio furniture plus travel light for comfy beach seating! This is as flexible of a setup as I’ve ever seen! It’s easy to pop open several lightweight beach umbrellas together to create a fairly large gathering space, or individually for fast and easy shade.
My boys love to build HUGE sandcastles, so for our latest beach day I got them several stacking planter pots from Tuesday Morning to serve as “upsized beach buckets.” They’re made of lightweight foam so they’re easy to transport, and serve a storage function back at home as opposed to just taking up space. I hooked those onto a planter carrier, and let our multiuse “buckets” double as a rolling tote to be filled with beach accessories. Then we pile chairs, towels or throw pillows on top.
We also loaded up on some fun kitchen accessories to customize our sandcastles.
Who needs traditional beach toys when you can get creative? We used a spiky silicone baking mat to press up against the edges of sand blocks to create “windows” in our sand buildings. A pasta server helped the kids burrow deep holes to get down to moist and pliable sand.
The toddler added a moat with his spoontula, and proudly filled it with water.
When the buildings were all in place, we added decorative details with cookie cutters and funnels!
After our sand city construction was complete, my husband kept a watchful eye on the boys as they waded in the shallow water.
I, meanwhile, kicked back in the shade to soak up the sounds of lapping waves.
In this peaceful moment, it dawned on me: this scene is better than I ever could have imagined.
Looking for more inspiration to build your perfect day at the beach? Check out our pinboard for creative ideas to try this weekend!
Featured products: 450-thread count California King Italian sheet set $119.99 (compare at $600), 7-foot beach umbrellas $29.99 each (compare at $69.99), potted plant mover $29.99 (compare at $69.99), large square pot $22.49 (compare at $29.99), medium square pot $14.99 (compare at $19.99), small square pot $11.24 (compare at $14.99), cabana stripe outdoor pillows $14.99 each (compare at $29.99), silicone pyramid baking sheet $4.19 (compare at $6.99), silicone pasta server $2.39 (compare at $5.99), silicone spoontula $3.29 (compare at $5.49), flower garden funnel set $3.19 (compare at $7.99).