Summer is almost here, and many of us are looking forward to spending time at the beach and soaking up the sun. Although beach toys are a great way to provide keiki extra fun on the sand, many are made with low-quality plastic that break after just a few uses. This plastic can end up in our oceans, harming the wildlife that live there. Instead, try swapping them out for some eco-friendly alternatives! Here are some substitutes you can bring with you to make your next beach trip both fun and sustainable.
- Kitchen Strainer: Instead of a cheap plastic bucket, try using a strainer from your kitchen cabinet to collect shells. It’s a great tool as it allows sand and water to pass through, leaving you with shells and other beach finds. Plus, strainers are usually made of metal or bamboo, which are more sustainable than plastic. Kids love watching sand fall through the strainer to reveal amazing ocean treasures!
- Cookie Cutters: Cookie cutters are a fun alternative to plastic buckets for sand art. Cookie cutters are made of durable metal or plastic, making them long-lasting and able to withstand heavy use. Kids can use cookie cutters to make different shapes in the sand and create their own designs!
- Ice Cream Scoop or Rice Scooper: Instead of using a plastic shovel to scoop sand, try using an ice cream scoop or rice scooper! This is a great tool for building sandcastles and digging holes. Ice cream scoops are often made of metal and rice scoopers are often made of bamboo, making them significantly more durable than plastic shovels and easy to clean for the next time you need them back in your kitchen.
- Ice Cube Tray: Using an ice cube tray is a fun and easy way to make miniature sandcastles. Kids can create their own designs by adding water to the tray and then mixing sand into each mold. The result is a small but detailed sandcastle that can be decorated with shells or other natural materials found on the beach.
- Recycled Containers and Measuring Cups: Repurposing containers and measuring cups from home is an excellent way to reduce waste while still enjoying a day at the beach. Not only are they a sustainable option for sand play, but they can also be used in the water. Kids can use them to create sandcastles, collect shells and other items, and even catch fish or seaweed in the water. After the beach day is over, these containers and measuring cups can be easily washed and reused for other purposes, reducing the amount of plastic waste that would have been generated if new beach toys were purchased.
By incorporating eco-friendly beach toys into your next beach day, kids can learn about the importance of sustainability while still having fun in the sun! These sustainable alternatives not only benefit the environment but also encourage creativity and imagination. So, the next time you plan a beach day, opt for eco-friendly beach toys and take one small step towards a more sustainable future for our planet! And remember, always make sure to take anything you bring to the beach back home with you.