Family Fun Beach Activities
My favorite summer activities on my favorite beach
There is a small sandy beach somewhere in the Mediterranean which is my favorite place on earth. I have spent there all my summers since I was a child and it has seen me through both happy times and hard times. This is where I learned how to swim and where I taught my children to swim. On this beach I made my first sandcastles, started my first collection of shells and made my first summer friends which are still my closest. Lying on my back in the warm white sand, I saw my first falling stars in the velvet night sky and made fervent wishes for everlasting love and happiness. This is where I went to cry behind a rock as a lovesick teenager and where I went for romantic walks in the moonlight with my husband, before I even knew he would be my husband.
My family summer home is less than 100 m from this beach which practically serves as our backyard in summer. My husband and kids have come to share my love for this beautiful tiny place on earth and we consider ourselves unbelievably lucky to be able to spend our summers there and organize all sorts of fun activities for the whole family. What sort of family fun beach activities? Well read on and find out!
All photos have been taken by me and are copyrighted
Teach your kids how to swim
If you live near a large expanse of water or even occasionally go on holidays by the sea or a lake or even a river, teaching your kids to swim is a must. Apart from the fact that swimming gives a strong feeling of freedom and mastering an alien element, just like flying or skiing or sailing, it is an absolutely necessary safety measure if your children are ever near the water.
Both my children were brought into contact with the sea nearly as soon as they were born and they knew how to swim before the age of four. Teaching your kids to swim is an enjoyable family activity with lots of laughs and funny moments. In my case it was a three stage process, using three different kinds of swimming aids. The first stage was the baby float. It has a strap which safely fits between your baby's legs to prevent it from slipping down into the water and the baby essentially floats hapilly around.
One word of caution: Only use the baby float in relatively calm water. I nearly lost my firstborn when a large wave swept him upwards, pulled him off the strap and out of the float, giving us one chance to grab him before he was swept away!
The next stage was the inflatable arm bands. These allow a toddler free movement in the water, although providing full support, while your child learns how to swim.
And finally, this is the last stage, after which your child can swim on its own, with no swimming aid. This is an amazing invention which I haven't seen many people using. It consists of a belt with a number of foam like pads all around it. At this stage, your child must be able to hold its head out of the water and it must know how to move its arms and legs in order to swim, only needing a small extra support to remain afloat. This is the support provided by this swimming belt. As your child becomes a better swimmer, you remove the foam pads one by one every few days, until...there are none left! I cannot describe to you how it feels to see your child swimming on its own for the first time, after the last foam pad has been discreetly removed! It is a fabulous moment for the whole family to celebrate!
Swimming aids for kids on Amazon
When my kids were babies I didn't even know whether Amazon existed as we barely had a home Internet connection! However, I have picked for you exactly the products I used to teach them to swim back then and they are top rated as well!
Inflatable arm bands. I would recommend INTEX or another high quality brand name. Spiderman and other super hero inflatable bands are sometimes lower quality and may not be safe enough
Instructional swim belt with four removable foam pads
Play water games and water sports
Go out with your kids on the beach and play like kids! Water volley, beach volley or polo, tennis or soccer, water basketball or frisbee...there are so many options for a fun day on the beach...There is no danger of playing too agressively and getting hurt, the water and soft sand make sure of that. The whole family will enjoy itself tremendously, everybody will have a great time and you will treasure these fun familly moments together forever!
Rent a boat!
If you own or can rent a power boat this will turn your day at the beach into a truly unforgetable experience! With a boat you can explore surrounding beaches, coves and small islands which would be unreachable otherwise. You can also enjoy more extreme water sports with inflatable tubes and toys that you can pull behind you and experience the exhilarating feeling of jumping or rather flying over the waves caused by the boat! Flying a kite either on the beach or off a power boat is also something I really enjoy doing with the kids!
Make your dog happy!
Dogs are part of the family and most dogs love spending time on the beach running, swimming, fetching sticks and balls thrown for them and generally going crazy! My dog, a Golden Retriever, would sell her soul to the Dog Devil for an hour on the beach! We generally treat her to a swim and some beach time every evening in the summer, after most people have left the beach, because she has a tendency to believe that swimmers are actually drowning and she goes out of her way to...save them-which many people don't like! In any case, I would suggest you think twice before taking your dog on a crowded beach because many people would object to having a crazy, wet, hairy monster jump on them, rip their beach towel from under them and sprinkle them with a shower of sea water and sand! It is generally possible to choose a quiet time or find a secluded corner on the beach to have fun with your dog!
Snokerling is a really enjoyable fun and educational family activity in the summer. The underwater world is fascinating and you can have a lot of fun discovering underwater treasures and watching interesting sea creatures, colorful fish and shellfish, starfish and other sea creatures ... even water horses if you are really lucky. Young chidren who can't swim very well yet are sometimes more comfortable snorkeling - I am nor sure why, perhaps wearing fins gives them the extra boost they need. A waterproof camera is a very good idea for this kind of activity.
Make sand castles
A classic old favorite but you won't be able to get out of it! Kids absolutely love making sand castles and huge constructions in the sand. You might feel bored at first as they start badgering you to help them build a bridge or dig a well, but very soon you will start really enjoying yourself and at the end of the day you and the rest of the family may be the proud engineer of an architectural masterpiece covering most of the beach....until the next high tide!
Collect sea shells, sea glass or driftwood
Walking barefoot in the sand is a great exercise and very good for your feet and back. Collecting beach things as you walk is a great passtime. Depending on the beach you find yourself on, you can find really beautiful sea shells and pebbles, very interesting pieces of driftwood, sea glass and many more things. If you are just a tiny bit crafty, you can make really stunning things with your beach finds once you get back home. From the simple idea of filling a few apothecary jars with shells, sea stars or pebbles and instantly changing the mood of a room to remind you of summer, to more complicated craft projects, your imagination is the limit.
Beach Art on Amazon - Best rated books for crafts with things you may find on the beach
Decorate your home with creative driftwood sculptures made by you
Go sailing, canoeing or windsurfing
Over the years and as our children were growing up, we gradually collected a real arsenal of boats and floats. Apart from our family boat, there is a small sailing boat for our elder son, a canoe and a windsurf, as well as a large collection of inflatable canoes and boats. Being able to move around in the water by your own means is a truly unique experience. Apart from keeping you very fit (all these do, even a motor boat) it is simply wonderful to be able to visit places in or around the sea that can only be reached by sea, especially in the middle of the summer holidays when our little beach gets really crowded. Even if you don't have or cannot carry with you any kind of boat or float, you are generally able to rent canoes, paddle boats, wind-surfs, even small motor boats on most organized beaches.
Best choice for a spacious, sturdy and seaworthy travel kayak
Top Rated Inflatable Travel Kayak - Your best choice for a sturdy inflatable kayak
This is a great choice for a really sturdy and comfortable yet inflatable kayak which stores in a nylon bag and is very easy to carry with you for a day on the beach, for a fishing trip or a holiday by the sea or a river or lake. I do not personally own this kayak but last year, while I was swimming along our beach, I saw a very good friend of mine who has been living in the UK for years but has a summer house near ours, riding in exactly this kayak. My sons were very impressed with it and so was I. It measures 9 feet 10 inches by 3 feet 1 inch and holds up to 350 pounds. It is very very stable and seaworthy even in rough water, with a raised bow and stern and a double hull. It is quite spacious, with a lot of storage space. It includes the very handy nylon carrying bag, built-in carrying handles and oar holders. Come with a one year guarrantee from Sevylor.
Whether you do it from a boat or from the beach, fishing is a really enjoyable family activity. You probably won't catch much, because kids get really enthusiastic about fishing and will be constantly after you to bait their hooks (worms...YUCK!!) or unhook the tiny fry they might be lucky to catch. But you will have a lot of fun and built up on your relationship as a family
Great fishing gadget for a bit of fishing fun wherever you go
Best travelling fishing rod
If you like fishing but cannot afford to carry along a full load of fishing rods and fishing gear for a family day trip or short holiday, this is definitely for you. It is a tiny pen shaped telescopic fishing rod, very good quality and quite adequate for light fishing from a boat or the beach. I've had one for two years and couldn't be happier. I keep all my heavy and bulky fishing gear in our summer house or on the boat and take this lovely gadget with me wherever I go. Don't expect to catch a whale with it, but for a family day out with the kids it is absolutely perfect.
Time to Relax...
...and maybe have some Mummy and Daddy Time...
Don't forget your camera!
With so many fantastic fun family activities on the beach this summer, you certainly don't want to miss anything! Be sure you've got your camera with you to capture all these wonderfully unique moments!
© 2013 Aquamarine18