Enjoying a Sanibel Beach Day with Kids

Enjoying a Sanibel Beach Day with KidsOne of the biggest attractions of Sanibel Island is the pretty much perfect beaches. Sanibel is surrounded by water, and home to the most amazing white sand beaches that meet with the sparkling waters of the Gulf OF Mexico. If you are a parent with young children getting ready for a day at the beach can feel like it requires a lot of effort for a day that could be enjoyable or hectic depending upon the mood of your kids that day. (if you are a parent of small kids you know). When you move to Sanibel or purchase a vacation home you are most likely hoping that there are a lot of beach days ahead. So having some great hacks for enjoying a day at the beach with your littles is essential. 

Before you know it you will feel like a beach-going pro. But if you need some help getting started, we are here to help. These are some great hacks for making your day at the beach go more smoothly from preparing to get there to actually enjoying your time while you are there and getting back home. We hope these tips are a great launching point so that you will eventually be able to feel like Sanibel beaches are your home away from home (away from home if you have a vacation property. 

Time of Day Can Make All the Difference

It gets hot here. And heat makes us all uncomfortable. Anyone tends to have a problem staying positive and happy when the heat is beating down, it is even harder for little ones to enjoy the day when the temperatures are high. The best time to be at the beach on Sanibel Island is from the time the sun comes up until about noon and then again after 3 pm when the peak temperatures start to come back down. This is not just great advice to avoid crankiness it is essential for sun safety as well. Avoid those sun rays beating down on your skin and overheating your body. 


Protection from the sun for everyone in your party is important. The best way to get your kids somewhat ok with your needing to apply sunscreen to their little bodies is to do it at home before you go out for the day. This tip also helps you to get enough on your little one and to not miss a spot. It can be hard to get your young one to let you put on sunscreen right when you get to the beach because they are excited and want to play. Avoid a grumpy wrestling session with your cutie who just wants to go explore the amazing beach by slathering them in sunscreen BEFORE you put their clothes on and giving them some time to dry. Make sure to bring some with you to reapply later, but it is such a good way to just let your little one be excited about being at the beach. 

Bring Some Shade

The beaches are beautiful and do have some natural areas of shade but to ensure that you get a spot in the shade bring your own. Yes, you have to make sure to be diligent about sunscreen but you also need to bring some shade protection. If you don't have your own protection or would rather not carry that all out to the beach you could check out the rentals from Finnimore's Bike and Beach Rental Company that will deliver items to the beach for you. It's a great way to start out trying different products that you might like and then eventually purchase your own once you start frequenting the beach.

You Probably Won't Need a Chair

This may sound silly but if you have active kiddos who like to explore, bringing a chair is just for sitting it in the sand. When you're following your sweet little cutie everywhere there's little time to actually sit down. Plus being up and active with your little ones ensures that they take a great nap in the middle of the day during those peak temperature hours and creates a great time to sit and rest in some air-conditioning.

Swap Your Towels

There are some great brand-new towels that are very thin and lightweight and take up much less room in your beach bag. Many people call them Turkish beach towels they are flat woven and absorb a lot of water but are not giant, fluffy, and heavy like the traditional beach towel.

Mesh Bags are Great for Sand Toys

Nobody is bringing the beach back with them in the form of lots of sand everywhere. There is no 100% way to prevent sand from coming home from the beach with you but you can limit the amount that comes home by carrying sand toys in a mesh bag where all the sand falls back out once you pick it up and stays on the beach. Just put the toys back in the bag give it a good shake and out comes all that sand. It is a must.

Consider a Baby Carrier for the Littlest

If your Little one is not yet walking or is just beginning to toddle bring the baby carrier so you can strap your sweet little one to you as navigating sand can be pretty difficult for those little legs. It can help you to get from your spot on the beach to the water much quicker or pack your little one up and get them to the car when your hands are already full of all the other things you brought to the beach.

Bring Extra Food

It is ideal to bring twice as much food as you think you will need because it is easy for littles to drop food in the sand and it's not really an environment where you wanna pick something up and use the five-second rule. Also when kids are extremely active they are incredibly hungry.

Also, bring plenty of liquids. You want to concentrate mostly on water because you can easily get dehydrated. A good way to get kids to drink more water on beach days is to put just a splash of juice in their water to make it taste extra special but they will still be getting their water in as opposed to super sugary drinks. Watermelon is also a great snack to help keep everybody hydrated.

Bring a Downtime Activity

Even though there is so much fun to be had at the beach and a ton of exploring to do, your kid could get overwhelmed with all of the stimulation, activity, and excitement. They might need a few moments where they have a bit of relaxing chill time. It is sort of like a time out without using the words time out and making your little ones feel like they are undergoing punishment. It can be a time for all of you to take just a few minutes to recharge and refresh under the shade you brought with you. This could be something as easy as reading them a great story maybe even one about having fun on the beach while relaxing in the shade and having a snack.

With the right preparation a day at the beach can be your favorite time with your littles. There of course is no better beach than the ones found on Sanibel and Captiva Island. You will quickly fall in love with the beaches here and soon become a local beach-going pro with your kids. There's nothing like making memories as they're growing up hanging out on Sanibel beaches.

If you are relocating to Sanibel and looking for the perfect Sanibel home, I am here to help. Whether you are looking for a full-time home or a secondary vacation property I am experienced in all Sanibel and Captiva real estate ready to find the home that meets your wants and needs. Contact me anytime with any Sanibel real estate needs.

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