This is an important topic if you have children and live in Antigua, aka – ME! Purportedly 365 beaches on an island that is 14 miles long and 11 miles wide means that there is often not a great deal else to do. Especially during school holidays….and with Summer fast approaching, I can see a lot of beach days on the horizon.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing. I like the beach. My daughter likes the beach. My son does not like it at all. He is the snow bear of the family. So I have to find ways to make it interesting. He likes art and science, so ideas 1 and 2 are custom made for him and with number 1 in particular we can have a lot of fun.
So here goes: the top 5.
- Draw as many MR MEN or LITTLE MISS characters that you can think of. We spend a lot of time working on their facial expressions. Have a look at one of the books now if you have one handy. You will quickly realise how easy they are to draw and how simple it is to change their moods with an eyebrow reshape or a mouth reassessment. Sometimes we draw other cartoon characters too. We make them up and my son will come and adapt my faces to how he likes them, or give me advice on what I should change to make them look meaner / scarier / funnier. Sand is the perfect medium. And every now and then a wave will come along and you can start all over again.
2. Make a volcano in the sand. We used a small bucket and built a volcano mountainside around it. Then it is super simple to pour in the baking soda into the bucket. The children take it in turns to pour white vinegar onto the baking soda and watch the ‘lava’ spew forth. This is a classic school experiment that is mess free on the beach.
3. Build a spaceship in the sand. We used to do this in the snow when we lived in Switzerland. Now we build it in the sand. Basically you dig a trench with little bumps for seats. Add as many seats as you have children, or give them a space rocket each. As I have a boy and a girl, they each have tasks that they love to do (very gender specific, but it came with the genes I promise): my son is the pilot, so he builds the cockpit and adds ‘controllers’ and ‘buttons’ ad hoc. My daughter often sits in the back seat and always packs a ‘picnic’ of sorts. We usually install a cup holder for a drink (pretty important in the Caribbean) and then draw some planets in front of the ship. Once the construction phase is complete, it is time to blast off for a ‘Picnic in the Planets’. The children can let their imagination go and head off to explore the various planets that come up on the radar.
Ok, so this was built by me the Mommy – I’m sure all the Dad’s out there are scoffing and saying that they can do better!
4. Scavenger Hunt. If you need another excuse for running around, then this is it. Kids will delight in finding treasures they might have missed. Here are some ideas to include on a beach scavenger hunt to keep the kids busy: striped rock, heart shaped pebble, feather, crab exoskeleton, footprints, sea glass, flower, flying bird, palm tree, banana tree ….
5. Build a Fort and use water guns to defend it! Clearly the boys are going to love this and it’s better to use water guns at the beach than at home, I reckon! Gather the kids together and collect sticks and driftwood as needed. Use a big beach towel to cover over the top. Dig a trench around it if you like. Stash the ‘treasure’ inside. Make sure that everyone has a water gun (Mum’s and Dad’s too, of course) and let the chaos begin. Play until someone starts crying, then get ice cream 🙂
I hope you’ve enjoyed these fun ideas, if so please like and share around. Thanks for joining me at antiguaviews.com.