SUN, SAND, SEA = SUMMER
So summer has long started and our little ones are on holiday. Do you know what this means? Nah, it doesn’t mean chaos… try again. Yes, you are correct. It means pure fun and frolic for the kids with a bit of education.
Knyhiem and I recently went to the beach. We visited the Hellshire beach in Portmore, Jamaica. I decided to take him one late afternoon so that he would not experience the brunt of the heat from the scorching sun.
Going to the beach is not all about swimming. The experience can also be turned into an educational one while the kids are still having fun. Many moms have no idea how to carry out this feat. If this is your current situation, then worry no more, as today I am going to MOMucate you on to educate and entertain your toddler this summer while at the beach using some simple strategies.
Here is a list of things to take to the beach when you are travelling with your family, most importantly, a toddler.
6 Fun and Educational Things to do while at the Beach
1: TODDLER GAMES
* Catch the Ball
My son loves to run. What better place to run than on the white sand at the beach. While at the beach, I threw a ball to Knyhiem who in return tried to catch it. While doing this, he was able to further develop his fine motor skills.
*Kick the ball.
This is a creative way for my two-year old to flex his muscles and exercise. So of course he was engaged in a game of soccer on the sand. It’s also best that you allow them to keep their sandals or beach shoes on so that they don’t hurt their toes on the sand while kicking the ball.
*Hide and seek.
My son loves peek-A-boo so I knew he would enjoy an upgrade to a game of hide and seek. To play this game, we took turns covering our eyes while one person hid an object in the sand. Of course I always left a part of the object peeking out, which to my son’s delight, he enjoyed digging out.
*Jump in the box.
This is a great way to teach my son how to jump and balance on one foot. I drew four square-shaped boxes in the sand. Here my toddler took turns with everyone else hopping from box to box on one leg. Do not worry if your child is not able to do this. As long as he sees and understands the objective of the game, then it’s ok. Eventually him or her will get it.
2: BUILD HAND EYE COORDINATION
In order to build hand-eye coordination skills, I helped my son to dig small holes in the sand and filled them with water as well as to make whatever creative designs he wanted. The fact that he has to use his hands and eyes to do such task is enough eye and hand coordination for me. There are many benefits to be derived from having my little munchkin play in the sand.
3: RESEARCH SKILLS
While at the beach, I took my munchkin sight-seeing. I walked the sand with him and showed him different shapes, textures and colour stones. Knyhiem certainly enjoyed this treat as he often placed stones in his tote bag. I also showed my baby some small shells that were on the sand. He found the shape of the shells very interesting and quickly used them to scoop sand. I also showed him the waves. He found the movement of the waves very entertaining and would squeal with delight each time he saw one. At one point, he tried to chase one that didn’t make it to the sea-shore.
4: LEARN HOW TO SWIM, PADDLE or FLOAT
It was my intention to teach Knyhiem how to swim but he would have none of it. He didn’t want to stay in the water but continuously cried to stay on the sand. However, if your child isn’t afraid of the water then you might want to try your hand at teaching him or her to swim or float.
5: BUILD NUMERACY and LITERACY SKILLS.
I collected small pebbles with the help of Knyhiem and engaged him in counting games. My two-year old already knows how to count from one to ten but I continuously reinforced it.
6:BUILD SOCIAL SKILLS
Whenever I take my son out, I always try to build and enhance his social skills. This was no different while we were at the beach. In order to do this, I encouraged and modeled saying good morning , good evening, hi, hello, good-bye to other people I came in contact with. Many of them might wave back to my son or stop and have a quick chit -chat with him. Sometimes he respond and at other times he would simply stare at them.
While at the beach I met some other moms who have kids within my son’s age group. In no time my son waved and told them hello and even handed one little boy his ball for a game……THE REST IS HISTORY.
Parenting is not always easy, especially when we try to get our children to achieve educational milestones. There is no right way or wrong way to do it- just that some methods are more effective than others. As parents, we have to strive to do what is best for our little ones through creativity and consistency. At the end of the day, we all have the same aim -to be the best parent.
GOOD LUCK EDUCATING AT THE BEACH ON YOUR NEXT VISIT.