aspen beach at gull lake

Beaches are the best.

While I have never truly been a fan of having sand absolutely everywhere in the clothes, house, car, and everywhere, I discovered this weekend that the beach is the absolutely most perfect place for kids to play.

The beach is the ultimate in organic play. Sand + water + shovels. That’s all you need for hours of awesome.

Playgrounds can prompt the same level of creative play and excitement in kids, but I’m no fan of having to watch my kids perform increasingly complex feats of gymnastic athleticism. One day they’re too small to safely climb, the next they are doing back flips it seems. As much as you want to back off, playgrounds never let you truly relax.

This weekend, we went to a beach. I sat on the grass opposite the beach and watched them dig and fill and build for hours. They worked together first on a castle, then on a beaver dam, then on .. who knows what it was supposed to be.

They were collaborative, they shared, they delegated. They took turns running back and forth to the lake getting buckets of water to make and then test their engineering of rivers, dams, and moats.

Trying to find a lake in Calgary can be a tough task. There is only one public lake, the rest are specific community access only. They are the most exclusive of clubs where you must be a member or you need to know someone to get in. So that means if you want to play at a lake, you go to the only one in town that 1 million people have access to, or you spend a couple of hours driving out of town.

I loved our day on Aspen Beach at Gull Lake.

It was perfect.

Too bad it only took me until the final weekend of summer to realize it.

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