Summer season is fast approaching. For many of us parents, that means that we will quickly be trying to pack for vacations, and realize that we have to keep kids, often of varying ages happy on the beach. Below are some tried and true beach toys that should be on every packing list, no matter what beach you are going to, or who you are taking along.
1. Beach Builder Toy Set – These are sets that can often be found in just about any store, but they will never go out of style. They are simple enough – the big piece will generally be a dump truck or a small wagon that comes filled with all the goodies needed for a kid to build anything they could possibly think of in the sand. They will have a rake, a larger shovel, and some kind of water gathering tool. Some will come with nothing more then that and others will have sand molds, buckets, smaller shovels and rakes – it all depends on what your kid likes to dig with, and what you want to spend on it. It is also easy to make if you have things to include and just want to buy some of the pieces individually.
2. Kites – These classic outdoor toys will never get old. No matter what level of kite flyer you are or what you are a fan of there is a kite out there for you. Be sure to have it with you no matter what, because they do not take up that much room and often times the weather will be windy whether predicted to be or not. Another fun thing to do to draw the kids in, especially if they are looking forward to a beach day and trying to count down to it is to get materials and make one. All you will need to do this are 2 wooden dowels or sticks, twine or string, glue, some form of sturdy fabric or plastic for the sail and a complimentary strip of fabric or string for the tail, scissors and a ruler.
3. Kick/Body/Boogie Boards – Which of these boards you will want will depend on where you are going and the age of your child, combined with their swimming ability. If going to a calm, man made lake then you can really take any of these, and it will truly depend on your child as to which you will want. If you are going to an ocean, a boogie board is highly recommended for older children with strong swimming skills – if they can get them to the right depth it can be great fun to ride the waves in. Keep in mind however, at any time the tide and waves can act unpredictably and spill them out into the water – this is why you want your kids to be able to react appropriately. Kick or body boards can be used here as well, but you will want to keep in very shallow water and understand that if you leave them lying around the ocean may sweep them away.
4. No Spill Bubbles Machine – This is especially useful for toddlers. No matter where they are or what the water has to offer them, most toddlers can be kept happy chasing bubbles for hours. Take some different color bubbles, and make sure to pack it in a plastic bag because we all know that no spill means minimal spill.
5. Studier Beach Ball – Regular beach balls are great fun, but can be taken by the wind very easily and could turn a fun game into a nightmare meltdown in no time flat. If you go with a sturdier ball, almost an exercise type ball, it has more heft, can still be played with and has many more options for uses.
6. Sand-Grabbers – These things have been popping up more and more over the years, and my 2 year old is obsessed with watch them. They are usually shaped like a shark, dolphin or other maritime animal and are basically a manually operated claw bucket handle. They are great for kids who love to play in the sand and dig or even who like to move sand around.
7. Classic basket catch toy – The great think about a classic beach basket catch toy is that they can be entertaining for kids who vary in ages, likes and disposition. They are safer to have on a crowded beach then a hard ball and glove would be. They make it easier for kids who may not be as great at catching to still play, and they are so interchangeable that kids who don’t necessarily know each other but met on the beach can all play together. It’s a toy that should be in every beach survival kit, no matter the age of the beach goers.
This is not an all inclusive list, but if you include at least one or two of the above toys, your trip will surely be a success, and you might even be able to relax as your kids play on the beach.
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