Honey? Let’s Take the Kids to the Beach: A Few Good Reads Before the Trip

Summer is beach time for many families. If you are fortunate enough to live on a Coastline your kids may just take the beach for granted. Perhaps your favorite lake has a beach for swimming–it may be man made but it’s still “your” beach. But for some folks, going to the beach means saving up the money to drive or fly and pay to stay somewhere just to enjoy the beach. Today, I’m presuming you are one of those families and am helping you prepare for the beach part of your trip. Note: If you are flying–ship the stuff via U.P.S. it will save you time and frustration. Be sure to let the hotel or timeshare company know you are shipping to yourself and put the date of arrival on the outside.



First of all, build interest. That’s right, get them excited about the trip. One way to do that is to read  beach stories at bedtime. I asked my friend Jeanne at A Peaceful Day for her suggestions on beach books to augment my favorites. Here are some of our favorites–they’ll be a few more later this week.

Books for any age

It was love at first sight for me with Harry–you remember him? Harry, the Dirty Dog? Harry and his family go for a day at the beach. Harry’s adventure is one of my favorite childhood book-memories. Harry by the Sea.  Jeanne recommends an Australian classic, the Magic Beach. This story is told in a fun rhyming manner that encourages children to use their imaginations at the beach. The story, coupled with this realistic illustrations helps children experience the true magic of the sea and the  beach. At the Beach is a marvelous look at both the beach and the Chinese way of writing. I love the way the mother gently introduces her child to the complex Chinese characters as a fun activity in the sand on their day out together. Lovely.


For slightly older children

Jeanne recommends Holling C. Holling’s classic, Pagoo, for older children and I happily second the recommendation! There is so much here to love and, like all of his books, this lends itself well to read aloud of silent reading. Humphrey the Lost Whale recounts the dramatic true tale of a whale beached in 1985 and rescued by caring humans. Finally, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid may not be a typical “beach” story, but the vivid story will connect modern kids with classics–just don’t say it’s a “classic” or a “fairy tale” and they’ll enjoy it. I have not previewed the other stories in this collection, but Chinaberry is one of my favorite bookstores so I’m including it anyway. The Little Mermaid and Other Fishy Tales.

For Grumpy Teenagers Who Roll Their Eyes


Yes, of course pack the movies of A Perfect Storm (book) and Jaws (book)–of course! But let them read them first (if you can make them!) Note that The Sea Around Us, Dove (aka The Boy Who Sailed Around the World Alone ) both can be easily found in 1960’s editions for younger teens or families who prefer less grown-up content. The Odyssey. And, don’t forget to take a dvd of Endless Summer for the grown-ups and teens! But unless you are very, very liberal you’ll want to pass on Surfwise.


But where are the books on shells? On plants and fish? Calm, down! We’ll get there. We want that first trip to the Seashore to be magical–and that means don’t spoil it with too much pre-teaching. Just fun books for now.

Tomorrow we’ll pack for our trip! All those must-haves for fun family day at the beach.

Do you have other book recommendations? Leave me a comment.


source Psst! This is a puzzle!

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