Parenting tips: What to bring to the cottage

by Amanda I grew up in the country where dirt biking, wood piling and frequenting lakes where a regular part of my childhood. We lived extremely close to many lakes and most of our family members and friends either lived on a lake or had a cottage. We had access to many great spots for spending our days.

There is nothing like jumping off a dock into refreshing water, cutting in and out of the wake as you water ski and wearing a bathing suit all day long as you bbq and relax in the outdoors.

Whether you are visiting a local beach, heading to a friends cottage or renting this summer here are some of my favourite (and need items!) to bring along with you if you have children in tow.

  • Bathing suits and towels (of course!), hats and sunscreen.
  • Water shoes- even if there is a sandy beach and the water bottom is smooth you never know if you will discover a new area that is a bit rougher or be walking through the woods with uneven ground or rocks.  They are also nice for hot days when some surfaces get extremely hot where your little one may be walking. We put our son's water shoes on and he wears them to the cottage and we know we have them with us should he need them.
  • Sand toys. No beach nearby, just water? No problem! Use buckets, shovels and beach toys in the water, use buckets to clean off feet after walking back up to the cottage, use them to collect rocks, leaves and other nature memorabilia!
  • Sidewalk chalk- this can come in handy and keep children busy for hours as they colour rocks, trees, the deck and more! Super easy clean up the next time it rains or by using those sand buckets full of water to clean it up!
  • Bubbles. Okay what kid doesn’t like bubbles? Seriously!
  • Pool noodles, lifejacket and a ball! This can lead to hours of fun playing in and around the water.
  • Heading out to a cottage for a few days? Head to the dollar store and stock up on a few colouring books, crayons, stickers and other things that can keep the kids occupied indoors if and when needed.
  • Don’t bring too many pieces of clothing, towels, etc. It’s the cottage! Rinse it out in the lake and hang it over a chair to dry!
  • Designate a large blanket or old sheet that you can keep in your car for beach days or sitting by the water to enjoy a picnic.

What are your must have items when heading to the beach or the lake for a day, two or even a week?!

Amanda is a mom to a 2 year old boy and 4 month old baby girl.  When she is not out having fun with the kids you can find her getting her yoga on at

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