Beach Fun at Home

There’s nothing like a beach vacation to celebrate summer. Enjoying the sun, sand and surf is a rite of passage for many families, but like all good things, seasonal trips to the shore don’t last forever. If you struggle with vacation withdrawal, consider the following fun projects designed to battle the summer blues.  You will be amazed at how cheap and easy it is to turn all that extra sand you dragged home from the beach into amazing vacation souvenirs: Beach Candles Materials: Solid colored pillar candle Rubber cement Sand Shells Newspaper Directions: Dump some sand on newspaper that has … Continue reading

Beachy Keen

Don’t let your family getaway go undocumented this spring.  If you are planning to escape to the sun, sand and surf, be sure to take plenty of pictures, collect a bunch of mementos, and then create eye-popping scrapbook layouts to preserve all of the good times. Beach-themed page designs are fun to make.  Use the opportunity to flex your creative muscle by incorporating items you collect during your vacation with the myriad of scrapbooking embellishments available in stores and online.  For example, consider bringing home a small container or Ziploc bag of sand from the beach and adding it to … Continue reading

Beach Baby

Living near the beach, my son has been a beach baby since he could sit up. He was crawling in the sand long before he could walk. He’s the second generation beach baby as I have plenty of photos of myself on the beach by the age of two. The beach holds a lot of fun for a toddler. The sand is fun to play in. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are playing with the sand with their hands or building a sand castle with shovels, sand is just simply fun. We’ve taken my son’s beach toys out … Continue reading

Beach Bummer: Germs in the Sand

Bad news if you’re a beachgoer: that sand may not be as safe as you think. A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (conducted in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency) took a look at the bacteria content of beach sand… and how it can affect your family. Researchers spoke with close to thirty thousand families about their beach visits between 2003 and 2007. Participants were asked about contact with the sand (for themselves and their children) and were asked about health issues during a follow-up interview about ten days later. Approximately six percent of study … Continue reading

Helping Your Baby Manage the Fear of New Things 2

Yesterday I shared a little bit about the how and why babies can be fearful of new things, even those things that you want them to experience. I also mentioned how my own toddler who loves water in every form he has encountered so far (he doesn’t even mind when water gets in his face from a shower or sprinkler) seemed to loathe the beach. Now I’ll tell you more about how we decided to take the supportive approach with him and this fear. That first day at the beach, we arrived to it in the afternoon. It was a … Continue reading

Saving Money at the Shore

Heading down to the shore can be a great family vacation. But like any attractive summer vacation spot, things can be pricey. We are vacationing down at the shore this week, and we are having an amazing time. The weather is wonderful, and the water is warm. Having never been to the beach together as a complete family, we are so incredibly lucky that we have the opportunity to build sand castles and play in the waves. Of course, we are trying to do everything as frugally as possible. Here are some of the things I’ve learned this week. Hopefully, … Continue reading

Prepared for Summer Adventures

It was a beautiful day yesterday, just right for some sort of outdoor adventure with the kids. We decided to head over to the park for a spontaneous playdate. But how many times do we just run out the door without something that we know we’ll need later, such as a change of clothes, or sunscreen or a snack? Kids come with requirements for stuff, no matter if you are taking a trip down the shore or just to the local park. Most of the time, we do realize that we need to take some supplies, but choose not to, … Continue reading

Taking Your Camera to the Beach… and Using It

Summer is here… a time when millions of families head to the sun, sand, and surf. And along with the sunscreen, water and towels most will tote along their cameras to capture the sun-filled memories of children splashing in waves or building monster sand castles. Only not every shutterbug readily whips out his or her camera in the heat of the moment for fear that the elements (water, sand, etc.) will damage their expensive digital devices. Meanwhile, others simply forget that their cameras are sitting in their beach bags waiting to be used. As you head out on your family … Continue reading

Is Your Dog a Beach Bum?

My dogs Moose and Lally have never been to the beach. I don’t trust Moose to romp off-leash in an unfenced area; Lally is not a fan of water as it is. My old dog Miko was another story. He loved the beach, and would chase waves as they ebbed and flowed — as long as he didn’t get his feet wet. It was adorable! If your dog loves the beach — and especially the water — you may have some extra grooming on your hands. If your pup stays dry, sand can more or less be brushed off the … Continue reading

Fashion Forward: Doggie Sunglasses and Other Must-Have Items for the Beach

Fashionable pet owners who want to have their dogs look as cool at the pool as they do might want to include a pair of Doggles in their beach bags this summer. The name is almost as cute (and effective) as the product. Doggles are protective goggles for dogs of all shapes and sizes. They have been around since 1997 and sell for about $30. The idea for the protective and stylish sunglasses for dogs came from a pet owner whose own pooch kept missing the Frisbee during games of catch on bright sunny days. What started off as a … Continue reading