Summer is all about DIY, as in "do it yourself, parents." As such, you may find yourself bending over backwards before even 8am as you try to come up with fresh ideas to entertain your children. Everybody loves the beach, but sometimes we don’t feel like spending two and a half hours negotiating the details of an outing and then three more hours getting everyone out the door - with sunscreen applied, no less.
So that’s when you bring the beach to your own breakfast table!
Our recent beach breakfast table décor reflects just that. Here's how to create and enjoy your own "breakfast on the beach:"
Instead of a traditional table cloth, use a cheerful coloured beach towel to set the tone for your breakfast table.
Use an old beach ball or purchase a new one at the dollar store. Cut it along the middle and super glue it to a dollar store bowl. If you’re like me and craftiness doesn’t run in your veins, your beach-bowl may not come out looking like Martha Stewart Magazine material, but I promise you, your kids won’t notice when you introduce them to their new beach cereal bowls!
Add a touch of colour to your kids’ juice and your own. The umbrellas can later double as sand castle decoration.
Time to dig up any seashells or rocks you've collected and stored. The kids can use those to decorate their sand creations, colour the rocks, or decorate them with sea-themed stickers as shown here. If you don’t have seashells at home but would like to use them for your table, various retailers carry decorative shells. Some can be ordered online.
Whether they’re fictional or encyclopedia-type informational books, consider integrating books and learning materials into your display for your young learners. This is a great opportunity to incorporate learning into fun.
My kids love breakfast cereal! For our special beach-inspired breakfast, four types of Sally’s Cereals were on the menu (Berry Colossal Crunch, Marshmallow Cocoa Crunch, Sweet Wheat Bundles, and Marshmallow Cocoas). Sally's Cereals’ core values and practices are strongly linked to the environment, and they ease their footprint by reducing packaging and offering a re-sealable bag that keeps the cereal fresher, longer. A delicious and environmentally-friendly brand with great value to boot! I feel good knowing that my boys – ages three and seven - are enjoying something that not only tastes good, but does good, too.
And why should the breakfast table be boring? It's summer, so let's celebrate the freedom and laid-back feeling this season brings. Why not celebrate a special “morning at the beach” by letting your kids play at the table?
Re-use a bottle or repurpose any bottle-shaped object, such as a vase. I used a candle holder in a pinch. You can have your kids paint and colour the bottle itself or have them write a message, letter, or draw a picture. Then, place it the bottle and they can give it to someone they love. My seven year-old still holds on to a message in a bottle he received from one of his best friend last summer. This activity could spark a great conversation about different forms of communication and conveying messages.
Oh yes, I did just say playing with sand at the breakfast table. If you have a sandbox in your backyard you could use sandbox sand. Otherwise kinetic sand is sold online and in select stores and some find it more manageable. To keep it contained you’ll want to use a deep tray like the one pictured here. Pro tip: do not use little toys with hollow spaces while playing, unless you consider spending a significant amount of time trying to dig that sand out with a tooth pick a meditative activity, which I totally do. Your children can use shapes, rakes, silicone baking pans like the sand castle shown here, cookie cutters, and even ice cube trays to make shapes with the sand. Another pro tip: playing with kinetic sand is highly therapeutic, even when you’re a grownup.
So even if the actual beach is too far to travel just for the breakfast hour, there are many ways to still bring the beautiful summer outdoors in. It can be done in quick time, for little money, but it delivers buckets full of fun - for you, and the kids!
Sally's Cereals are available at select retailers across the country, including, but not limited to, Walmart, Giant Tiger, Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws, Zehrs, Your Independent Grocer, Fortinos, Provigo, Valumart, select Sobey’s stores in the West and Atlantic regions, and Federated Co-operatives.