Beach Babes

IMG_7697What could be more fun than a day at the beach?!  With Queensland having unseasonably warm weather, we took the kids to the Sunshine Coast for some quality family time.  We all had a wonderful time, but for different reasons.  Here’s what we did to prepare for our mini-stay and get the most out of our beach trip.

In the week leading up to our beach holiday the kids and I went to the library and borrowed some beachy books.  The best two were probably Magic Beach (Alison Lester) and Looking For Crabs (Bruce Whatley).  Little Miss 3 was delighted at the prospect of investigating rock pools, and determined to find crabs.  Full of optimism I purchased a little bug-finding kit (small net, specimen jars, plastic tweezers) for a couple of dollars and tucked it into the beach bag as a surprise for her.

We knew that a surf beach or crowded swimming beach was not going to be ideal for a baby and crab-hunting toddler, so we chose Shelly Beach instead.  Only a short stroll from the car was the perfect spot.  Shady sand for me, shallow water for the boys to splash in, and rock pools begging to be explored.

Our little boy took to the sea like a fish to water, pardon the cliche.  He had the best time just hanging out with his dad, and they laughed, splashed and played in the knee-deep water happily.  Meanwhile, my daughter and I investigated the rock pools.  She remembered so much from the books we had read, and nattered away about where we should look and what we might find.  I couldn’t believe it when we actually found hermit crabs!  (Bright as she is, Little Miss 3 is still convinced that they are called “Kermit” crabs…)  We scooped them up gently with her net, put them on a flat rock for photographs, and watched them crawl back to the water.

When her interest in the rock pools began to wane we built a sandcastle.  We decorated it with shells, and dug a tunnel through until our fingers touched.  Then we poured bucketfuls of water into our moat like in Magic Beach.  Again, the amount of story she remembered without prompting surprised even me.  The boys were still happy in the water.

After that I suggested we collect some small shells to take home for craft later on, but all she really wanted to do was dig holes in the sand and pour water into them.  A little voice inside reminded me that she needed time and space to safely explore the beach in her own way too.  So I let her be, and laughed occasionally at her antics while I collected shells.  Still, the boys were in the water – though they were now starting to resemble prunes!

Eventually we had to drag both kids away from the beach because it was almost dinner time.  The afternoon had passed without a single, “I’m hungry…” or “I’m bored…” or “Can we go now..?”  Nature is the best playground.  Ever.

7 thoughts on “Beach Babes

  1. I love Shelly beach, this reminds me so much of when I was a kid and my dad would take my brothers and I to the beach. I could spend all day there exploring the rocks and rock pools and looking for shells! Some of my favourite memories are of going to that beach with my dad :)

  2. Sorry, I think I might have taught her to dig holes and poor water in them. She was fascinated when I asked her where the water had gone!!

  3. oh a beach day! You lucky things! I love love love that you found hermit crabs and made a tunnel! You’ve created memories that will last forever!!!

  4. Hi Cath,
    It’s great to read how you enjoyed yourselves. We were at the Sunshine Coast about 5 years ago and had a fantastic time but it’s a long from Adelaide. Not sure when we’ll make it again.
    It’s wonderful when children can have experiences which are educational and fun.

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