What 6-9 year olds love about the seaside

Ideas for activities, food and places to visit

What 6-9 year olds love about the seaside



Today I thought I detected a whiff of spring in the air... just a whiff mind, I wouldn't go all out and declare it amongst us... but a whiff nonetheless. And with the thought of spring, my mind immediately turns to days out (well to be honest – I love a day out and try to work them in as often as possible be it rain, shine, arctic, tropical... or like today just a whiff of spring).

And where better to 'day out' than the seaside! There is nothing my children don't love about going to the seaside and given the option they would choose a seaside 'day out' every single time.... (perhaps not if you dangled a theme park carrot but, seaside 99% of the time). And if you live in the UK you are never more than 70 miles from the nearest coast!

I love taking my children to the seaside, it's fabulous, it enables the re-living of childhood and there is just something about a day trip to the seaside that excites even the most surly 6-9 year old! If I'm going to the seaside then I like to feel a bit 'spur of the moment', and yes I know I'm normally a list person, but writing a to-do list just does seem to take the edge off the otherwise 'young and free' theme the seaside evokes. And I can always settle with a little mental check list.... should the need arise....

On a family trip to the sea the car boot is full to bursting with the essential “just in case” items -- clean clothes, towels, wellies, swim suits, first aid kit.... antibacterial hand wash gel... antihistamine medicine in case of sudden allergy... there are also the beach activities, and of course the picnic!

Great toys we take to the seaside include...

  • Bikes
  • Roller-skates (if you have them – great on promenade – I don't take these yet as girly can't skate!)
  • Kites (great kite making activity by Deb)
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Frisbee
  • Buckets and spades
  • Bags for collecting very important shells, stones, wood & other bits to make into 'art' at home
  • Fishing nets for rock pools

As for the picnic... whilst it's still just a little bit on the chilly side I always make sure I pack food that can easily be eaten in the car, which is where most cold day picnics are consumed, shivering and sporting rosy wind-lashed cheeks!

But car picnics can still be delicious...

  • flasks of tomato soup
  • flasks of coffee (I don't like to be without coffee)
  • cold sausage baguettes
  • bananas (the ever unwanted picnic staple)
  • big wedges of cake
  • bottles of fruit juice

And once we arrive, just what do children love about the sea? From my experience its the sheer amount of open space in which to run wild in, the thrill of paddling in freezing cold sea (I do try to enforce wellies in winter...) and of course depending on the type of seaside you visit the coast provides masses of natural entertainment and fascinating pastimes, there are sand dunes to climb and jump down, vast flat beaches to play on, dig in, and create sand castles (sculptures is you're up to it...I personally lack the artistic flair) There are rocks to scramble over, rock pools to explore, sea creatures to fish for. Then there is always your carboot full of activity toys! And if you've visited the seaside with someone like my husband then there is a bracing coastal walk to undertake also! A day trip to the seaside must burn off about a zillion calories.... if only it didn't build such a vast appetite in return!

There are many great sites providing information on days out at the sea, where to visit, things to do when you get there!  I particularly like

  • BBC Coast - this site enables you to click on the area you want and details the walks nearby and gives indication of difficulty!
  • Enjoy England – this gives great information on family seaside days out by area
  • The National Trust – again great easy to use site, detailing the seaside and coastal areas the National Trust look after and great downloadable walks

My children's favourite North West sea side day out has to be Formby which is managed by the National Trust, it has a fantastic pine forest home to the rare red squirrels, sand dunes and a beautiful beach! Great picnic location, great for paddling in the summer and brilliant for icy walks in winter!

Do your children enjoy days out to the seaside?  Where are some of your favourite locations?

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