acepuppets

Posts Tagged ‘beach


I really truly thought that I had managed to bring up a child who like the simple pleasures of sticks, stones and mud as opposed to wanting to blow copious amounts of cash going to places where he will end up finding sticks, stones and mud to play with.  Alas I have been virtually unsuccessful in this attempt – I give my son pocket money so he can have a bit of financial freedom.  My crafty boy hides his cash and still expects me to pay because he wants to save his money and it is not fair that I expect him to spend his.  One thing I have discovered is that if you don’t expose children to places that are screaming out for cash they are no longer distracted by the need to spend and they settle to play with what they have around them.  Bearing this in mind I have thought of five activities that won’t cost you a penny – unless you buy sweets and ice cream of course.

Make A Mud Kitchen

Creative Digital Camera

This is definitely not for the feint hearted and those who cannot abide dirt but it will keep them entertained for hours.  Choose a corner of the garden where there is mud that is easy to access, bring out the pots and pans, add water and let your child have fun.  Put old clothes on them and it won’t matter how dirty they get.  I remember spending the whole summer holidays playing in the coal bunker – I got so filthy and looked as if I had been down a mine but I can’t remember the paid activities I did that year.

Make Natural Sculptures

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I always mention this one and talk about Andy Goldsworthy as an example.  Basically all it involves is collecting any bits of nature or rubbish (as long as it is safe) lying around and making a picture out of it.  We live right by an estuary and there is often loads of treasure lying around for us to use; drift wood, plastic bottles, old shoes, bits of plastic, straw and stones.  You will be surprised at how creative your child an be and how explaining what they have made can improve their language and imagination skills.

Visit The Local Playground

allithwaite playground

This activity does sometimes coincide with a visit to the sweetshop but often allows you to relax and chat to other parents while your child is completely occupied by other children in the playground.  Visiting a playground regularly means that you don’t have worry about having playground equipment in the garden at home.  In my experience children tend to look for the mud and stones in every playground they go in so don’t put them in their best togs – it will only drive you mad.

Make A Picnic And Go To The Beach

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If anything was invented for children to run free and parents to relax a little – it was the beach.  make sure you set ground rules like; don’t go into the sea without supervision, stay within sight, Keep off the road and by no account go home with anyone else you should be able to let your little monsters run free.  You will find yourself making sandcastles and digging moats, so cast off your inhibitions and dig down and get sandy.

Go Round To Grandma’s 

If Grandma lives too far away go and visit friends and relatives instead. Grand parents are generally so excited to see their grand children that they will quite happily entertain them for the whole afternoon – giving you the chance to relax with a cup of coffee, home made cake and a bit of peace and quiet.

These are very simple suggestions but they are surprisingly very time consuming and once you ignite your child’s imagination they develop momentum and can enjoy playing for hours and hours.  Whatever you do – enjoy them while they are young! As for my son being very money minded he informed me yesterday that money was not important,  life was and he knew that just because he knew.

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So this weekend we took it upon ourselves to visit somewhere new.  The sun was shining and it seemed like the perfect day to take a trip and do a little exploring.  We got the car all packed up; a picnic, some action figures, sunscreen and hats in hand.  After a hot car journey (but with plenty of cows, sheep and even llamas to entertain along the way) we arrived on the West Cumbrian coast.

It wasn’t long before we were making sandcastles and dipping our toes in the sea, as cold as it was!  We had our lunch on the beach, with only minimal sand getting into the ham sandwiches and with only one biscuit lost when being fed to a crab.  After the food and all of the questions about the sea attention started to wonder and a run around on a play area was needed.  Close to the beach was a small but great looking playground, all grass and all timber made.

Inevitably on such a nice spring day, it was filled with other families but there was enough playground equipment to keep everybody happy.  My son loved it! He was straight off onto the slide.  There was also a team swing which he had never seen before but made good use out of with a couple of other children (which grew into a small crowd once others caught wind of how much fun they were having).   There was also some timber climbing apparatus which he was a bit more hesitant about and just watched the older children play on for a while before heading back for another go on the swing!

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After the playground (which was a bit of struggle to tear him away from) was the aquarium, which was not too big and not too small.  Questions came about all the different types of fish and which fish were in the sea that we had just been in and then why didn’t we just go into the sea instead of inside the aquarium to see them?

As is quite often the case, when it was time to pack up and leave we were met with a few moans and groans but the sun was starting to set and we had to get home. The weather held out for us which was wonderful.  The journey back was filled with fewer questions, just a request to go back to the playground tomorrow.


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