80% Of Ocean rescues are because of rip currents. Rip Currents can be deadly. Watch the short video below about Rip currents provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Always remember to follow beach warnings such as Red or Yellow flags. Check conditions before going to the beach. If possible, stay near a lifeguard.
Fast Facts by NOAA
- Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that are prevalent along the East, Gulf, and West coasts of the U.S., as well as along the shores of the Great Lakes.
- Moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second, rip currents can move faster than an Olympic swimmer.
- Lifeguards rescue tens of thousands of people from rip currents in the U.S. every year, but it is estimated that 100 people are killed by rip currents annually. If caught in a rip current, don’t fight it! Swim parallel to the shore and swim back to land at an angle.
Happy summer vacation on the Outer Banks NC! This month’s blog will feature beach activities and beach games that use ordinary items you may already have, or items that can be purchased at the dollar store and most importantly, items that don’t take up much space in the car. We’ve kept all age groups in mind, from toddlers to great grandparents. After all, your time on Hatteras Island is all about spending time together, having fun and memories that last a lifetime.
Fun Beach Games
Instead of a typical game of frisbee just between two people, play frisbee golf that can include everyone. All that is needed is a target, such as a beach towel or the line of beach chairs that you already have set up. Take turns trying to throw the frisbee as close to the target as possible. Of course, smaller kids should throw from a line drawn in the sand that is closer to the target than the older kids or adults. Tips on throwing a frisbee:
- Your index and middle fingers should be inserted into the rim of the frisbee.
- Your thumb should be on top the frisbee.
- Your ring finger and pinkie should be on the outside of the rim, supporting the weight of the frisbee.
- Your middle finger along with your wrist does all the action.
Keep the frisbee parallel to the ground, curl it towards your body, extend your arm, snap your wrist and watch the frisbee sail through the air.
Water Bucket Relay
Kids, old and young, love relay races! The supplies needed are plastic spoons and beach buckets or plastic cups anchored firmly in the sand. Have the smaller kids fill up their spoon with ocean water and run back to fill up their cup. Adults may only be allowed to walk back and forth between their cup and the tideline. The water bucket relay is an exercise in balance, focus and agility as participants attempt to keep the water from spilling out of their spoon.
Beach Treasure Hunt
The list of items that are “hunted” can be as long or as short as your hunters can accomplish. The list can be given verbally a few at time, in writing in the form of list or displayed in pictures. The beach provides a variety of items to be collected. All the hunters really need is a bucket in which to place their treasures once found. The hunter that finds the most items is the winner! Here is a list of the 10 most popular items for a beach treasure hunt:
- Smooth pebble/rock
- Something that smells
- Something of a certain shape (round, square, or triangle)
- Something of a specific color
Things to do at the Beach
Fly a Kite
Kids always seem to squeal with delight as they run along the beach with a kite flying behind them. Kites can be purchased in toy stores, dollar stores or made by kids during the beach visit. Here’s how to make a homemade kite:
- Find two sticks and tie them together in a lower case “t” using string or twine.
- Unfold a piece of newspaper; place the stick frame on top of the newspaper; fold the ends of the newspaper around the stick frame and tape into place.
- Tie string or twine at the center of the frame where the sticks cross one another as the lead line for the kite.
Family beach vacations just wouldn’t be complete without flying a kite. The wind currents on Hatteras Island NC provide a steady ocean breeze, perfect for kite flying!
Build a Sand Castle
A family beach vacation to Hatteras Island NC would not be complete without building a sand castle! This beach activity can include all members of the family. Capture the creation of your sand castle by taking pictures as it rises out of the sand into a structure… especially if it is built near the tideline where it is subject to the waves taking it out to sea. Tools needed for a sand castle include a bucket, small shovel and rake, shells, a small stick, a plastic spoon and a spray bottle and additional bucket filled with water. In Redbook’s July 2008 magazine, Justin Gordon, an award-winning professional sand sculptor offered the following tips for constructing a sand castle.
“Use moist sand. Squeeze a ball of sand in your hand for a few seconds. If the ball stays together when you roll it around in the palm, it’s perfect sand for a castle. The best place to find this sand is below the tide line. Start with a densely packed mound of sand. To get the best density, build up the mound gradually. Add 6 inches of sand, pack down firmly with your fists, then pour half a bucket of water on top. You can never add too much water; any excess will just drain out. Repeat until you’ve reached your desired height. Shave away sand in thin layers. This way, you’ll have more control when you’re carving design details. Plus, it’s easier to take away sand than it is to add it back.”
We have a few suggestions of our own to building the perfect sand castle:
- Keep the design simple;
- Give lots of encouragement to the younger kids; and
- Decorate your castle with seashells!
No trip to the beach is complete without digging in the sand. Create fun!
Beach Activities and Beach Games for All
You came to Hatteras Island to enjoy the beach. The staff at Shore Details strives to help you in any way that we can. The ideas we have outlined are designed to provide families with simple beach activities and beach games that everyone can enjoy and participate in. Typical beach related items that families normally bring to the beach such as a sand bucket, shovel, rake, frisbee, plastic spoon and spray bottle are all that is needed to have participate in an activity or play a game. Enjoy your week on the Outer Banks NC. We are glad you are here!