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    Wednesday, 10 June 2015

    Batteries not included…

    How often do you go on holiday and your children (or perhaps even just your partner) and enjoy doing nothing more than sitting with them on the beach, or by the pool, whilst they are engrossed in their phone or iPad/tablet, with their earplugs in, listening to music, or worse, playing some monotonous video game, that, without sound to the outside world (which would be worse still), makes it seem as they are doing some completely random breakdancing! If your family is anything like mine this is a pretty regular occurrence!
    However, this year on our Anna Maria Island vacation, we made a simple, single, family rule: ‘no electrical equipment!’ This was met with great enthusiasm as you can imagine…!
    There is so much to do on Anna Maria, that we really did keep busy: bike riding, kayaking, jet ski-ing, fishing, sunset boat trips and dolphin watching, plenty of eating, but when it came to relaxing on the beach, we all had varying levels of enjoyment…from happy as a sand boy to completely bored! For me: sunbathing and reading a book, suited me down to the ground, and my 5 year old loved building sandcastles, collecting shells and running in and out of the water. However, my 11 year old and 14 year old boys, finally drove me to distraction with their hourly chants of ‘I’m bored’.
    But, with a determination to not ‘give in’ and allow them to bring their electronic devices to the beach, I found some alternate games, with the help of Beach Bums, the fantastic rental store on Pine Avenue. Owners Diane and Lauren, were, as well as being responsible for kitting us out with bikes, kayaks and golf cart, were, in my eyes, the saviours of my soul, as we were able to rent and buy a great selection of beach games to play, which truly did keep the whole family entertained.  And, as simple as they are, we had so much fun. It’s really amazing how so often, the simplest of things, can create fun, laughter, competitiveness (definitely) but more importantly a real sense of family time together!

    White Sandy Beaches of Anna Maria Island
    White Sandy Beaches of Anna Maria Island
    These are a couple of our favorite choices:
    Corn Toss is a popular beach game in which players take turns throwing bags of corn at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. A bag in the hole scores 3 points, while one on the platform scores 1 point. Play continues until a team or player reaches the score of 21.  Aside from being a great beach game, corn toss can be hours of family fun in the evening at your rental house.
    Smakaball is a new toy! And it is hilarious! I felt a little like I was a tiny person in a child’s animation, with a huge brightly coloured ball, and a hand held ring. The idea is that you throw and catch the ball using the ring you are holding. Apparently, it’s becoming hugely popular in the US, getting kids and families up off the couch and enjoying a physical activity that is seriously good fun! Again another great game, that had us running all over the beach. We even ended up having tournaments with single players and then teams, and even play offs! Competitive? Us? Never!

    Beach Bums also carry Melissa and Doug toys. I love Melissa and Doug, and my daughter does too, so we were able to buy some of these lovely products to keep her entertained at our rental house and then take them home to add to her collection. Beach Bums really do have a wide array of games, toys and beach essentials for all ages, including of course, the important bucket and spades, Lillo’s and other essential blow up necessities for the water! So, whether you want to dig a hole to China or spend a relaxing day floating at the beach, Beach Bums is a must stop.
    Beach Bums on Anna Maria Island is a must stop!
    Beach Bums on Anna Maria Island is a must stop!

    Thank you Beach Bums, we had an absolute blast on the beach and not a single, digital or electronic device was missed!

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