When my husband and I relocated to Corpus Christi in August of 2015 the first place we visited was Padre Island National Seashore. I fell in love. The peace and serenity I felt there was something I had not felt since I had been a child. As I watched the rippling waves lapping the sand all my fears and worries disappeared. Well that was until the beautiful ocean sounds were drowned out by my the 3 year old screaming “mum, she put sand in my hair!” Reality hit and I discovered that while the beach was my happy place, it was going to take more than merely staring into the distance watching the birds dive into the water to enjoy the beach with my kids.
So here is my list of game suggestions and ways to keep your preschooler entertained at the beach:
- Fill the hole race – begin by helping the kids dig a hole, the bigger the better. The kids then take a bucket and run back and forth between the water and the hole filling up their hole with water. The first one to fill up their hole wins.
- Shell art – take some time to walk the beach with the kids looking for shells. Once you feel like you have an adequate amount, take them back to base camp and allow the kids to be creative. One of my kids loves to make seahorses.
- Mermaid tail – who doesn’t enjoy digging a hole and burying a loved on in the sand? My kids love to bury their dad and give him a mermaid tail.
- Ball in the hole – dig ten small tennis ball shaped holes in the sand in a 4,3,2,1, formation. The kids take turns rolling the ball in the hole. I assign each hole a point in ascending numerical order, starting with the one closest to them as one, and the one in the row of four to the very right as 10.
- Do you want to build a sandman? When you live I South Texas and all you know is sand, you too can embrace the Disney princess inside of you and sing “do you want to build a sandman? Come on, let’s go and play…..”
- Scavenger hunt – a scavenger hunt is always fun. You can find some great ones online or you could just play a simple game of eye spy. Great for reinforcing colors, phonics and just fun and easy entertainment for the kids.
- Beach tic tac tor and hopscotch – mark out the board in the sand and let your kids enjoy a game of tic tac toe, or if you are feeling adventurous, mark them out a hopscotch board and they can jump until their heart is content. (Usually less than the time that it took you to actually draw the hopscotch, but that’s just preschoolers and their wonderful attention spans).
- The classic sandcastle with a moat – growing up I always loved building a sandcastle with a moat. The drawbridge, the shells floating in the water around my disaster of a castle, the castle caving in because you build the moat too close. I feel like sandcastle building is a childhood right of passage. Although I have learned that down here in Corpus Christi, it can be more like a work of art.
- Sand angels – again just because there is no snow doesn’t mean you cannot make angels.
- Musical statues – my kids’ current favorite game. I play music and when I stop it they have to freeze like a statue. They usually end up in fits of giggles and it keeps them entertained for ages.