If you’re taking a family beach vacation, it’s a good idea to plan some fun things to do. Even if you might love spending a week sleeping in the sun and taking occasional dips in the surf, chances are your 5-year-old won’t feel the same way. So, after the initial euphoria of the ocean and the sand wear off, keep the following activities in mind to make your beach vacation a great experience for the whole family:
—Crabbing and tide-pooling. Beach vacations are a great chance to introduce your kids to new kinds of wildlife. Depending on where you’re headed, you might be able to dig for crabs in the sand or explore the bizarre and fascinating miniature ecosystems of tide pools left by retreating waves. Learn about your destination beforehand to see what kinds of wildlife spotting you might be able to do there.
—Surf-casting. In some places, fishing from the shore can be just as successful as fishing from a boat. Again, research your destination for information on nearby fishing spots.
—Playing games. Bring a variety of games, or make sure your hotel can provide some. Aptly named, beach balls make a great tool for putting together a volleyball game that the whole family can play, and activities like cooperative paddle-ball games can make your kids’ time in the surf or a beachside pool more interesting.
—Hiking. Many beaches offer excellent opportunities for hiking. As long as you’re prepared with sunblock and snacks, you can grab your most rambunctious kids and take off for a nice long hike if they get fidgety.
—Searching for treasures. Beaches contain all kinds of goodies for kids to find, from colorful shells to beautifully weathered glass and stones. After you gather up a good collection, you can use the items to create jewelry or other works of art.