A beach day with the twins – with no sensory overload!
We have had some truly disastrous beach days recently, so when we were able to spend a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at the beach yesterday without incident, I celebrated!
Previously, we have found that the beach is a place where sensory overload can be an issue. Twin One in particular has struggled with the feeling of sand under her feet and the wind blowing her hair into her face – this has been the cause of some really tricky days at the beach, but these difficult days have given me a good understanding of how to make things better in future!
I really love the local beaches here in Kent, and spent many happy days on the sea front as a child and teenager. Although I wouldn’t have minded heading to the beach for a few hours alone, I was determined to make it an enjoyable experience that the twins could really enjoy too. I thought carefully about the things that Twin One found upsetting, and considered ways to combat them.
No more sand-on-feet feeling!
To avoid as much of the sand-on-feet feeling as possible, I made sure we had our jelly shoes with us. Having some totally waterproof shoes seems like the best solution for kids with sensory issues surrounding sand. Twin One was able to wear her jelly shoes for the duration of our trip which meant that she could walk on the sand, pebbles, and into the sea without feeling any new and unusual textures under her feet. Such a simple solution, but one that works perfectly.
Combatting the wind!
The wind has caused us lots of problems before, so I came up with a few things to try. Again, this is all super simple stuff that most people probably do anyway, but when you have a child with sensory issues, it can be the difference between having a wonderful day and having a really pants day.
Firstly, I invested in a beach tent – nothing fancy, but enough to give us some shelter from the wind if we needed it. I think it cost £25, but it does the job. I put it up in the garden to test it out and it actually makes quite a fun garden den too so I know it’ll get loads of use! When we arrived at the beach, we put the tent up and laid out our play mat on the ground to make it a perfect little beach haven for the twins.
This probably seems like the most obvious thing of all, but I made sure to tie back Twin One’s hair before we set off for the beach. A lot of her issues with the wind are due to her hair blowing into her face – she really dislikes this! Last time we went to a beach, I tried to tie her hair up once we arrived, but it was really difficult as she was upset from the second we got her out of the car as the wind was already in her face and blowing her hair all over the place. Yesterday, her hair was already up in a bun, so she didn’t have to deal with it in her face the whole time we were there. Win!
Finally, I put both twins in their little sun suits. These are high coverage, UV protective suits designed for babies and toddlers – they have built in hoods with sun visors and are incredibly cute as well as being protective. At times when the wind was higher I made sure the twins had their little hoods up as this stopped their hair blowing around. The suits in general gave their little bodies some protection from the feeling of the wind as well as offering them fantastic sun protection. I bought these suits a couple of years ago in the sales, and this is the second year we are using them. They’re quite snug now so I will need to get some more in bigger sizes, but I totally recommend them to anyone visiting the beach with little ones!
Total success on our beach day
Overall, we all had a wonderful time at the beach. Twin Two has always been a water baby and had a great time splashing about in the sea and playing with the sand on the beach. Twin One filled us with joy as she repeatedly legged it into the sea to wade around and have a splash. It’s the first time she has had this reaction to water and it was wonderful to witness – she doesn’t even like bath time at home! Both twins were full of smiles, and everything went to plan.
Our beach tent worked perfectly, and we were able to sit in there, out of the wind, to refresh with biscuits and drinks when we weren’t in the sea. The sea itself was calm, and very shallow for at least half a mile – perfect for toddlers! They could stand up and walk around in the water to their heart’s content, which was much more practical than being limited to the very edge of the shoreline and having to worry about big waves.