Our little daughter is scared of water. Why, when, how and where the fear crept in, we are not sure. But she doesn’t venture anywhere near a large water body. We have tried a few techniques to overcome this fear, but so far, we have been unsuccessful. Anyway, that’s also one of the reasons why it never entered my mind before to take her to the beach. It’s her summer holidays; apart from playing with the same toys, going to the neighborhood park twice a day, watching some TV and fiddling with my mobile phone, she doesn’t have much to do.
So one Saturday evening when my husband suggested we could take her to Juhu beach, I thought it was a good idea. When she would see kids having fun in the sea water, she might relax a little. Alas, it wasn’t as simple as we had thought.
Looking at the large blue sea, she commented, “See, so many kids in the water.”
Encouraged by her words, I tried to take her nearer to the water. But she froze on the spot.
“No mama. I don’t want to go inside.” Well, for another time then.
Nearby a few kids were playing in the sand with their cute little beach set. That’s when I realized that how unprepared I had come to the beach.
The kids’ mother understood my predicament. She invited my daughter to join her sons. That’s what I love about India and the Indians; their eagerness to smile and share.
Firstly, my daughter didn’t budge but when she saw the little mounds of sand that those kids had built and their squeals of delight, she gave in. Borrowing their rake, spade and bucket, she started having fun in the sand. Though she didn’t build big castles or cute houses, she enjoyed the feel of the sand, spotting the numerous airplanes that zoomed by and the sun setting little by little behind the deep blue sea.
It was fun and we intend to do it again soon before the infamous Mumbai rains make it impossible for us to venture out. But before I finish it off, I need to share some tips that I learnt from this impromptu outing:
Things to remember for visit to the beach with your kids:
- Don’t forget to carry a beach set, ball etc.
- Reach there after 6 pm. Before that it’s too hot and after that the sun sets. Though the entire stretch of the beach is well-lit, kids enjoy playing in the sand or splashing in the water only if there is enough sunlight.
- Always carry a bottle of drinking water and some more to wash their dirty hands.
- Throw in a few tissues, wet wipes and sanitizing gel.
- Carry a change of clothes if you love your car and are finicky about it getting dirty.
- Some food to eat. It’s the rule of the lifetime. You must never step out of your house without carrying a pack of biscuits, wafers etc. anything that will buy you sometime before your kid starts yelling in hunger.
- Make him/her pee as the last thing you do before you sit in the car and head towards the beach.
- Carry a few plastic bags to throw in the dirty toys and clothes. And if you have an OCD like me, some old newspapers to sit on.
- And lastly, while you are there, don’t forget to enjoy the yummy pani puri, sev puri and gola (colorful ice lollies) at the various stalls there!
We went again a few days ago, this time thoroughly prepared, and had fun all over again!
Have you taken your child to a beach before? What sort of activities do you indulge in with your child at the beach?