We’ve just come back from a camping holiday (I love my bed and my sofas and my walls and roof- it was very cold and windy at times) and we spent a few days on the beach. “That’s fine in the hot weather,” I hear you say. But I beg to differ. Let me set the scene: 40mph winds, swimming costumes with jumpers and coats over the top, cloudy skies and the occasional rain shower. Now, I’m not suggesting these are ideal beach conditions. I’m not insisting you even take a swimming costume in weather like that, but my children are pretty crazy and wanted to get in the sea and jump the waves. Whatever the weather, a trip to the beach is cheap and there are loads of things you can do. One of our family favourites is ‘rock pooling’. Grabbing nets and buckets and setting off searching the rock pools for signs of life. Looking under seaweed, picking up rocks and investigating underneath is great fun and, even though crabs can be vicious, you don’t need to pick them up- use the nets. Delve in and experience the different wildlife in a rock pool. Wildlife watch do spotter sheets for coastal areas, jelly fish, estuaries. Use the link above to find ones suitable for you.
My son made a wonderful collection of pebbles while we were away. I have a choice to make: Do I… 1) Carefully dispose of the pebbles without him knowing? 2) Allow him to keep one or two for a while? 3) Allow him to draw faces on them and keep them as pets? 4) Get the paints out and let him decorate them? 5) Use them to create a tray garden? 6) Stick them together to create a creature of some sort? 7) Stick magnets on the back and use as fridge magnets? 8) Get them decorated ad give to grandparents as paper weights? Basically, why get rid of them when a collection of pebbles, shells and even dried seaweed can be used to do lots of things. Wind, rain or shine, sundress and flip-flops or waterproofs and wellies you can make sandcastles, dig a fort and watch the sea invade it, fly a kite, play cricket or bat and ball games, collect shells, anything! The trick to making it enjoyable is to be prepared. Bad weather: Blankets, coats, waterproofs, wellies, flask of hot drink, change of clothes, towels, windbreak or small beach tent, food. Hot weather: Towels, swimming costumes, change of clothes, suntan lotion, sunhats, sun glasses, drinks, rock pool shoes, picnic, blanket to sit on. Don’t forget: buckets, spades, nets, a bag to store all you have collect so you can take it home and wash it and a camera to record all the fun.