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beach with a 2 year old

Ohio
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beach with a 2 year old

We're headed to Duck in mid June--can't wait. We aren't really experienced in going to the beach, though, and never have gone with our daughter, who will be two when we go. What are your best tips for spending the day at the beach with a 2 year old? What supplies do we need? What don't we need? Will the water be too cold to swim at that time of year?

scw
Bear, Delaware
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479 posts
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1. Re: beach with a 2 year old

The water temp would be a little to cool for me, but I like the OBX water temp in late August. The waves seem to be calmer in the morning and early evening. Those are the times I like to go, plus the beach is less crowded. Our 10 year old was knocked over while sitting on the beach when a large unexpected wave came in. He was even surrounded by 3 adults. Keep your eye on your daughter at all times and keep her within arms length when you're near the surf. As for supplies. There are some equipment rental supply companies at the OBX. You don't need to bring all her stuff. Take a look at ocean atlantic rentals and moneysworth websites. It'll save a lot of extra packing. The YMCA in Nags Head has a kids water park. I think full day access for a family is $30.

Don't forget the sun screen. Some communities in Duck have public pools, too.

Ashburn, VA
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for Outer Banks
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2. Re: beach with a 2 year old

Bring a small inflatable wading pool with you. It's great to blow up at the beach and set it under the umbrella. Hours of fun for her and no worries for you.

She'll also enjoy splashing around in the tidal pools at low tide. Add a bucket and a shovel and she should be fine.

Virginia Beach...
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3. Re: beach with a 2 year old

I agree with the above poster-protect the skin,umbrellas sun screen, and watch out for the water. The sun is strongest 10-2. We would go down early morning and then late afternoon after naps. You will be getting more sun than you think-nothing spoils a trip like sunburn!

Living in this area, the water temp will be fine, particularly for wading and splashing.

The best thing about 2 year olds is they don't need a lot of "stuff" to have fun. She will more than likely love just running around trying to chase the seagulls or poking her finger in the sand crab holes.

But, bring a bucket and shovel with some sand molds, you can pick them up at a Wings store when you get there. Our son at that age loved helping to fly a kite and kicking a ball on the beach. He collected shells and used water colors to paint them.

Back at the house, the best fun with a group of toddlers was buying big paint brushes-the kind for house painting-from the dollar store and letting the kids "paint the deck" with plain water.

On another note-we did bring baby gates for the house, depends on the stairs you will have, it offered piece of mind while sitting on the deck. Many houses have multiple stairways.

MD
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4. Re: beach with a 2 year old

We spent a week in Duck last year with our toddler. Don't be surprised if he or she doesn't want any part of the water. It can be very scary to them. Some don't even like the sand when that young. I've seen more than one refuse to step foot on it, though mine have always been fine.

Tips:

- water temp by mid-June is fine, but the 2 year old will hardly notice it cause I doubt he or she will venture near it

- try bringing a small inflatable pool. take 2 large sand buckets with you and set the pool up on the beach under your umbrella then use the buckets back and forth a handful of times to the surf to fill the pool. Grab a few shells and add them to the pool for playing. Have a supply of sand and water toys with you. Don't be surprised if they just want to dump sand in the pool and sit in it - who cares? Set up a chair next to the pool and enjoy a good book or better yet, sit in the pool with the little one.

- dig a ditch. toddlers love to sit in a shallow ditch. just use common sense and not make it too deep lest the sand accidentally bury the little one (it has happened). try filling the ditch with water while they are sitting in it - if you have a boy this is natural.

- take a mid-sized cooler with plenty of grapes and snacks and drinks to keep the little one content and hydrated in the sun. expect to hand feed them some since their hands will be filled with sand.

- get on the beach early, come off around noon, and go back out around 3-4. sun at the outer banks is tropical and is pretty harsh on young skin. keeping them out of the sun during the hottest part is practical. pay real good attention to not missing any area when applying sunblock, it'll make them and you miserable for days if they get a stripe of burned flesh

- if you like to take walks in the beach, think about carrying the toddler in a backpack or in a large stroller with wheels okay for the beach

- if the toddler wants to play by the water's edge, never take you eyes off and don't be more than an arm's length away. surf charges up rapidly even on a calm day and will absolutely sweep the child away - I've seen it happen all the time.

Virginia
Destination Expert
for Virginia Beach
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5. Re: beach with a 2 year old

First beach trip. How wonderful and exciting!

I think the others covered most everything. I would add to be aware that your little one's feet could burn in the sand when it's hot so carry her when you're not on the cooler sand by the water. I've seen many parents oblivious to this and yelling at their children who are screaming as they walk, yet the parents have shoes on while the children are barefoot. I've had to remind parents even as their children cried with bare feet on concrete. The parents couldn't relate because they were wearing their shoes.

The lighter the skin, the more important high SPF frequently reapplied is. Remember that reapplication.

The lighter the eyes, the more important little sunglasses are too.

There is a lot more sun exposure because of its reflection off the sand and water.

I love how easily the little ones can be entertained. Patting the water or running away from it at that age can be a real laugh for them.

Realize that even if your daughter is sitting on the wet sand and it might be cute to see the water come up just a little around her, that even a little water can cause her to hydroplane out...so, as someone said, hands on. It helps to have one of those swimsuits with the cross over straps in back for grabbing.

Look at the water from the eyes of a toddler... seeing the most gigantic bathtub ever and how she might be scared....might be thrilled too.

If you're renting a house, some of them have sand toys, a cart to carry them to the beach, toddler big wheels, etc.

There's also something about the beach that tires kids out and they nap well.

Virginia Beach...
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6. Re: beach with a 2 year old

explorer3 has a great point-I forgot about the sand shoes my son wore, they really helped with the hot sand as well as sand burrs, sharp sticks or shells, or broken glass.

Virginia
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for Virginia Beach
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7. Re: beach with a 2 year old

Oh, remember for yourselves too as well as your daughter...sun protection on top of the head, on the ears, lips and on top of the feet and toes. And on the bottom of the feet when you're on your stomache, under the arms, etc. Little gremlin areas that can hinder a good trip.

MD
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24 reviews
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8. Re: beach with a 2 year old

Ahh yes. That reminds me. The best thing I did last year was rent a beach cart with big fat tires. Let's you get the cooler, umbrella, chairs, towels, toys, and pool etc back and forth. There are several good rental places available if you use yahoo yellow pages.

9. Re: beach with a 2 year old

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