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The anti-beach mom's guide to surviving the beach

Lisa Steinke, with Liz Fenton, is the co-author of the debut chick lit novel l'll Have Who She's Having and the popular Chick Lit blog chicklitisnotdead.com.

When you're just not that into sand

As moms, we often have to suck it up. And this summer, if you're not a beach person, you might be dreading all things sand and salt water even though your children can't wait to go. So what to do? You don't want to stay home, but you also don't want to get sand where the sun don't shine while you're hanging with your kids. Read on for tips for how you can survive the beach and — who knows — maybe even learn to love it.

Most moms will agree that the beach is beautiful — the waves lapping against the shore, the brilliant sunrises and sunsets, the ocean's deep shades of blue and green. But many might also agree that spending a day at the shore with the family can also be a lot of work. And if you're not really a beach person, it can feel all the more overwhelming. So we found some gadgets and necessities to make your next beach trip easier and — dare we say — enjoyable?

Sand doesn't have to be the enemy

Even the biggest beach bum can't argue that sand ends up in the most uncomfortable places. Not to mention after a long day in the sun, it can be frustrating to try to clean it off everyone and everything before getting into the car. But because a beach without sand, well, isn't really a beach, it's pretty much unavoidable. Not to mention it's what kids love most about it (sand castles, burying each other, playing Frisbee). So if you're going to spend a day there, you're going to have to face it head on, not bury your head in it.

For the anti-sand mom, what better than the Anti-Sand towel ($36). It's woven tightly into a tropical mat design to provide a thick barrier between you and the sand.

To get the sand off you and your kids, try using Sand Gone ($13), a dry body powder that, when applied to sand covered skin, removes the sand and leaves the skin soft and smooth while feeling fresh and clean.

No more umbrellas blowing away

How many times have you set up camp at the beach only to have your main source of shade blow away? As the heat beats down on you and your kids, you watch your umbrella sail down the beach, or worse, out into the sea (this recently happened to my family during a trip to Maui).

Well, two moms saw not only the frustration in that, but the safety concerns, and invented the Noblo Umbrella Buddy ($15). It's a colorful nylon bag that is filled with sand and attaches to your beach umbrella above the spokes to keep the umbrella in place. At the end of the day you simply dump the sand, fold the bag up small, and go home.

Read more about beach safety for kids >>

Little things can make all the difference

It can be aggravating to constantly re-adjust the towel on your beach chair. The Toweligator ($10 for two) is a simple yet fun and very kid-friendly accessory that can make your beach trip a lot easier. The bendable alligator beach clamp grips tightly with its mouth onto a towel or accessory and wraps firmly with its tail to secure it down into the sand or to a chair.
Instead of stuffing your pockets or your beach bag with the shells your child collects at the beach, you can have him store them in his towel. The Ultimate Beach Towel for Kids ($43) has a hidden, water-resistant, zippered pocket that can store their goodies. They also make The Ultimate Beach Towel for Mom with a pocket large enough to store your iPad.
And nothing says beach disaster like warm drinks — especially when a baby is involved. And of course it was a mom who invented Kidzikoo ($7) — baby bottle and sippy cup insulator — after she couldn't find them anywhere for her own little one. And after the demand for larger sizes in adult prints, she created Koverz for your water bottle.

Read more about beach tips for moms

Summer beach must-haves for kids
Fun at the beach survival kit
Mom's guide to packing the perfect beach bag

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