A couple of weeks ago we made our first beach day trip of the season! We got together with a few friends, took PTO, and spent a a wonderful day in sand and sun. Of course, the kids were ecstatic. Just a few days prior, my son started making comments about wanting to go to the beach. His timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I think I surprised him quite a bit when I responded with “okay, let’s go in a few days!”.
While body riding waves is something spectacular, a child’s true enjoyment is in the sand. It keeps them entertained literally all day long, and while I do keep a watchful eye over them as they play, the endless supply of sand offers me an opportunity to take a break from hovering. My daughter was particularly in love with the gritty mess. So much so, she basically bathed in it…
On the other hand, taking my family to the beach doesn’t necessarily mean I check out for the entire time. On top of making sure we pack enough sunscreen, food, and novels, I also like to plan unique activities. This time around, I discovered an awesome craft!
This was an especially easy activity, and even though it may have gotten messy at certain moments, a quick rinse in the sea took care of that hassle.
All you need is food coloring, zip lock bags, and if you’re wanting to take your craft home, a bottle of some sort, as well as a funnel. I found plastic and glass tubes on sale at Joann Fabrics. I believe they were something along the lines of “glitter mixing tubes”. They were the bare minimum of what I needed for this activity because I wanted to get enough supplies for the adults to participate too (I know my friends pretty well. As expected, they totally made their own). However, if I do this again and I’m looking to do no more than one or two bottles, there were also larger decorative bottles with corks.
The other tool you might need is something thin and pointy to make designs with your sand. A wooden dowel rod works fine, especially if it has a pointed end. Usually, you can find these in the cake decorating section of Walmart or craft stores.
The activity itself is simple. Fill a ziplock bag with sand, drop food coloring in, and start shaking. If you want to fill bottles, snip the corner of a bag, fit the funnel over the bottle’s mouth, and fill the bottle with your choice of alternating colors until the bottle is packed full. For a really cool effect, stick a rod down the sides of the bottle to make funky designs with the alternating color layers.
On the other hand…this activity does not need to be a craft that you take home! If you’re looking for some colorful beach fun that doesn’t come back with you (because let’s be honest, enough sand will follow you home without you trying), simply drop food coloring onto the ground and mix it in with a pile of sand. The result is vibrant beach sand to make unique and creative sandcastles.
This was truly an awesome beginning to our summer season, and I cannot wait to see what other activities we’ll discover in the next couple of months. At the very least, I’m going to pack food coloring for our next beach trip!
- Originally published 7/10/2019