If you are planning to move to the beach or possibly just a vacation with your toddler, you are probably wondering whether your toddler would like the beach as well. You are possibly asking yourself if you would be able to engage them in enough activities while on the beach. You definitely do not want to hand over the iPad and let them watch mindless videos when there is so much else they could be doing (see other mistakes parents make with their kids over at The Stork List)! Here are some fun things to do at the beach with a toddler so that they are not just occupied with some activities, but also enjoy and learn while on the beach!
Sandcastles don’t need to be boring and monotonous
Regular sandcastles can only hold your toddler’s attention for so much time. Be creative. Cylindrical sandcastles made by upturning buckets of sands are boring. Instead, do this.
- Take lots of molds of different shapes with you to fuse together into innovative, modern castles. Carry some toys like dolls, animal figurines, etc. to decorate the castle with.
- Bring in some building site toys like a digger, a dumper truck and a road-roller. Use these to dig and bring sand to your ‘construction site’ and for paving the roadways around your castle.
Splashing the in the waves is an obvious fun thing to do at the beach a toddler. But, if they are not yet ready and are intimidated by the sea, consider carrying an inflatable kiddie pool. Just fill it up with the sea water and let the kids splash about in it!
Keep ‘em running!
- Give them a small bucket or pot to carry water from the sea and fill up a larger bucket.
- Have a hurdle race if you have more than one child. Create simple hurdles using folded towels and toys.
Give them a fun expedition
- Treasure hunt – Draw a big circle with a stick and bury toys or candies at different places within the circle. Let the kids use their shovels to dig up the sand and find treasure.
- Scavenger hunt – Roam the beach with your toddler and collect things which look colorful or attractive to them.
- Find rocks to paint. Use the time when the sun is at its peak to sit down and paint them with easy patterns.
- Create designs with tiny footprints and palmprints in the sand.
- Use the collected sea shells and stones to make different shapes.
- How about a cake? Let your toddler pat a nice cake and decorate it with stones and shells.
Have a picnic
Bring a heavy picnic blanket and pack some food and make a picnic out of it!
- You can play catch or let the kids kick a ball around.
- Use a stick to draw in the sand and play Hopscotch.
Take time to educate
- It is a good time to build their word bank with everything related to the beach.
- Tell them about seas and oceans and let them look at starfish or snails on the beach. Give them a magnifying glass to help them explore. (Supervise the use of a magnifying glass in the sun, though!)
- Writing in the sand is a great way to teach kids their alphabet and numbers. Let them trace the letters in the sand or simply build upon their letter recognition skills. Or you can simply teach shapes to the younger ones.
Take a break
The kids are bound to get tired after so much activity. You don’t want an over-tired, cranky toddler who is not able to calm down. So, take a break every time you think the toddler is tired or you are!Use this time to hydrate. You can also use the break time to further your child’s ultimate beach experience.
- Take the objects collected in the scavenger hunt and put them in a glass jar along with some sand to create beautiful handmade souvenirs.
- Read a picture book about the beach or about aquatic life.
- Take a nap.
Lastly, remember, that nothing is perfect. No matter how much you try, there still could be tantrums, outbursts, and crying. Be patient. Let the toddler lead you in the selection of activities. Also, be prepared to switch to the next activity if the toddler is bored with one.
With these tips, and lots of sunscreen lotion, your vacation should be a beach, we mean breeze!