I am currently on my 2-week summer holiday in Cornwall being run ragged by my 3 daughters Poppet (4.5), Dumpling (2.5) and Pumpkin (0.4 months) together with my wife High Command.
As a Dad who works full-time, suddenly being thrown into a 2-week beach holiday can be quite a shock to the system and getting through the day without a fatality and keeping the kids entertained can be a challenge.
With this in mind I have put together a few ideas on how to survive a day on the beach :-):
- Spending one day (or more at the beach) with kids in tow can be like spending eight hours in the gym, so make sure you get into shape before you go (Mr Motivator works well for me)!!
- The key to success is having plenty of activities to do – pound shops sell lots of beach activities which you can stock up on. After spending 20 quid in there we have had a couple of new activities to do each day which helped to keep the girls entertained
- Lather up everyone in sun cream (spray ones are the best) before you hit the beach – this avoids the skidlets resembling breaded giblets after rolling in sand straight after being coated
- On the day try to visit a beach that is manned by lifeguards (RNLI in the UK) – this is so you’ll all be safer in the water (not so you can marvel at the BayWatch like lifeguards!)
- Remember plenty of change for the car park (if you are driving) and to fund the inevitable Ice Cream bribes
- Sometimes it can be a long walk from the car to the beach so it can be a good idea to give it some thought as to how you are going to transfer all your gear to the beach and back (so that you don’t end up resembling an overladen packhorse)
- Wind breaks seem to have been replaced by Beach Tents which are all the rage these days and provide shelter from both the sun (and the rain)….and also provide a great place to have a nap
- Bucket and spades are a must obviously but if you want to take your sand castle building to the next level then you can pick up kids gardening spades made out of metal from DIY stores and these really do separate the Pros from the Amateurs!
- Finding a beach with a stream running into it can be a much safer place to base yourself near rather than having to continually apprehend escapees making a break to freedom into the sea – also apart from helping to keep the kids cool streams are a great way to get everyone involved in the age-old art of dam building
- Rock hopping to catch fishes and crabs in the rock pools is a must – all you need are wet shoes to protect your feet and a net and bucket to put your catch in, but make sure you get your stories straight about just how big the one that got away was!!
- Burying kids, parents and grandparents alike in the sand is a must – make sure you take your camera to get the photographic evidence – this week I have become the victim of being snapped with a very fetching mermaid’s tail 😉
- Wind (and space) permitting a kite is a good one although do be mindful that folk don’t take kindly to a kite crashing down onto their heads!
- Bat and ball can be fun, especially if you draw out a court, but be careful it can get quite competitive and you may need to appoint an umpire
- A frisbee is also good fun until you throw it into someone else’s beach tent….
- And finally don’t forget your umbrella – if you are lucky and it doesn’t rain a brolly comes in handy as an additional shield from the sun
I haven’t even scratched the surface as to the activities you can do on the beach and would love to hear the things you do.
Are you off to the beach this summer?
What are your top tips for having fun on the beach?