The Beach is an AWESOME place to spend a day with your family!
Posted by Get Ready 4 Kindergarten on Aug 12th 2022
If you're an old hand at kid-filled Beach Days you've probably got this nailed
down already! But, if you're new to the beach (with children) or need some new ideas, here's
some tips to help make the day sparkle like sun on water!
You packed the sunscreen, water bottles, sand toys, towels, change of clothes, lunch, snacks, book you WILL NOT GET TO READ, children, and another responsible adult and you're ready to head to the beach for a relaxing day of fun in the sand and surf?
Parent survival guide to a family day at the beach!
Step 1: Prepare ahead for the day AND the ride home!
• Pack loose clean clothes for the trip home.
• Have beds ready to go before you leave for the beach so you can toss or gently place them in bed at the end of this fun-filled and tiring day.
• Divide the sand toys between 2 separate bags. (Put one in a trash bag to keep it hidden.) Give the kids one bag on arrival and keep the other for when the first argument breaks out about who has what toy. You will be an instant hero!
• Pack more drinks and snacks than you could possibly use and that will be just about right. Fresh air and sunshine always make children extra hungry and thirsty. Plan ahead to not need the snack bar.
• Keep one small cooler separate and packed with: wet washcloths packed in plastic bags to cool off sunburns, one small drink per person, one small snack per person, a story on CD/DVD to play in the car on the way home.
• Pack a quiet bag with some books, 5 crayons per child (markers do not work well at the beach) and paper. Bring this out in the afternoon for a 20 minute “no feet off the blanket” quiet time.
• Pack one plastic container with a lid per child. No treasures go home that do not fit in the box and you’ve already picked the size of the boxes!
Step 2: Once you're settled...Play games with your kids!
- Sandcastle challenge: Whose is most decorative? Tallest? Biggest?
- Play Ring Around the Rosie: hold hands and circle up, sing the song while you circle around and all fall down in the water
- Play Tug of war with a beach towel
- AAARRGGHH! Look for Pirate Ships on the horizon! Talk like pirates! Dig for buried treasure (start with a surprise X in the sand to mark the spot!)
- Ball toss: dig several holes in the sand and practice throwing balls (or shells) into them
Step 3: Work on reading!
• Build vocabulary. Beachcombing might be a new word for your child! Point out things and talk about them while you walk along and collect treasures: sand, ocean, shore, tide, lake, dig, tunnel, moat, dune, flood, pail, shovel, fish, shell, clam, crab, dock, rocks, jetty, boardwalk, sunscreen, towels, goggles, float, raft, kite, boat, surfboard, lifeguard, and more …
• Make up a story! Be pirates searching for treasure or oceanographers seeking the next ocean life form or be shipwrecked on this beach and searching for clues as to where you are! Your children will love it when you are silly with them and you will be building their imaginations and vocabulary to make them better readers and writers!
Step 4: Do some math work! Use the treasures you found while beachcombing.
- Count Everything! Steps, shells, fish, flip-flops, trips to the potty, boats, umbrellas
- Sort! Shells by shape or kind, stones by color, buckets by size
- Group! Shells in one pile, stones in another, seaweed in a third
- Describe! Is the shell round? Smooth? Rough? Bumpy? Green? Soft?
Step 5: Play some more!!
- Dump, fill, pour: Take some plastic cups or a milk jug to fill with sand or water
- Bury the adult’s feet or even the entire adult
- Have a crab race: Sit in the sand, lean back on your forearms and lift your body off the sand. Walk on your hands and feet like a crab (sideways) and race with your kids
- Frisbee, ball, kites, jump the waves, splash, sand angels, build a moat, dig for buried treasure
Step 6: Prepare for the trip home.
A little extra time spent in the morning before you leave will make the ride home much nicer at the end of the day.
Shower off the kids (or at least cover them in baby powder and brush well) so you have “clean-ish” children in that extra set of clothes (or jammies) to put in the car, snacks and drinks saved for the ride, cold compresses for sunburns, quiet story tape to listen to, beds ready at home to collect sleeping children, and a limited amount of “treasures” to bring with you.