Officrèche Blog

Let’s dig in the sand and have fun on the beach

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The stunning sand dunes and beach at West Wittering in West Sussex.  Image by David Dixon licenced by Creative Commons

The stunning sand dunes and beach at West Wittering in West Sussex.
Image by David Dixon licenced by Creative Commons

Let’s be honest, Brighton beach isn’t great for children, writes Sarah Booker Lewis.

We may take our little people for a jaunt along the pier, but between the Palace Pier and i360 the prolific number of bars is not inviting to  toddler.

Sand is lacking, even at low tide.

There is a patch of sand along our coast. Beach volleyball centre Yellowave has a huge sand pit for children to enjoy while parents sit back with a drink.

If you want a traditional beach with an expanse of sand then Camber to the east and West Wittering, to the west, are ranked among the finest beaches in Britain.

Both have sand dunes, so offer a great opportunity to get digging.

Littlehampton's east beach.  Image by Paul Gillett, licenced by Creative Commons.

Littlehampton’s east beach.
Image by Paul Gillett, licenced by Creative Commons.

Close to home, Shoreham Beach has a fair amount of sand at low tide, offering a pleasant and sheltered paddle.

It is also popular with kitesurfers.

Littlehampton has a great deal of sand for digging, and the East Beach has an award-winning cafe and amusements at Harbour Park.

Completely out in the wilds to the west is Climping beach, with a short bank of pebbles before an expanse of sand appears at low tide.

Fun and games

Apart from the digging, building castles, demolishing and burying in the sand, here are a few free, fun games to play once you’re settled on the shore.

Water relay

If you have more than one child this makes a great race.

It’s still fun on your own.

Place a bucket for each participant up the beach. Our racers have a cup to fill it with sea water.

The first to fill their bucket wins.

A toddler enjoying the sand between their toes.

A toddler enjoying the sand between their toes.

Musical towels

If you have music then burn the tiddlers’ energy with a game of musical towels.

This works well with a larger group rather than just one or two.

It works the same way as musical chairs, but you remove a towel each round.

Treasure hunt

There are so many things to find on the beach, from shells to driftwood and, of course, an abundance of pebbles.

In recent visits to the beach we found oyster, slipper limpet and whelk shells, as well as a cuttlefish bone and even a dead ray.

We didn’t touch the latter.

Your treasure hunt can include something orange, something square and so on.

Pebble piles

Sort your pebbles into piles and see which colour makes the biggest pile.

There are a great many orangey brown pebbles on Sussex beaches, but you can find white, grey and black, too.

Once you’ve had enough of piling up your stone collections why not count your pebbles?

Words and pictures created in sand with pebbles and shells.  Image by Derek Voller, licenced by Creative Commons.

Words and pictures created in sand with pebbles and shells.
Image by Derek Voller, licenced by Creative Commons.

Sand art

After a great deal of activity finding treasure and counting pebbles, making art in the sand is a lovely creative way to relax a while.

Build flowers, fish, boats and butterflies with your shells, driftwood and pebbles.

Bullseye

If there is enough sand on your beach, draw a target and see how close you can throw your pebbles to the bullseye.

Drawing multiple rings with different values is a great way to help little people adding numbers together.

Officréche is a flexible nursery and co-working space in Brighton.

 

 

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