As an adult, I like nothing better than to sit on the beach or at the pool and read. Give me a satisfying “beach read” and I’m happy for days. However, I’m sad to say the “beach read” isn’t really a thing for kids. Most kids would rather splash in the waves, make sand castles, and take their boogie boards out beyond their parents’ comfort zone. And who can blame them?
But the truth is that even when they are on vacation, kids need the same sort of relax, chill out, and read time that we adults look forward to. The trick is getting them to sit for 5 or 10 minutes to take that time: to refresh their bodies with water and food, to reapply the sunscreen, and to indulge in a much-needed brain-expanding reading prelude.
My family often goes to the beach and/or the pool and I’ve noticed just a few logistical hurdles to achieving reading time at the water.
- Books tend to be kind of heavy and when you are already dragging towels, food, sunscreen, buckets, shovels, boogie boards, floaties, hats, water bottles, umbrella, beach chairs, and who knows what else to your favorite spot, it is easy for your child (and you) to justify NOT bringing some reading material with them.
- Books can get wet and or filled with sand and are then pretty much ruined. Have you ever discovered a book left in a wet beach bag for a week? I have and all I can say is yuck!
- Book chapters tend to be kind of long. Your child may be willing to sit for 10 minutes and chill out, but they may balk at doing more than that. And if your kids are anything like my daughter, they may hate to close a book in the middle of the chapter.
So what is the solution?
You know what I’m going to say right? Magazines, natch. Magazines won’t weigh you down, are disposable if they get wet, and will provide just the right amount of reading for the times when your kids are ready to sit under the umbrella and chill for a few minutes. Literary magazines like Cicada, Cricket, Spider, Ladybug, and Babybug will allow your child to read wonderful fiction paired with beautiful illustrations. Discovery magazines like Click, Ask, Cobblestone, Dig, Muse, and Faces deliver articles on all sorts of topics that will excite and interest your nonfiction lover. And like the short stories in the literary magazines, these articles are just the right length for beach reading.
So don’t leave the beach read behind when you pack the beach bags. Slip a magazine or two in the pocket of the bag and when your child needs a few minutes of downtime, pull it out and get them to sit for 10 minutes or so. And when you do, remember to reapply the sunscreen.
If you are reading this while sitting in a lounge chair at the pool or the beach and were thinking, “too late for me,” you’re in luck. Here’s a free story from Ladybug magazine to download and share. It’s a feel good type of story that all ages will appreciate and your entire family will enjoy. For more stories like this one, be sure to subscribe to Ladybug.
by Roderick J. Robison
art by Elena Selivanova