kids beach

Kookist at the Beach!

A guide for multiple families sharing a house together.

Vacations are great, and friends can make them that much better!  For the Kookist family we set out to discover what makes a great trip and along the way provide some tips, recipes and inspiration to help take the fun to the next level. 

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When we started down this path of planning and preparing for a large group trip – we had 6 adults and 6 kids all under 10, our team found it difficult to locate any real help online. Yes there are tons of booking sites, and lots of possibilities on where to travel, but how best to coordinate a diverse set of families, especially since each family was different: enjoyed different activities, ate different food, came from different regions, and no family was the same in make up – we had families each of 3, 2, and 1 child – so how best to plan activities and meals, but even more important – how to ensure everyone has the best time possible!  

So what started as simply a way to get the Kookist team away for a bit, turned into a full-fledged research project that we hope helps other families and groups just like ours.

Read on to get some hints, tips, and best practices for making the most of your trip while maintaining your sanity along the way. And of course if you are looking for 1:1 assistance – just write us at…._________ and we’d be glad to help!

Vacation Tips:


Bring the basics such as Paper Products, Condiments, and what will be needed for the first two meals, snacks, et. Then plan to purchase everything else at the local supermarket – thus ensuring freshness and minimizing your pack-in. 

Pro Tip – Order your groceries for pick up or delivery to save time and effort.  In some areas you can even have wine and beer delivered (and ice!) to keep the good times rolling and avoiding the needless trip across town to the local grocery store.

Family Coordination

Consider using a spreadsheet or shared document to coordinate activities, aid in housing selection, meal plan, and carry in groceries between families. 

There are also some apps out there to aid in splitting costs such as groceries, meals out, or activities.


Get an idea of what activities or area attractions you plan to visit ahead of time.  Some may even offer discounts for booking early or online. This will save time and give you more of a sense of confidence approaching your vacation. While some may prefer to just take things as they come while on a trip of this nature, we still its beneficial to at least know what the area offers so there is one less unknown on your journey.


Bring a few games which are group friendly. Whether its a card game, classic board game, or even video games, these will come in handy for rainy days, distractions for the kids, and even after the kids go to bed. 

We also brought along a few movies to help ease the indoor time and limit individual screen time – there is nothing worse IMO than watching an entire pack of kids absorbed in their own personal screens while on vacation together!


Make sure you give consideration to how you are planning to spend your days. Depending upon the size of the group its very likely that you’ll be splitting up and spending time apart, and everyone should plan to embrace that, it is vacation after all!

So having a few outings in the back of your mind such as: local tours, parks, tennis courts, fishing, boat or jet ski rental, museums, pool, waterpark, mini golf, etc – the possibilities are truly endless; but you’ll save time and planning effort by giving thought to them ahead of time. 

Kookist at the Beach!

Kids Activities

One of the things we found imperative was having a handful of kids hands-on activities planned out ahead of time. These were perfect to lean on during the midday hour while the kids were winding down and of course rainy days. 

They also served to keep the overall screen time to a minimum, encouraged creativity and collaboration, and were quite fun to boot!

DIY Bouncy Balls

This was a great activity, and one that was new to the Kookist team. Essentially it boiled down to the following: take some simple ingredients, load them into one of the molds, dip in water, dry, and bounce!! The kit we used included several different shapes/sizes of molds along with a great variety of colors allowing our kiddos to create colorful, wacky bouncy balls that are as unique as the little ones themselves. 

In particular the parents benefited from the fact that everything was included in the kit and we had balls bouncing in less than an hour! Clean up was a breeze too.  Consider this activity for those spells right after lunch while people are winding down and before heading back outdoors for more fun.

Here is a great option from Amazon that will certainly fit the bill:

Tie-Dye T-Shirts

A throwback classic! The kids had so much fun dying their shirts and the end products were so cool, unfortunately they were still wet and in their plastic wrap so we weren’t able to take any group photos, but the early results were very encouraging. What we liked about this particular activity was it took some time for the kids to complete but with an adults help everything was easy and the kit made clean up painless.  We ended up buying some additional shirts which we highly recommend – not just to make sure everyone has one, but it also helps extend the fun and if you extras, then ever more fun can be had experimenting with different color and design combinations. Basic white t-shirts shirts are a no brainer and not particularly expensive, but mixing things up with v-necks, A-shirts, or even classic shirts that simply could use some fresh life – (Pro Tip – if you are going to use a non-white shirt, make sure its on the lighter side of things and any writing or images are darker in color – this will ensure the colors pop, and the writing/design is still able to be seen).

Disclaimer – this one is a bit more involved for the adults as the dyes can stain and there is considerable drying and rinsing time involved. Make sure you have enough gloves, a table cloth, and review carefully with the youngsters how to do the project safely and work to minimize spills/drops of the dye going anywhere but the shirts. 

Decorate/Art Cookies

Likely everyone’ favorite activity was the DIY Cookie Decorating kit we had on hand.  While we went with an Independence Day theme, there are multiple kits out there that can be purchased at craft stores, online, or you could even put it together yourself – think pre-baked cookies (freeze them if need be), icing, decorations (sprinkles, sugar, small candies), and maybe some inspiration such as photos or colorful art. 

We did the cookies one morning when everyone was somewhat dragging.  It was a fun activity that kids from the age of 3 to 10 enjoyed.  Instead of icing and sprinkles, our kit was actually pre-iced and each cookie had a unique design that the kids ‘painted in’ using small edible paint palettes and just a splash of water on their brushes.  So easy and so fun! The cookies dried quickly and while we encountered a few minor spills with the water and edible palettes, by and large the event was mess free and enjoyable for all. 

Check out our photos and consider the below kit from Amazon to help make your vacation all the better!

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