I like the beach. Ideally, I like it from a padded lounge chair, with an unspoiled view of the ocean. A light breeze, a thick towel and a good book. Easy on the sweating, the stickiness and the sand.
My kids feel differently. I admire their willingness to be knee deep in the sand, to roll around and be caked in grains for hours.
To keep us all happy in the sand, I did some beach homework before we headed to Puerto Rico.
Did you know if you sprinkle baby powder on your sandy hands, you can rub the sand right off? That worked just as advertised and now I get to be the crazy lady on the beach chasing her kids with baby powder.
I brought some random supplies for beach play – a plastic ice cream scooper and some little cups for an ice cream shop and a half dozen plastic test tubes (the watering vials from my Valentines’ roses) for my beach scientists. Coupled with a few sand toy sets our awesome Aunt Ginny picked up at the local Walmart, the kids were set.
We also had fun with our beach shadows.
Miraculously, I remembered to bring along these wood craft dinosaur models I picked up months ago.
My husband helped me stage a little dinosaur dig for Ryan, Noah and my 5 year old nephew. After I tagged each set of bones with a color for each paleontologist, Scott hid the “bones” in a mound of sand in a small, defined area of the beach.
The kids dug and sifted through the sand, looking for bones and sorting by the colored dots – pink for Milo, blue for Noah and green for Ryan.
The boys loved the digging and amazingly found every last bone (at least 60 pieces each). Putting the dinos together was a bit trickier. N.B….use the diagram on the instructions to number the bones BEFORE you pop them out of the wood board. Once, we labeled the bones, fitting them together according to the instructions was easy and the kids could build their dinosaurs with just a little guidance.
The dino sets are now available half-price at The Mill Stores at 74 cents each. No sand required – you could “bury” them in a tray of rice, couscous or cereal or just about anywhere. I think it would be very cute to decorate them with markers or paint before (or after) putting them together, but Ryan plans to spray paint his white to make it look more like real bones.