“In every curving beach, in every grain of sand, there is the story of the Earth.”
With the summer holidays either approaching or begun, then there is nothing better than a visit to the seaside. Living in the north of Scotland, I am spoilt with a beautiful coast and many beaches which are rarely packed with people.
In many ways I think the suggestions below are unnecessary. Go to a beach. And just enjoy playing with your children. However, consider them a starter for ten!
Dig to Australia
Dig a hole. Dig some more. Keep digging until you reach Australia. Watch the tide doesn’t come in when you are down under!
Make a big hill of sand. Have fun jumping on and off it. Add water and create channels and waterfalls. Put a moat around the edge and fill it with water.
Become an Anthony Gormley sculpture. Stand still. Look far out to sea and be very serious. Get a friend to take a photo of you. If you are really keen, bury your legs up to your knees before the photo is taken.
Take your foot for a wander over the beach. Drag it along to make a trail in the sand for someone else to follow. Make waves, spirals and other interesting patterns.
Walk Like an Egyptian
Look at video clips about sand dancing and make up your own repertoire for the beach!
Hide and Seek
Hide or bury objects in sand. This can be shells, seaweed or twigs, etc. Have fun finding the hidden objects. (NB Burying your mobile phone is not a good idea)
Bottle a Beach
Collect some interesting objects from the shoreline that can be pushed into a bottle. Fill three-quarter full with dry sand. Try and spot every treasure hidden within the bottle – tip up, down, sideways to have a good look. Add a message on a piece of card to read.
The Smallest Shell
Have a hunt for the smallest shell on the beach. Broken shells must not be counted as some sand is made up of lots of broken shells.
Big Word Art
Write the biggest word you can possibly make in the sand. Think about how you can make this stand out and be read by passengers in a plane. What word do you think they would like to read?
These are the opposite of sand castles. Instead of building up, dig down and create a dungeon with different rooms and other features, sunk into the sand. Put a dragon in the deepest pit! Watch out very carefully for the incoming tide – build your dungeon above the high tide line.
Finally for inspiring, beautiful beach art, enjoy this video of Peter Donnelly at work: