Exploring Tide Pools with Kids

Exploring Tide Pools with Kids

One of my favorite summer activities is exploring the marine life in local tide pools with my family. From starfish to sea urchins to tiny crabs and giant sea cucumbers, these natural aquariums never fail to delight and amaze us. We’re so  fortunate to live in an area with many natural tide pools, and try to check them out several times a year. Here is a check list of items that can make your tide pool experience more memorable.

1. A tide chart: know before you go. You don’t want to show up at high tide or get caught when the tide is coming in.

2. Water shoes with good grips. Tidal pools can be slippery


3.  A Water Scope can give you a unique up close look at sea life. These underwater magnifiers are also fun to use in shallow pools.

4. A disposable, inexpensive (or waterproof!) camera to capture your little brother holding a giant sea cucumber

5. Spend a little time researching the animals you might see. Make your own field guide. Laminated cards can help you identify the sea life.

6. Bring a small trash bag. It’s illegal on most of our local beaches to take away any sea life, shells, or rocks as a memento. That does not stop others from leaving a piece of themselves behind, however. We always carry a trash bag in case we have our own trash to dispose of , or come across anyone else’s.

7. Snacks and water. Clamoring over rocks makes you hungry. Power bars and plenty of water are a must have

8. Sunscreen! A broad spectrum high SPF sunscreen is a must have when you are exploring Tidal Pools. Even on a cloudy you can get badly burnt. Choose a waterproof variety and apply frequently.

9. Spare set of clothes. It’s Murphy’s Law. Noone will fall in and have to endure a wet sandy drive home, unless you forget to pack a spare outfit. Leave this in the car, and hopefully you won’t need it

10. Baby Powder. Did you know that baby powder gets sticky sand off you quickly and easily? Talcum works best, but if you are worried about little ones potentially inhaling this, the cornstarch version works as well. A little bit of baby powder, applied to feet, legs and sandy bums works like magic. This can make for a much more comfortable trip home in the car!