We’ve lived in southwestern Ontario for over 20 years, and raised four amazing kids on the shores of some of the most incredible beaches in all of Canada. We certainly have our favourite spots that keep us coming back each year, but with such a great selection to choose from, we could probably visit a new beach every single weekend from June to the Labour Day weekend!
I want to share some simple tips for fun in the sun with your teens. It’s not too late to plan a quick getaway to the beach while the weather’s still warm.
Pack a picnic lunch, make sure there is plenty of water, healthy snack options, a ton of sunscreen and GET IN THE CAR. If you’re going to be there for the full day, bring a sunshade for those who may want a break from the sun or to take a little nap in the afternoon.
Here are a few other tips you might not have thought of to help make your day at the beach with your tweens or teens more enjoyable, for them and for you:
#1) PACK THE SAND TOYS
When the kids were little we always made sure we had sand toys with us on beach day. Just because they’re tweens and teens now doesn’t mean they don’t like to dig or build stuff. We just bring bigger buckets and bigger shovels now. Even my oldest of teens will spend the afternoon in the sand building couches, trenches, and castles, and of course, they always take turns getting buried up to their neck.
So how do you plan a day at the beach, that will get the tweens and teens fully engaged, and maybe even forget about their phones for the day? It helps when you unplug yourself. Get in the sand, get in the water (those are my toes), get on the bike and ride along. Be present. Remember what it was like to be a kid again. The smiles and the laughter will do you some good.
#3) STAY FOR THE SUNSET
Stay for an evening swim, watch the sun set into the lake, and try to catch some fireflies in glass jars. Be nice, release them before you leave the beach. When it gets dark out, count the shooting stars. There’s something so peaceful and magical about this time of the day, make sure to take it all in.
Four years ago my husband and I took over a dozen kids from our church, all around 14 years old at the time, to the Pinery Provincial Park, near Grand Bend, for a weekend of camping with plenty of time spent in the sand on Lake Huron. To this day, it’s one of the most talked about adventures we had with them over the years!