Shades of Fun and Play: Fun Games for Kids While Under the Beach Umbrella

Sunlight contains Vit. D, a nutrient that aids in the absorption of calcium in the body which is essential for building strong bones and teeth and normal skeletal bone formation. But there is such thing as too much sun, especially when it comes to young children. As a rule, do not allow a child to undergo sun exposure between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. On a beach, make sure the child has enough shade, such as an umbrella or a shed. If he falls asleep on a chair or stroller, make sure he is sufficiently covered. But as the child grows and changes his napping schedule, time spent in the shade can be translated to hours of fun.

A castle for a little king (or queen)
Little boys and girls will have their own kingdom to rule with castles especially built for their size. Sand castles allow lots of physical and imaginative play - digging holes, building tunnels, constructing a fortress. Give them the right tools for the job - sifts, shovels, buckets and moulds and then let their imagination take over with endless choices of raw materials - sand, seashells, algae, wood, stones, twigs and leaves.

Mostly mosaic
Another wonderful game for kids is mosaic construction. Mosaics allow the use of free-forming shapes. By putting them together, kids learn to compose and create. Use round, rectangular, oval, irregular and every silly shape you can find and have the kids create something based on a theme. Let kids create a fish shape, a flower or a boat using rocks and found objects on the sand. Go horizontal or let the kids build a standing sculpture for parents and beachgoers to enjoy. Look for small, smooth rocks to ensure that tiny hands are not grazed and choose them in several colors. If there are shells around, let the children use those too. Or better yet, go on a beachcombing adventure first and let the child use whatever materials he can find.

Gimme shelter
Need more shade? Let the children help build one. But not just any shade - make sure it is something that comes out of the child's fantastical mind. Does he want to become an astronaut? Build a spaceship. Does he like a little adventure outdoors? Build a tepee. Gather a few beach towels, a few wooden or plastic pegs and some trusty shovels for digging in the sand. Some strings will also come in handy for tying the towels together. If there is need for some technical help, let daddy or mommy take charge; otherwise, it's the child's call.

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