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Published November 21st 2013
Getting Grubby and Muddy in Manly
Get your grub on and get out on the Mudflats
Why do kids love muddy puddles so much? Is it the splash? Is it the mud? What ever it is, one thing you can guarantee, it'll be more fun than you can poke a stick at! I can't think of anything else kids love more (except maybe a bubble bath), and they'll need one of those too, so you'll have some pretty happy kids at the end of a day like this.
Once you get over how dirty it is and surrender to the inevitable laundry soak, you will be pleasantly surprised by what you can discover.
One of our favourite family pastimes is to bypass the park and head out on the mudflats - the dog can run his heart out and the kids can get grubby. A warm day in winter, or an early summer morning, there is nothing better than to explore the world of mud and crustaceans. We can spot bird tracks and molouscs, search for crabs and jump in the puddles the rays make.
Pretending to be pirates, on a hunt for buried treasure, every kids imagination is ignited. Sailing across the sea and landing on all sorts of foreign shores. Treasure can be found everywhere!
For the kids aged 2 and up, it can be hilarious fun to try fishing on the low tide too. Find a channel and scamper out on the flats with yabbie pumps, casting nets and rods. Our son loves to try fishing and thinks it is the most exciting thing in the whole world! Even if his attention is only captured for 10 minutes, there's plenty of other things to entertain his sense of wonder once the fish have stopped biting (then Daddy can get in 5 minutes of fishing solace).
It is really important to keep an eye on the tide, and probably better to go out on an outgoing tide as, once it's turned it can come in quite quickly, especially because it's shallow, so just be aware. It can also be fun to race the tide in, and if you are out there with little ones as it starts to trickle back, you can all mark spots and see how quickly it is coming in.
Don't forget to be sun smart and definitely wear some old clothes. Sometimes a small fold up chair can make it more comfy for the grown ups who don't want to sit in the mud. Leave a snack pack and plenty of water on the shore or the car so hungry pirates can eat when they get back in. There is usually a tap and a bubbler around to wash most of the mud off and then it's straight to the bubble bath!