It’s holiday time for most Italians. Relaxation, sunbathing and reading books on a distant rock are, however, a distant memory for all new parents struggling with the first holiday at the beach: easy light traveling is now an utopia and to the indispensable kit of beach umbrella and sun creams, adds spare baby swimsuits, dry sandals, hat, glasses and a net (to be used as a duffle bag) full of toys. Besides digging holes, building castles, spires and towers with a bucket and shovel, however, the beach offers many other alternatives to have fun under the sun. Do you want to know which ones?
Hands up who, in the last millennium, has not spent afternoons at the beach pushing marbles in an imaginative path among dunes! Well, the years pass, but the fun remains. Playing is simple: just prepare the track for the game using both wet and dry sand (the ideal would be to make a track long enough to include the two types), going around other holiday makers and building a circuit with curves and obstacles such as pebbles, seaweed and sticks. Instead of marbles, you can also use plastic or bouncing balls or rounded shells.
Seeing the resort with new eyes and discover that in reality it can become a desert island: here is the mission of baby pirates! Mums and dads should prepare a treasure map, put it in a bottle and hide the treasure (made of molds, for example) in a recognizable place under the sand, tracing a beautiful visible X. The game should begin with the launch of the bottle at sea, followed by a swim of the participants to reach it. Once they have read the map, they need to interpret it, find the exact place and dig with shovels and rakes to recover the mysterious treasure chest…
With a little imagination, the shore can turn into a white canvas to be painted at will. The pencil is the index finger or, for the most fussy ones, the stick of the icicle. Stones can turn into clouds or stars, eyes or buttons, just as the seaweed can become a landscape in the background, hair or mountains, depending on the chosen subject. To prevent a mischievous wave from erasing the work in the blink of an eye, just move the artist’s canvas a couple of meters away, carefully wetting and compacting the sand base with buckets of water.
Timeless as tris or naval battle. First of all, you need to prepare the ground, creating with your hands a hill of wet sand, on top of which a tower will be created with a long enough wooden stick to reach the base of the hill. In turn, each participant must dig the slopes without ever causing the tower to collapse. Who is responsible for the ruinous collapse looses the game. Every time someone loses, they leave the game, while the others start again. Whoever preserves the wooden bulwark at the top of the beach wins!
The sea breeze, with its windy peaks and high, foamy waves, is the perfect ally of any kite. Home made or technical that is, learning to ride the gust of wind is a matter of time, sensitivity and skill. It takes whole afternoons spent throwing the kite upwards, with the best friend firmly holding the string: sooner or later the magic will happen and the kite will aim for the sky. Just once is enough to realize that the afternoons spent trying were well worth the satisfaction (while also being sure that the first time will be just the beginning of a long series of flights, from childhood to adulthood).