Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TODDLER TUESDAY! How to Have Fun at the Beach Without Spending a Dime!

Everyone knows about the usual things to do at the beach (like swimming and making sandcastles) but what we often forget (as we sit down and get out our book) is that toddlers often need a lot more direction!  But don’t worry, with a little creativity we can embrace the sea shore without spending any money and keep our little ones entertained for hours!

Make shadows  This is one of my favorite things to do.  Teach children about how their movements make shadows on the sand.  It may not keep their attention for too long but it’s a great way to have fun on the go.

Writing in the Sand  Writing in the sand can keep kids entertained for long periods of time while also teaching them new things!  The choices of what to write (or draw) are endless but Sienna and I love to write letters, numbers, and happy faces.  As your toddler gets older you can help them draw boats, kites, food, and many other objects!

Bring bath toys from home  Don’t forget your kids favorite bath toys!  Bring these toys to the beach, encourage your kids to dip the toys in the water, make a parade, or bury them.
Races  Draw a line in the sand indicating a start and finish line and race your little one (don’t forget to let them win sometimes!!)
Boot camp  If your toddler is old enough, teach them how to run on the beach, do jumping jacks, and push ups.  Crabby crawls (walking on your hands and feet) are great fun too! 
Hopscotch  Draw some blocks in the sand and jump away.  Even if your toddler isn’t old enough to really understand the game, they will have fun hoping on the squares!

Playing in the sand  Although this is messy….building sandcastles can be great fun for children. Fill a bucket with water and bury it in the sand so that they can make a pretend “swimming pool” or have your little one bury your feet.  
Picnic  Eating somewhere new can be fun!  Grab a blanket, juice boxes, and a sandwich for the perfect picnic on the beach!
***TICKLES AND TIMEOUTS TIP!!  Go to the beach in the morning or evening to avoid the crowds and also keep your toddler cool.  In addition, the mornings and early evenings offer great opportunities to see new things like fisherman, trackers, and new sea shells.  Don’t forget your camera!  This is the perfect opportunity to capture some great pictures!

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