Without Breaking the Bank
While on Nanny duties during the school holidays I am always concerned about the usual budget not stretching quite as far as it used to. So, Grampi and I put our thinking caps on to come up with some activities in and around Broad Haven that would keep the children engaged and not break the bank. As we try each one out we will add photographs and suggestions from our own experiences.
Living in this part of the world we so often take this wonderful resource on our doorstep for granted. This was my playground as a child. Sandcastle building and decorating competitions always go down a storm. It’s not just the building but the collecting of shells and stones for decorating that can keep the children occupied for ages. Try suggesting building a boat or a car with a bucket as a steering wheel. The imaginative games this can spark are never ending.
Rock pools are huge sources of entertainment . Crabs can be tempted out with a piece of bacon on the end of a piece of string. Take photographs of everything you find before putting them back. Then identify them all later in the day when you have access to the internet.
If there is a small budget then get a child’s golf set and build a crazy golf course on the sand. There is loads of fun to be had watching the tide come in and slowly fill up each hole on the course.
A small kite can also prove a challenge on a breezy day and there is no better place than a beach to fly it.
Learn about the tides and walk around to Little Haven. Stop on Settlands beach and build a sandcastle on the way.
Broad Haven has a fabulous community playground with equipment suitable for ages 2 up to teenage years. When the beach starts to lose its fascination then we can often be found on the swings and the slide.
With a fence around it the two year old is safe to be let out of the pushchair while the older brother gets a little more adventurous in the older section. Plenty of seats too for when Nanny and Grampi really do need a sit down!!!
Pond dipping & Bird Watching
Another less well known attraction in Broad Haven is the slash pond. Volunteers maintain this nature site with its pushchair friendly boardwalk through the trees and reeds.
There is a viewing platform, picnic area, bug hotel and pond dipping platform. Pick up a leaflet at the post office counter and take a jam jar along.
There are a number of boards along the walk that give information about the flora & fauna that you can spot along the way. If you have binoculars then take them along and do a spot of bird watching along the way.
Walking through Haroldston woods
Another less well known area of Broad Haven is the walk through Haroldston Woods. Not so pushchair friendly this one, but a stream for pooh sticks and plenty of tree roots to scramble over.
The path starts alongside the coastguard station in the large car park at the north end of the beach. Information and a map are available by clicking the link below.
Walks & Picnics
Taking a picnic and going for a walk is always a great way to wear the kids out for very little expense. We always encourage the children to help prepare the food. Far more likely to eat it then. If they are old enough then a project to plan, budget and buy the ingredients can be a learning experience too. It is always great to see youngsters going into the shop clutching their lists and money. If the weather is against us and it is raining then we just turn it into a carpet picnic.
At the right time of year – towards the end of August – don’t forget to take a bag on any walk and collect blackberries from the hedgerows. Doesn’t take much to turn them into jam or a lovely compote to go with ice-cream and meringues from the local shop.
Church yards & Headstones
At the end of Haroldston Woods is an old church and a graveyard. Why not stop a while to read some of the headstones and imagine the lives that these people may have lived. There is another walk to Little Haven that can be turned into a circle by coming back via the church at Walton West. Headstone rubbings can also be a fascination for a slightly older child.
On this walk there is also a farmgate stall with fresh produce, eggs and flowers for sale. The chickens can often be seen in the field opposite.
For more information about walking in Pembrokeshire you can read my blog here
Scavenger hunts & Geo-caching
All of these activities will hold interest for just that little bit longer if you add in a scavenger hunt. The internet is a huge resource for lists of things to find in all woods, towns and villages. Here are some that we have found for woodlands and for beaches
For the older children there is Geo-caching. This is outside of my experiences, but I am told there are plenty of caches around the Haven’s area.
And Finally ……
Obviously the weather plays a huge part in deciding what to do. Don’t forget that Scandinavian Proverb which says “There is no such thing as bad weather – just bad clothing”! Put the wellies on, grab a raincoat and take a leaf from Peppa Pig’s favourites – go jump in some muddy puddles. Experienced Grandmas know about such things – now where is my Paw Patrol notebook?