Get Geared Up for the Beach

Get Geared Up for the Beach

Is your household ready for summertime fun? A handful of great gear choices can make all the difference in how much you and your children enjoy the season. Here is the best advice for making the most of your summer.

Where to look. Finding great gear isn’t as simple as it sounds. You want quality items that will stand up to wear and tear, and you want to make choices you can feel good about. Entrepreneur recommends shopping local to find your best selections. Steering clear of chains and “big-box” stores means supporting small businesses. It’s good for the local economy, with the majority of each dollar you spend going back into the city where you spend it. You also are most apt to receive outstanding customer service, since the business owner is typically hands-on in running the company. So when it comes to gearing up, be sure to shop local for your activity-focused equipment and seasonal clothing!

Gear up your kids

Choosing gear for your kids can be big fun, and choosing the right gear also protects them from sun, insects, splinters, and the like. Start with great clothing selections to keep your kids comfortable and having a good time.

Sun protection. Sunshine is a wonderful thing, but it can do damage to young eyes and skin. A well-chosen hat protects your child’s eyes and face from the sun. Some experts suggest selecting a wide-brimmed hat to provide shade for your child’s neck and ears. It should fit properly so it doesn’t come off while running, nor should it slip down, impairing vision. Also a good-fitting pair of sunglasses helps protect your child’s eyes from sun damage.

Swimming gear. Hitting the pool or going for a dip in the lake is more fun when dressed appropriately. If you’re planning on spending multiple days in the water, some professionals recommend having at least a couple swimsuits for each child so you can wash everything between wearings.

Clothing. Tightly woven fabrics offer more sun protection to children. If you plan to go hiking or exploring, your child can benefit from long sleeves and pants to protect against biting insects and poisonous plants.

Lotions and sprays. Sunscreen and bug spray can help keep your child more comfortable and protected. Check labels to see how often to apply products and how much protection they provide.

Gear up your home

Is your home still wearing winter clothes? Bring summertime inside by changing your home’s atmosphere. Select citrus scents, light colors, and airy fabrics. Put away lap quilts, open window coverings, and add some vases full of flowers. If you don’t have a cutting garden, one idea is to purchase in-season blooms. You can find them at your farmer’s market, a roadside stand or other local establishments.

Gear up for the outdoors

Picnic and camping gear. A picnic or trip to the park is a fun way to make good use of those well-chosen outfits and enjoy the summer weather. Be sure to pack foods carefully and chill them appropriately. Remember a blanket and utensils and bring hand sanitizer and some towelettes for cleaning hands before eating. Real Simple offers a terrific picnic planning checklist that covers all your necessities.

Sports gear. Your trips to the park, around the neighborhood, or to campgrounds may include activities that require protective gear. For instance, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends helmets any time your kids are riding bikes, roller skating, and riding scooters (and similar activities). Note that helmets are not interchangeable between all sports, so select appropriately. Helmets should be removed for using playground equipment or climbing trees.

Backyard fun. Now that you're geared up for summer, plan fun activities for the whole family in your own backyard. Some suggestions include making a bird feeder, backyard camping, enjoying a treasure hunt, or playing Frisbee golf.

Geared up and ready! Well-chosen gear can make all the difference in your summer fun. Select items that allow your child to have a great time and stay comfortable. With these terrific recommendations, this summer will be the best yet!


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