Yes, it’s that time again, the long 6 weeks school summer holiday stretches before us.
And, while the kids are super excited it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge knowing how to keep them occupied without having to spend a small fortune.
Children love the simple things in life – a bit like playing with the cardboard box that the expensive toy came in! You don’t always have to fork out too much money either, the secret is to find something a little bit different…
The Suffolk Coast is rich in beautiful expanses of beaches and excellent for a fun family day out. The beach is the perfect place to let your child build, scoop, and pour to his or her heart’s content. You can use buckets and shovels, cups and spoons, or your hands. Sensory play at its very best!
We’ve put together a few activity ideas and tips for a fun and safe day at the Suffolk Coast seaside…
Bucket and Spade!
The most obvious tools to take on the beach but great for hours of fun! Whether it’s building a castle with a moat, a sand statue or just digging a pool, there are not many places kids can have the freedom of mucking about with sand and water without getting scolded for making a mess!
Pirate Treasure Hunt
Go on a scavenger hunt and collect rocks, shells, seaweed – Children can make believe they are Pirates hunting for hidden treasure. Put together a list of items they need to find and a bucket for collecting the ‘treasure’ making sure they are always within your sight of course.
Exploring Rock Pools
It’s surprising how many little sea creatures lurk in the rocks pools once the tide has gone out and The Suffolk Coast is one of the best places to find them!
Taking a bucket is a good idea as it allows you to contain rock pool creatures for closer inspection, but you must remember to let them go back where you found them after a short time. Try placing the bucket in the water and see what swims in or, push it gently through the water to scoop up some marine life. Steer clear of using a net as these little creatures are small and very delicate so getting tangled in a net can cause them harm.
Go Fly a Kite!
Especially entertaining when there’s a bit of a sea breeze. And make sure you choose a spot that’s not too heavily populated. Never leave your child unattended with the kite.
Kite flying is even more fun when kids make the kite themselves before the trip, here’s how you can create a very simple kite:
Step 1: Fold a strong piece of paper in half widthways (decorate before with a colourful design)
Step 2: Bend the front corner of the top layer down to touch the crease. Repeat on the back layer and staple.
Step 3: Make a hole near the front of the crease
Step 4: Thread string through hole and tie it off.
Take along a ball, bat and wicket for a game of Rounders. Again, make sure you have some space around you so as not to upset any nearby sun worshippers!
Boules is great too or simply fill a few plastic bottles with sand and try bowling them over with a ball.
Guess Who – One player must choose a person on the beach while the others ask questions to discover which person it is: Are they wearing a hat, do they have a red swim suit etc. Answers must be ‘yes’ or ‘no’
Tag – Really simple but kids love having the expanse of the beach to run around on!
Ducks and drakes - A game of throwing flat stones so that they skim along the surface of water.
There’s really no end to what you can find to do on our sandy shores but make sure you stay safe by:
- Taking plenty of water (for drinking and washing sand off hands and out of eyes).
- Sun cream (apply even if it’s cloudy – the sea breeze can be deceiving!).
- Adhere to the coast guard’s warning about tides and when it’s safe (and not) to go in the water.
- Place a safety bracelet on your child’s wrist with your mobile number and name on.
- Take away any rubbish.
- Always make sure your child is within your vision.
You can return time and time again to the beach and do different activities on each visit – Have fun in the sun and enjoy our beautiful Suffolk beaches!