There really is nothing quite like a carefree Saturday morning with the sun shining, and nothing much planned for the day except a trip to the beach! I do recommend a hearty breakfast of blueberry pancakes and bacon with maple syrup before setting off.
One piece of equipment that has made such trips a HUNDRED times more enjoyable (for me especially) is our Delta all-terrain buggy for our 10 year old Brielle.
She has cerebral palsy and cannot walk as well as other conditions due do her premature birth.
I mentioned in another blog that our social worker actually put in a grant application for us and we had £500 given towards the purchase which was a big help as they are quite expensive- but trust me, such a worthwhile investment! I recently pushed Brielle around streets on Botanic Avenue in Belfast in her wheelchair instead, and it was NOT a fun experience. My feet kept knocking against her anti-tippers, the handles were too short for me and at their max height, it felt very wrikety.
So the Delta buggy…It handles so smoothly on trail paths to the beach, on stones and pebbles and even harder sand. We bought double sand wheels as an extra (for soft sand) but rarely have to use them as we’ve found the standard wheels usually do the job for our needs. Our trips to the beach, as well as walks as a couple (with B) and a family of 6, have hugely increased thanks to the buggy.
Another thing I wouldn’t be without especially in Northern Ireland is wetsuits for the girls! Brielle being the youngest of four gets all the hand-me-downs. For her, being in a wetsuit on the sand gives her so much freedom. Not only does it keep her warm, it gives her extra protection from the sun covering up more than a swimsuit, and protects her bottom as she scoots up and down the shore.
It let's her have some independence.
She’s usually not too brave about being in the cold water much, but does like to walk handheld up and down the water’s edge and splash! Another favourite thing is to sit on a body board and be pulled along shallow water.
Sand for her is great for sensory play. She loves the feeling between her toes and fingers, and playing with dry, and wet sand. She often puts it on her head and to her mouth in experimentation- she’s been dubbed the “sand monster” by her sisters!
This summer we plan to reserve and make use of some of the water equipment on loan at the major beaches by the Mae Murray Foundation. Check them out online- it is free to register and reserve equipment like water wheelchairs, walkers etc.
Enjoy your days in the sunshine and saltwater everyone!