Everyone is waiting to go,  but you run through the check list one more time:

Beach bag 
Water and Snacks
Buckets and Spades - Really?? Don't you think I have enough to carry??


    Does this sound like you? If it does, you might like to consider all the physical and mental benefits that the simple bucket and spade give to your little ones.
    You arrive at the beach and apply sunscreen, so your little one is already learning how to look after their health and increasing their tactile awareness at the same time.
    Next you start to dig a hole and build a sandcastle. You use the spade - which one? Red or Blue? Learning colours. Your little one joins in, either with the spade or their hands and in doing so is strengthening the muscles of the hand and arm and improving hand-eye coordination. 
    You fill the bucket (many times) with water and sand and it is emptied again and again. Your little one is learning the concept of empty and full and is further building their hand and arm strength and coordination.
    Your little one loves stamping on sandcastles to knock them down and then plays scampering into the shallow waves and out again. They are working on their ability to balance and practising the eye-foot coordination they will later need to play ball sports, as well as gaining more sensory input from the cool water and the warm sand.
    Walking on uneven rocks or along the shoreline carrying their bucket to collect shells challenges their balance skills, builds up leg and arm muscles as well as opening your little one's mind to nature's incredible wonders.
    Do we always take a bucket and spade to the beach? You bet we do 
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