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Fun and Educational Activities for Kids at Sandbridge Beach

How do you makeeducation fun? Take it to the beach! At Sandbridge Beach, VA, kids can expandtheir knowledge and boost their skills while having the time of their lives.Here are just a few possibilities.

Activities for Kids

Fish from Little Island Pier

If you'd like to introduce your youngsters to saltwater fishing,you've come to the right place. The 400-foot pier at Little Island Park isseldom very crowded, so you and your kids can cast your lines without feelingstressed or pressured.

Bring your tackle and cooler and stake out a spot where it lookslike the fish are biting. Give your kids a few pointers, then let 'em loose.The best way to learn is by doing!

If your inexperienced angler hooks a big one, you may want tohelp reel it in. Then, use the free on-site cleaning station to teach yourchild a valuable lesson: If you keep it, you've got to clean it!

The Little Island Pier charges a small fee for fishing - $8daily for residents, $10 for non-residents. Kids 9 and under can fish free ifthey're accompanied by a paying adult. Ample parking is available at a modestcharge: $3 a day for residents, $5 for non-residents.

Take a Hike to View (and Photograph) Wildlife

Want your youngstersto learn more about the animals they love? Bring them to Sandbridge Beach for afun-filled walk on the wild side.

At Little Island Park,the large public beach boasts 2,000 feet of shoreline, so it's ideal for aseaside hike. Along the way, you and your children may spot a variety of wildlife,from gulls to osprey, turtles to dolphins. Be sure to take photos of all the creaturesyou encounter. Afterward, you can Google them to learn more about their ways.

If you like, you andyour children can print out your pictures and tape them into a scrapbook. Whoknows? Your kids may even get extra credit in science class!

For even moreeducational hiking, visit Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Here you'll find fivemiles of kid-friendly trails offering eye-popping views of native shorebirdsand migratory waterfowl... along with grey foxes, marsh rabbits, white-taildeer, wild ponies, and even an occasional black bear.

The wildlife speciesyou'll see will vary depending on the season, but that's part of what makes therefuge so fun and fascinating.

Take the popular EastDike Trail to spot ducks, geese, and swans (during winter migration), plusherons, egrets, deer, and loggerhead turtles. Or try the Seaside Trail for anup-close glimpse of freshwater wetlands and dunes, with a chance to see snakes,frogs, dragonflies, skinks, and more.

Back Bay Refuge hasspecial impoundments (managed water pools) where migrating birds rest and feed.At one of these - D Pool - you'll find the Wildlife Viewing Window, where youand your family can safely observe a wide range of colorful critters. Sit incomfortable indoor seating to watch ducks, geese, and other wildfowl through a one-wayglass window. Or go outdoors under a sheltering roof to view seabirds throughslots in the wall. Either way, it's an incredible learning experience.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

What can you find atSandbridge Beach? You might be surprised! Make a list of possible seasidefinds, then send your kids out to search. For example, they could try lookingfor:

  • Driftwood
  • Seaweed
  • Sand dollars
  • Shells of all shapesand sizes - whelk, conch, crab, clam, snail, scotch bonnet, periwinkle, etc.
  • Wild grasses like oatgrass and beach grass
  • Feathers molted byseabirds
  • Stones, rocks, andpebbles worn smooth by the tide
  • Leaves, sticks, andbranches washed up after storms
  • Litter such as bottle topsand candy wrappers... anything that shouldn't be there!

Later, back at yourbeach rental, pore over your newfound treasures. Talk about the role each itemplays in Virginia's coastal ecology. Discuss ways to help reduce littering. Andperhaps give each child some token recognition for his or her beachfront haul -for example, small prizes for "most items," "strangestfinds," "biggest shell," "smallest shell," and so on.

Tour a Sandbridge Restaurant

If you've seen thePixar movie Ratatouille, you know ittakes a lot of coordinated teamwork to serve up delicious fare at a fine-diningestablishment. (Or at a casualeatery, for that matter!)

If there's a buddingchef in your family - or perhaps a future business major - why not contact aSandbridge restaurant to schedule a visit during off-hours? Ask if you and yourfamily can meet with the chef, take a short tour of the kitchen, and learn someof the special challenges facing restaurants in resort areas.

Be sure to ask lots ofquestions. How does the restaurant source its raw foods? Does it get fish fromlocal fisheries, shrimp from shrimpers, vegetables from nearby farms? Iseverything cooked from scratch? How does the staff handle large parties andbusy periods?

Your kids will find itfascinating... and chances are they'll gain a new appreciation for cooks,cashiers, and wait staff the next time they eat out.You'll find many other opportunitiesfor impromptu education at Sandbridge Beach, VA. What a great excuse for agetaway!

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