Wednesday 15 May 2013


Oh I do love to be beside the seaside!
We are dead lucky. We live in a nice (if v untidy) house in a great village with lots of lovely countryside around. BUT I do wish we were a bit closer to the sea. It really takes a couple of hours in the car to get to a nice bit of coast so it's a major expedition, which is a shame because we all love the beach. Rain or shine there's something about the space and the smell and the textures on a beach that are very appealing to small children, and of course there's the thrill of seeing the sea.

Hey ho. I've read lots of good posts about ideas for things you can do at the seaside so I'm afraid I can't be very original, but here are some pics to illustrate some of the things we've enjoyed over the years:

I know, it gets everywhere! Trying to change a sandy nappy on a beach is no fun at all, but if you can put up with a bit of discomfort...

Building with it, burying each others' legs, leaving footprints in soft sand, drawing or writing in it, kids love the stuff. I've already done a post on sand play so I won't go on!
Who made a sand spire??


What's lurking in here?
Would you tickle those tentacles?
Rock pools are full of interest, who knows what might be lurking under the weed? Catching crabs, letting an anemone suck on your finger, trying to get a limpet off a rock are all unusual experiences for kids; and a shallow rockpool is often a warmer and safer way to enjoy the water than plunging headlong into the sea!

Daddy found a tiny starfish.
Lookout! It's a massive crab!

I caught a shrimp.


One of us isn't kitted-out for this!
That's better.
When I was young my grandparents lived on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, so we spent lot of holidays down there. I thought nothing of going into the sea for a bit of body-boarding in just my swimmers. Now it's an effort to persuade myself to dip my toes in! The water is freezing! I can't believe it's got colder, I think we've all just gone soft. We did get the boys cheap wetsuits so they could mess about in the rockpools comfortably without turning blue!


Check out all the different colours and patterns.
We're big fans of beach-combing. There's always treasure to be found. My mum has a massive glass bottle at home which she is gradually filling up with bottleglass- glass that has been smoothed into little opaque pebbles by the sea. The boys are always on the look out for bottleglass for granny and are especially triumphant if they find a prized bit of blue rather than the usual green, brown or white. They also like finding shells, interesting pebbles, strangely shaped bits of driftwood and of course the obligatory bit of stinky seaweed or very dead crab!
Dan's collection of "Olympit" shells.
How high can you stack?
And once you've collected things you could use them to make a bit of beach art. We used a large flat stone as a basis for some portraits, with pebble features and seaweed hair:
Pebble portraits
Fossil hunting.
One of the bits of coast that's reachable for the day from us is the "Jurassic" coast around Charmouth. It's great fun to go on a fossil hunt (although I reckon it's easier to find fossils on our gravel drive!) What could be better for a small boy than being allowed to whack stones with a hammer on a beach?
Where's that fossil, it's somewhere here...
Tap tap, can I find a dinosaur fossil?


Paddling up and down in the shallow streams that run across the beach, using a spade to re-route them, or building a dam out of stones to make a pool is a great way to spend some time. Zac once spent ages floating little bits of grass down a stream on the beach and seeing if he could beat them to the sea.

Phew, no monsters in here.
A bit of rock climbing
Scrambling over rocks or going into gloomy caves with water dripping down the walls, beaches are a totally different terrain to explore. So long as you're careful kids can use a different set of motor skills and can feel pretty intrepid as they investigate them.

Trying out new skills!?
The boys have had various goes at surfing, although we definitely need lessons from the cousins to master this!
Big waves are a bit scary!
That's better.

Martin also taught Zac to snorkel on holiday when he was only 4. I was impressed that he could breathe through it, and with his "floaty vest" on he was happy for Martin to tow him out to sea so that he could see the fish and corals.
The snorkelers return.

Not quite so appealing in the weed in Dorset!

I haven't mentioned skimming stones, having a picnic, eating icecreams, playing rounders or french cricket, digging to Australia, sunbathing with a good book (fat chance!!) I'm sure there's a million more!
Keep your eye on that greedy seagull.
Checking out the catch of the day.
Aaaah. I've made myself want to jump in the car and head for the nearest beach, but since it's freezing and I'm due to go into school and hear readers in half an hour, I guess it'll have to wait for another day!

Here's a link to a lovely post with more great ideas for things to do at the beach:


  1. What a lovely time you had. My grandson wasn't keen on the sand last year (he was 18months then) but hopefully he'll want to explore this year.
    Love the pile of pebbles, it's great when you come across one with stripes or patterns or even fossils!

    1. Thank you! Getting sandy does take a bit of getting used to doesn't it. I remember my brother having complete meltdowns about putting socks on sandy feet as a child, but now he spends most of his life surfing!

  2. Beaches are ace aren't they!Great for kids and photos and fun

    1. Thank you! Really enjoying the variety on #pocolo.

  3. So glad you had such a lovely time honey it looks like a really fab place to be x

    1. Thank you! Wish we could get there more often, so many happy memories. x

  4. Can't beat a good day at the beach. Hope you will link this one up with me over at Country Kids. Another wonderful outdoor post that makes me want to scoop the kids up and head straight to the beach. Infact I may just do that tomorrow!

    1. I'm sure you recognise Polzeath at the top of this post! Thanks, I'll link it up to #CountyKids. x

    2. So glad you joined us with your wonderful beach post!

  5. What a lovely day out, there is something very special about the beach isn't there. As a child my favourite activity was to explore rock pools, it seemed like a whole other world lived in there.

  6. What lovely photos - I do absolutely love the beach. I'm so excited because when we move we are only going to be half an hour away from Lyme Regis! I particularly love rock pools - something fascinating about them. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

  7. Oh we are far from the beach too! Hopefully the weather clears up and we can make a day of it. We are yet to do the Scottish seaside!

  8. Gorgeous photos you have there! My boys Love the seaside especially for rockpools x

  9. Thank you all! Wishing you lots of happy beach days in the future!! x

  10. What a great day out. I love your photos too. Really nice x

  11. we are lucky to live so close to the beach and it is a great playground for fun and learning isnt it? I really enjoyed this post - such lovely photos and great ideas of what you can do at the beach. Rock pools are something i wan to do soon with them x

  12. What a lot of great ideas for the beach. That reminds me we bought our lad a snorkle and they wouldn't let him use it in the pool so fingers crossed for some nice weather and we can take him to the sea.

  13. What a wonderful blog post - thoroughly enjoyed the photos in particular. Thanks

    1. Thank you! Not quite as creative as some of your ideas tho- and that video of the sand art man was incredible!