Water and dirt (and by extension rocks, sand, etc) are the best toys ever. This is why the beach is so awesome. And if it’s a warm beach, with water that doesn’t induce hypothermia? Even better.
The kids took a little time to warm up to the novelty of the ocean. Nathan found his feet first, and spent a long time playing catch-me-if-you-can with the waves.
Ryan started down the same exploratory path as Nathan, got knocked over by a wave, and developed (for a while) an intensely suspicious relationship with the ocean. He also played tag with waves, but was careful to stay entirely out of them, throwing defiant shovels of sand at the retreating water. By the end of the trip he was becoming more used to occasionally getting splashed or knocked down by the waves, and no longer treated it as such a traumatic event. He spent a fair amount of time among the rocks, scooping sand into the little pools left behind by the waves, telling me that he was “salting” them.