You’ve got sand in your sandwiches, a pair of broken sunglasses and you’ve attracted a particularly tenacious fly. But don’t worry, these things happen to every family on the beach, along with all of the following.
1. “Are we nearly there yet?”
2. Your first-choice car park is full. Your second-choice car park is full. You didn’t have a third-choice car park, so you drive round for 20 minutes, before finally squeezing in to a space on a suburban street, a mile from the beach.
3. Somebody gets sand in their sandwiches. Predictable jokes ensue.
4. “Dad… what’s this?” (Child holds up what could be a half-eaten fish head, or some other decaying abomination that you’d rather they hadn’t noticed.)
5. “Argh… I’ve got sand in my eyes. Get it out!”
6. According to every TV show ever, rock pools should be teeming with crabs, minnows, shellfish and sea snails. The pool that you select boasts a modest collection of sea weed, but not much else.
7. Child scrambles up some rocks. Parent immediately shouts “Watch out for seaweed. You might slip.”
8. There’s a fly that won’t go away. It embarks on an unrequited love affair with your nose.
9. Somebody decides to bury the towel for a laugh. It is not a laugh.
10. The tide is coming in. The kids attempt to protect their sandcastles by building an increasingly desperate series of drainage ditches and dam walls. Dad steps in to oversee the defences, like some battle-hardened knight preparing for siege. But there’s no holding back the tide, and the fortifications are swept away by the first large wave.
11. “Argh… there’s sand in the sun cream. You’re rubbing it in. It hurts!”
12. Someone has to hum the Jaws theme the second that somebody paddles out beyond ankle depth.
13. The phrase “Ah, I wish I’d brought [XYZ]” is uttered at least a dozen times.
14. Somebody’s sunglasses will break. It’s not funny, and it’s not clever, but this always happens.
15. The kids collect several kilos of shells and pebbles, which now have to go home with you. 16. The collection will inevitably sit around the house for weeks, because nobody wants to play with it, but it also can never be thrown away.
17. Someone comes up with the idea of excavating a deep hole - possibly with the aim of tunneling to the other side of the world.
18. A very wet dog decides to shake off its aqueous burden just inches from your encampment.
19. The kids make the very reasonable appeal that they’d like an ice cream. Having seen the queue, you promise to be back before it gets dark.
20. When you do manage to procure ice cream, this happens:
21. That game, where you have to wait for a wave to break, then run out as far as you can before another wave gets you; it’s always the person who hasn’t changed into their swimwear who ends up falling over.
22. Child finds a particularly shiny stone or shell, which they immediately declare The Most Precious Object Ever. It goes missing a few minutes later, and the whole family has to go beachcombing in an effort to find it.
23. There’s an impressive line forming to reach the only toilets near the beach. You start to ponder… would it really be so bad to wee in the sea? I mean, fish must do it all the time.
24. No matter how careful you’ve been, your car interior will still be peppered with sand come winter time.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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