The Problem of Applying Sunscreen to Wet, Sandy Bodies.

Another video post? Well, we are in a holiday mood. Soon we’ll be thinking of more serious things. But not today…
My husband Andy is home from school for two weeks. “What shall we do during the holidays?” he asks.
“Let’s go to the beach!”
The girls’ eyes light up. Callum’s eyes light up. It’s been two years since we last saw the sea.
We pack bags of swimming gear, and an eski full of delicious picnic food. Shall we take SAND-wiches? We grab the sunscreen and our hats and sunnies. Of course, we don’t forget the buckets and spades.
“Are we ready? Let’s go!”
We pile into our trusty old van and head out of our village, down through the cutting, along past the paddocks of cows and into the bush. Eventually we arrive at the top of the escarpment. 

Andy selects a low gear and we slowly descend a very steep and winding road. By the time we arrive at the bottom we’ll be at sea level. The van doesn’t like the hairpin bends. It groans and moans. We don’t like the way the sides of the narrow road disappear into nothingness. We peer sideways out of the van’s windows. It’s a long way down. But we are going to the beach! The journey will be worth it.

Nearly two hours after we set out, we arrive at the coast. A quick change of clothes and we are ready. The kids run from the van, heading for the sandy path which leads to the beach. Our feet sink into the sand. We wriggle our toes. We smell the salt air. And then we stop… and look. We can see the sea!
We claim a little part of the almost deserted beach just for ourselves. We throw down our bags. We spread out our towels. It’s time to dip our feet into the ocean. The girls run towards it. They splash each other and giggle.


“The water’s cold!”
“We’re going to build a sand castle.”
“Wow! I’m hungry! I can’t wait for lunch.”
“Can I film you, Mum?” Why not?
“Are you coming into the sea, Dad?”
“Do I have to?”
“Yes! Of course you do, Dad! We have more fun when you join in.”
“The water’s cold!”
“It’s time to reapply some more sunscreen.”

“Can we walk to the rock pools?”

“I’m going to collect shells.”

“I found a crab.”

“Is there anything living in this shell?”
“I think we’re had enough sun for one day.”

“I hope no one is sunburnt.”

“It’s time to go home.”

We’ve been on an outing to the coast. We could call it a field trip. Did we learn much from our day at the beach? Did we come home with our minds brimming with further questions? Yes!
What did we learn? We learnt…
Dad’s hat makes a good bucket for collecting shells.
An older brother is perfect for holding onto when the waves are strong.
Jumping waves is much more fun when Dad jumps too.
It’s necessary to keep out of the way of younger sisters’ legs in the water, otherwise your own legs will end up bruised.
The van might be 25 years old but it can still climb up and down the escarpment.
A day at the beach is a lot of fun.
And further questions? 

I want to know…

“What’s the best way to reapply sunscreen to sandy wet bodies?” Gemma-Rose turned into a piece of human sand paper as I rubbed in the cream. There must be a better way.
Some further research is needed perhaps. We’ll have to think up some ideas that might possibly work. Of course they’ll need testing out. We could set up some scientific experiments… sand, sea water, children and sunscreen.  Another day at the beach?
Yes, please!

This post is linked to Friday Field Trips. Please visit to read more family stories of field trips and outings.

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  1. Reply

    Sunscreen? Get the spray kind! *smile* No rubbing necessary…

    1. Reply


      I didn't even think of spray sunscreen! Thank you for that suggestion. We've never used that sort before. I buy the biggest pump packs containing 30+ sunscreen, and we smother it on. Would spray sunscreen be as effective?

      Thank you for stopping by!

    2. Reply


      Talcum powder? Now that's something I would never have thought of. Thank you for these ideas… we need to visit the beach again and try them out! I also think we need to pack spare towels. Ours all got sandy too quickly. My turn to smile!

    3. Reply

      Hi Sue…spray sunscreen works very well…but if you want to use up your pump sunscreen first, you can just bring talcum powder and poof it over the sandy appendages, then the sand will brush right off( I use a clean towel for this) and you can reapply the sunscreen on sand free skin *smile*…

  2. Reply

    O Sue, these videos just keep getting better and better. My whole soul is smi i i i i lling broadly, 'cause this is so much FUN! I loved how you went so smoothly from music to "live sounds" and then back again… it felt seamless and perfect. Applause! Applause!!!!! The music matched wonderfully. And what fun to see you, too! 🙂 Now to go watch it again. You think I'm kidding? I'm not.

    1. Reply


      If I ever become a professional movie maker I am going to ask you to be my marketing manager! Thank you so much for your encouraging words, and for sharing the link once again on Facebook.

      I'm glad you didn't notice all the little musical hitches. I am still learning. I snipped the music track into pieces and then couldn't get it to join back again properly. I just had to include some of the sounds of the sea. Don't you just love to listen to waves breaking on the shore? And then Sophie's super speed laughter… I couldn't edit that out!

      Oh yes, I am in the movie too. I wonder how that happened! I guess years from now I want everyone to know I was actually at the beach on that wonderful day. Anyway it's fun being silly!

      Thank you so much for watching my movie more than once!!

  3. You ladies have become expert film-makers in no time! What a wonderful idea for a film. Like Nancy, I am smiling all over – thank you all for sharing your sunny smiles and beautiful beach with us!

    I liked your spring walk posts too. I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy the vicarious pleasure of your springtime as our summer turns to autumn 🙂

    1. Reply


      I enjoyed making this movie. I took a lot of video and it was hard cutting it down to just 5 minutes' worth. The other problem was that there was nothing unpredictable or very exciting about our day… we went in the sea, built sandcastles, searched rock pools, got covered with sand… It's what everyone does at the beach. It's kind of everyone to share yet another beach story!!

      While you're watching our spring walks, I'm enjoying all the autumn photos that are being posted by my friends on the other side of the world. We all get to experience both seasons at once. Isn't that delightful?

      Thank you for watching my movie!

  4. Reply

    I could almost feel the warm sun and smell the beach … totes jealous!

    Your filming is just getting better and better too. Great memories.

    1. Reply


      It was a perfect weather day… not too hot, very calm and still. Since Monday we've had strong winds. It wouldn't have been so pleasant sitting on the sand with the wind whipping in our faces.

      Do you live far from the beach? I remember your photos from last summer, the ones where you stayed at your holiday house. I can't remember that wonderful NZ word for your house!

      Thank you for your kind words. For my next movie, I'm going to use a better quality camera (as I'll be filming inside and not in the sand) and I'm going to try a different editing program. Oh yes, it's going to be a talkie! Will it be a success? I hope so!

  5. Reply

    Awesome video Sue!
    The beach is SO much fun!!! I live very close to the beach, and I hardly ever go!
    Well, since its the holidays, I will have to start going again. As for the sunscreen, I would take Karla's advice
    and use the spray-on type. (It is well worth it when you have wet, sandy skin to protect!)
    Your little movies are getting more and more amazing!

    God Bless,

    1. Reply


      I know what you mean about never visiting places that are close by. I guess we think those places will always be there. There's no hurry. One day… We also live in an area where tourists come to visit so there's lots of interesting things to see and do around here. I've decided we must pretend to be tourists and go visit them all!

      I must buy some of that spray sunscreen before our next beach adventure!

      I'm glad you enjoyed my movie. Thanks for watching.

      God bless!

    • Wendy
    • September 27, 2013

    It's so funny, you are half a world away at the South Pacific, but you do the same things at the beach that we do here at the North Atlantic! Except we don't have rock pools in our part of the North Atlantic. We also love to head out to the beach on those warm spring days! So fun! And we loved the pictures of you being silly!!!

    And your water is much bluer than ours. 🙂

    (spray on sunscreen is our plan, too).

    1. Reply


      You must have beautiful sandy beaches too! I went to the university at a small seaside town called Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales. That beach had no sand at all. It was covered with polished stones! Around the headland though there was a huge sandy beach, with enormous dunes. We used to sit inside the dunes to shelter from the cold winds which always seemed to whip off the sea. Beaches are so interesting! They aren't all the same. But yes, we all like to do similar things when we visit, like make sandcastles… unless of course it's a rocky beach! How disappointing that would be for kids!

      The blue water… yes, I guess it reflects the very blue sky. There wasn't a single cloud in the sky. I did film the sky as a pelican flew overhead, but that scene didn't make it into the movie.

      It seems everyone knew the secret to using sunscreen at the beach except me! Now I know too!

  6. Reply

    Another wonderful video from the Elvis family! Lovely to see other family members involved this time too. Now I want to go to the beach, that looked so lovely. We spend as much time as possible over summer at the beach – we'd be quite happy to live on the coast if it was possible.

    1. Reply


      Callum had a day off work on Monday. It was wonderful he could join us for our beach adventure.Duncan couldn't come though because he was working on uni assignments. Somehow I managed to get into this video too!

      You mustn't live too far from the coast, or perhaps you don't mind travelling? Our old van doesn't have air conditioning and it doesn't like going up and down hills so we don't tend to go to the beach very often. We have been on a couple of beach holidays though. We have some wonderful memories of staying in a holiday house and visiting the beach every day.

      Thank you for sharing our day at the beach!

  7. Reply

    Ah, this is so nice. It is getting autumn over here, shorter days, cooler weather whilst you are heading for the beach! You are lucky. We've been to the beach this summer too (in England). I'm a bit sad, summer is over now. But my kids remided me, it's soon Christmas ;)) It's so nice to see your lovely family as well!

    1. Reply


      The change of seasons is a mixture of good and bad. We always miss something about the outgoing season but there's usually something to look forward to as well… like Christmas! Your children have the right idea. I'm looking forward to that too.

      I love the in-between seasons, autumn and spring. Summer means high temperatures and bush fires while winter is cold! At the moment the weather is perfect.

      I wonder if you have snow to look forward to with the coming of the winter. My children would love to see proper snow… and make snowmen and snowballs. That sounds just as much fun as sandcastles and the beach!

      Thank you so much for watching my video. It's lovely to share with you!

    • Beate
    • September 28, 2013

    Ugh – my phone never lets me comment, so I've managed to send in all sorts of things that end up floating around in cyberspace 😉 Yup, spray on sunscreen! I love the videos – what sort of editing software do you use?

    1. Reply


      I'm sorry to hear you've been having trouble posting comments. Now I'm wondering what you wrote! It's sad to think of all your comments floating around in cyberspace unable to be read!

      Thank you so much for watching my videos. I've been enjoying playing around and seeing what works and what doesn't. I've still got lots to learn!

      I used Windows Live Movie Maker for these movies, but I'm going to try something different next time. I like the simplicity of Movie Maker. It is so easy to use but I've had such trouble getting it to work on my computer. It continually freezes and won't let me do any more work to my video. I had to finish my movies using Imogen's computer. I checked my computer for viruses but couldn't find any. I really don't know why I am having so many problems.

      I might download a free trial version of Corel. Duncan has used this program for his own movies and likes it. He bought a copy for his own computer. It's much more complicated than Movie Maker. Hopefully I'll be able to work it out!

      Do you make videos, Beate? I wonder what software you use if you do.

      It's so lovely to chat with you.

      God bless!

    • Lisa
    • October 3, 2013

    Sue, I just LOVE this video! Your family truly is so joyful and enjoys being with each other. What an amazing thing to watch! I was smiling from ear to ear watching it! Thanks for linking up with Field Trip Friday. God bless, Lisa

    1. Reply


      Thank you for watching my video. I know it takes longer to watch a video than it does to read a post. I appreciate you sharing our day at the beach. I am really enjoying linking up to the FTF hop. It gives me a chance to capture some great memories of our outings in blog posts as well as enjoy everyone else's. I love hearing where everyone goes with their families. Will be over later to link up this week's post!

      God bless!

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