Make the Beach Your Playground

Published March 4th, 2021 Make the Beach Your Playground Published in: Beaches

With no shortage of glorious beaches and such a fabulous coastline, it is hardly surprising that this is where most of us gravitate to for a fun filled day out. Beaches really do allow us to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

Nothing beats a day spent on the beach, golden sand between your toes, the fresh air, fish and chips, ice creams it really can’t be beaten. Beaches generally have a laid-back vibe that instantly relaxes you. Research shows that the sound of waves helps you to relax, and sea air increases happiness as well as the quality of your sleep!

What’s more a beach has all the ingredients necessary for a great family day out. While the children are entertained, you can keep a watchful eye whilst soaking up the sun’s rays.

Here are reasons we love a day on the bea

Rockpool Inspection

Low tide on many beaches reveals an underwater world waiting to be explored by curious minds. There are literally hundreds of rockpools to be found on the many beaches here, ranging in size. Rock pooling is fun for all ages and all you need is a bucket, shoes to protect you from the rocks, and perhaps a magnifying glass.

Take time to poke about and look amongst the crevices, holes and under the seaweed and you will undoubtably find a natural display of fascinating creatures, they do like to stay cool and damp, so tend to be hidden. Rockpools are a window to an underwater world where you never know what you will find. Typically, you will come across such delights as the Cornish Sucker fish, Starfish, Worm Pipefish, Crabs, anemones, jellyfish, whelks and much more. Try to identify as many creatures as you can.

Do remember if you move a rock make sure to replace them and return the creatures back to the water once you have had a good look at them.

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Rock Clambering

Many beaches are scattered with rocks and climbing over rocks is exciting. Or make a den amongst the rocks.

Rocks can be slippery so care should be taken and best to wear suitable shoes, as some of the rocks can be sharp.

Sand Dune Fun

Sand dunes can be relatively high and make a great playground, climb to the top and run or roll down them. Or jump on a buggy board and slide down them, have races to the bottom.

Sand dunes are typically packed with wildlife so play a game to see who can find hidden insects, butterflies, dragonflies and rabbits.

The dunes are also ideal for playing hide and seek or for a sheltered picnic spot.

Good beaches for sand dunes are Crantock Beach, Holwell Bay, Praa Sands, Penhale Sands, Magwan Porth, as well as many more.

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Beach Games

Take along a kite if it is a blowy day, even if there is not much wind, children will still have fun running and watching the kite flying behind them.

Relay races are loads of fun, using an empty bucket and have the children race to the water and fill it before racing back to the finish line. Beach volleyball, you can use a towel as the net or draw a line in the sand. Beach hopscotch again draw a grid in the sand and you use shells as markers.

A beach treasure hunt is another fun activity, give them a list of items to collect in their empty bucket. Treasures can include shells, driftwood, rocks, and feathers.

Make a beach obstacle course with items to hand where children have to run, crawl, tumble, cartwheel, etc. around the obstacles set up for them.

Make stack pebbles, see who can build the highest stack before it tumbles over.

Football with a beach ball, or simply have a kick about.

There really are endless possibilities for beach games, just a little imagination is required.

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Cave Exploration

There are lots of secret and enchanting caves here in Cornwall. Caves range in size from

The best-known and mystical cave is Merlin’s Cave, located below Tintagel Castle, it is believed Merlin lived here. The cave is only accessible at low tide, as the cave fills with water at high tide.

The cave itself is about 100 metres long and passes completely through Tintagel Island from Tintagel Castle. You can walk into the cave but take care as the rocks can be slippery. Look out for Merlin’s face in the rock, near the entrance. There are wall shelves you can climb on, and the views are fantastic.

Other interesting caves include St Cuthbert’s Cave at Holywell Bay and The Lady of the Cave on Crantock Beach. Kyance Cove is home to a number of interconnected caves waiting to be explored.

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Sandcastle Building

This is an all-time favourite for many who spend any time on a beach, and one the whole family can get involved. It really is a beach essential. Join together to make a superb sandcastle or sculpture and have a friendly competition amongst each other.

Be creative in your design and make use of items found on the beach to decorate your masterpiece. Make sure to take a photo once completed to show off to everyone.

All you need for this fun activity is water, a bucket and spade, some moulds or bare hands and loads of imagination.

The best sand to use is damp sand; it sticks together better and allows you to shape and crave it, this is generally found closest to the high tide line. A good idea is to dig a self-replenishing water hole to keep a constant supply of water at hand. If you want to carve the sand, it is advised to pack it down first.

There are often sandcastle building competitions on the beaches so look out for these and see some astounding creations.

Another fun activity is writing in the sand, use small or gigantic letters, and again you can be creative with your designs and decorate them.

Then there is always the fun game of burying each other in the sand, a great way to engage and occupy young children. Or set a challenge to see who can dig the biggest hole!

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Wave Jumping

Not everyone is confident in the water, especially little ones but, they can still have fun. They will enjoy jumping the waves and splashing in the shallow waters. Or let the waves chase you, try to get back to shore without getting wet.

Another option is a beach with a stream running through it, this offers a safe environment for small children to again splash around in. They can also make dams and bridges with sticks and stones.

Make sure to remain safe and stay between the red and yellow flags on the beach.

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Recreational Watersports

There are numerous water sports on offer with swimming, surfing, sailing, bodyboarding, kayaking, diving, snorkelling, fishing, stand up paddle boarding, coasteering and many more. With a number of schools offering lessons or equipment hire.

A fun option for the entire family is a surf or paddle boarding lesson. Afterwards, you can put your newly learned skills to use.

Another fun family activity is a super stand up paddle board, it is a giant paddleboard that will accommodate eight people, you basically stand on an enormous surf board and paddle with a single paddle. A great way to get out on the water whilst getting some exercise, and it is not unusual to encounter some local wildlife.

It is best to practice in shallow water and get the feel of the board before you all head out. Also have children jump from the board and swim back so there are used to getting back on the board.

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Fishing Fun

Fishing has a long history here in Cornwall and remains an integral aspect of our culture. The surrounding waters offer lots of opportunity for fishing with the option to cast your line from a rocky outcrop, harbour wall or venture out in a traditional fishing boat.

You can also choose a guided tour where you head out with local fishermen who will take you to the best fishing spots, they take out both small and large groups.

Barefoot Walks

Take a walk along the beach and explore your surroundings; it is a lovely feeling to walk barefoot in the soft sands, and the gentle sea breeze will blow any lingering cobwebs away.

Many beaches are surrounded by high cliffs and these offer stunning views. Keep your eyes opened as sharp eyes can spot pods of dolphins or seals bobbing about the calm waters.

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Pack your towels, sunscreen, buckets and spades and head to the beach for a fabulous fun filled time. Pack a picnic or a disposable BBQ; sausage baguettes and burgers taste so good when eaten by the sea, or grab some local fish. Need a break from the beach, head to a local beach café where you can refuel.

To protect our beaches and oceans please do take home all rubbish with you and do not leave any items behind.