|my granddaughter River|
A family fun day at the beach can become a fun learning day with a little planning. Time in the sun and surf is the perfect time to enrich your toddler's vocabulary and understanding. While you are walking on the beach or sitting on your blanket, play a modified form of "I Spy" that includes sensory words including colors, textures, temperatures and sounds. Saying, "I hear something making a cawing noise" will focus your child on the bird nearby. "I feel something warm and gritty" adds to his knowledge and vocabulary as he touches the sand. Words such as smooth or rough can describe shells.
Another way to combine fun and learning is with a treasure hunt. Challenge your child to find three white shells, one piece of brown driftwood, two smooth stones and so on. Encourage your child to describe his treasures to you using sensory words. Not only will you have fun together, you'll be laying the foundation for reading by improving your child's vocabulary and his understanding of the world around him.
Take along some fun books to read. Look for ones with summer or beach themes. Or take some top picture books. You can find my list
When the day's over, collect some sand, shells and stones to take home. Put the sand in the bottom of a jelly or mayo jar. Add the other treasures and secure the lid. Your child will remember your fun as he looks at the treasures in his jar.
Don’t forget sun safety:
· All babies, even dark skinned babies, burn easily. The outer layer of skin is thinner than on adults.
· Keep babies under a year old out of direct sunlight to prevent sunburn and dehydration.
· Provide shade for your child to sleep at the beach. Never let a baby sleep in the sun.
· It’s recommended not to apply sunscreen to a baby under six-months-old, but if you’re going to be in the sun, it’s better to go ahead and do it than let him burn. Apply a thick layer of sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 at least 20 minutes before going outside. Reapply every couple of hours.
· Dress young children in lightweight, light colored clothing and a hat.