My top beach activities for kids
The beach is my happy place. It doesn’t even have to be sunny (although that’s a bonus) but there’s nothing I love more than sitting and hearing the crash of the waves, feeling somehow calmer and re-energised simply by being beside the sea.
My daughter has inherited that love of the seaside. Announcing that we were off to the beach for our impromptu mini trip to Whitstable provoked squeals of excitement, especially at the thought there might be ice cream involved too. Whether there’s sand, shingle or pebbles, we can while away hours.
I loved these ideas from Haven on how to entertain kids on the beach and have teamed up with them to add a few of my own.
1. Go beachcombing
Sandcastles are Minnie’s first love on a beach, so she was briefly downcast to discover those were out for Whitstable. But it turns out shingle, especially smashed up pieces of shell in this part of Kent, is even better. We combed the beach for unusual shells, looking for complete ones, interesting colours, unusual shapes, and ended up making a collection/pile of sea snail shells (while secretly getting her to practise her counting skills). You could also creature pictures using your finds.
2. Find rockpools
I had forgotten the fascination of rockpooling until we visited Devon last year – the National Trust has a great guide but even without it, you can have a lot of fun peering into pools as we did on Shoalstone Beach, hunting for crabs, spotting occasional tiny swimming creatures and endless shelled marine life clinging on to the sides.
3. Hunting for treasure
For a three-year-old, burying anything is fun – me, her feet, driftwood, stones, pods that have fallen from trees, shells, even a small bucket one time in the Isles of Scilly. I swear I was watching her the entire time but we never found it… so there’s a tiny spotty bucket waiting for someone else to dig it up at Porthcressa Beach on St Mary’s. For little ones, it can be as simple as digging and burying, for older ones, you could create a proper hunt with clues and treasure to be found.
4. Create sand pictures
Making sand sculptures is always a favourite: we’ve pressed sticks, a discarded tile and a free Peppa Pig teacup from the front of a magazine into action on a beach in Burma when I didn’t have a bucket and spade with me. Be as creative as you like: draw pictures using your finger tip or toes, grab spare pebbles to make a pattern or pour water to create a different one. Look at the beach differently and you have a huge empty sandy canvas.
Images copyright MummyTravels