Oh, we do like to be be­side the sea­side – and your baby’s first ex­pe­ri­ence of fun on the sand can be a mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence for you both…

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Summer Holidays -

We all spend a small for­tune buy­ing de­vel­op­men­tal toys for our youngsters, and tak­ing them to baby-gym classes and in­door play cen­tres. But there’s a great ex­pe­ri­ence wait­ing for you that’s ev­ery bit as stim­u­lat­ing: a trip to the beach. Just imag­ine if you woke up one morn­ing as usual, popped out in the car as usual, then found your­self in a never-seen-before land of sand, sea and new peo­ple. You’d be sur­prised, wouldn’t you? And it’s the same for your baby. Tak­ing her to the beach drops her into a com­pletely new en­vi­ron­ment.

The beach is a place filled with all sorts of sen­sory ad­ven­tures, from lis­ten­ing to the rhyth­mic swish of waves to tast­ing the salty air and feel­ing the squishy sand be­tween her toes. There will be chal­lenges for her fine motor con­trol, such as pick­ing up shells, as well as her gross motor con­trol – be­cause walk­ing or crawl­ing on sand is noth­ing like shuf­fling about on solid ground. It’ll also ex­pose her to all sorts of new vo­cab­u­lary that you don’t en­counter in ev­ery­day life – tod­dlers just love the word ‘sea­weed’!

But per­haps the most ex­cit­ing part of her day will come from her drive to in­ves­ti­gate this crazy new world. From around eight months, your baby will per­form sim­ple ac­tions to find out ‘what hap­pens if I…?’. By 18 months, she’ll have learned enough to be do­ing things to make some­thing hap­pen. And by three years, she’ll have an idea about what might hap­pen if she does some­thing, and will want to test out her the­o­ries. So, with you as her play­mate, she’ll love the op­por­tu­nity to in­ves­ti­gate this ex­cit­ing place called the beach and find out about this funny stuff called sand.

Around eight in 10 Aussies live by the coast, so chances are you’re never too far from a beach or bay of wa­ter. And on the fol­low­ing pages, you’ll find all the ad­vice you need to have a fun-filled, stress-free trip – from what to pack to how to get rid of the sand when you need to, plus loads of ac­tiv­i­ties to do with your child for max­i­mum en­joy­ment.

Strug­gling to get your baby to nap when she clearly needs one? Try mov­ing your beach shel­ter closer to the shore line, stay­ing well above the high-tide mark. The white noise of the waves will help her drift off.

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