Five classic seaside activities for you and your family
‘I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors.’ That’s George in one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. If you share George’s love of the outdoors, come with us for an action-packed day at the seaside.
1. Have a paddle
What’s the first thing you do when you hit the beach? Roll up those trousers, and gamely join the children for a paddle of course! Feel the sea and sand between your toes and listen to the lapping of the waves and the sound of kids in their element.
Paddling’s a simple pleasure and you can help keep your loved ones safe and happy by making sure you’re between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguarded beach and by keeping them close. Our friendly lifeguards are there to help keep you all safe too. If you do fall in and find yourself out of your depth, remember: Float to Live. Watch this video on teaching your child how to float.
2. Build castles in the sand
Time to break out the buckets and spades. Top up everyone’s sunscreen and have a sit down while the kids build castles in the sand. Or get stuck in and give the kids a hand with the grand design.
The simple pleasure of filling a bucket with sand, flipping it, tapping the bucket and revealing your grand tower - or atmospheric ruin - should not be underestimated at any age. Families who are usually glued to screens will soon be busy cooperating, engineering the best castle and moat you’ve ever seen.
3. Catch a crab
If you or your family loves nature, head for some rockpools or a quay and find a good place to catch a crab. There’s a huge sense of satisfaction if you’re lucky and skilled enough to catch one! You can demonstrate to your children how to be kind to the crabs: use a net, not a hook, and place any you do catch gently in a big bucket with sea water, rocks and seaweed. And of course, show them how to put them carefully back where you found them.
It’s easy to get absorbed in hunting for crabs, only to find yourself cut off by the tide. It’s a good idea to check tide times on your beach. Work out if the water’s coming in or out, or ask a lifeguard.
Do take care on any slippery surfaces too – lifeboat crews often get called out to people who have had slips, trips and falls. Always take your phone with you, so you can call for help by calling 999 or 112 and asking for the coastguard. Your phone will come in handy too for taking a photo of your proud child with their crab!
4. Fly a kite
Is there anything more liberating than flying a kite on a sunny day?
What kite did you have when you were a child? You get some fancy ones these days, but the simple joy of flying any kite is timeless. That moment when the kite catches the breeze, the line tightens and the kite soars, is unforgettable. It might take a few attempts, but your kite will be flying high before you know it. Just remember to let the kids have a go too.
5. Have a picnic
After all those activities, you’ll be more than ready for your picnic. Don’t you agree that all food tastes better outdoors … even with a sprinkling of sand in the sarnies?
The simplest of picnics feel like a feast at the beach. So delve into that hamper. Cheese and cucumber sandwiches, chicken drumsticks, samosas, hard-boiled eggs, falafel wraps, crisps, watermelon, strawberries, brownies, flapjacks – anything goes. And don’t forget the ginger beer!
Find out more about keeping you, your friends and your family safe while enjoying the coast this year.Get beach safety tips