A Dad’s Life: In the Trenches

The hot and hazy days of summer are best spent at the beach if you ask me. That is, if you have the time.

Thanks to being on parental leave with our 9-month old baby, a day at the beach with my boys is possible whenever the weather cooperates. No waiting around or the weekend for us.

Halifax beaches offer everything needed to please the kids and dad. Plus it is a great way to keep cool, get exercise and experience new adventures.

With my two boys, the most popular activity at the beach is building trenches in the sand.

Finding the best slope down to the lake and hollowing out a path for water to travel down with a rush.

All you need is a bucket, a few shovels and an imagination. You don't even really need the shovels in our case as hands and feet work great.


Once you find the perfect incline and free space of people, the best way to start is by building a hole at the top where you can pour water.

Once you have a nice hole dug out, then you can start the trench with your hands, shovels, or what I like best, the back of my foot.

As our 9-month old watches on with delight, I work on the trench, while our 3-year old digs out the top hole.

Then the process of slowing using water begins. I find it works best if you draw out the full trench and start pouring water down it so the water does the work for you. It knows the best path down to the lake, so let gravity be your friend.

Once the path is set, my son and I start to hollow out the trench until it is nice and deep. This makes the water rush fast down into the lake where a big cloud of sand is formed as the two meet.

Little kids love the speed of the water and how it meets up with the lake at the bottom. My son actually cheers.

Building trenches at the beach is something you can do all day with your kids. You can make them as big or as small as you want.

Thankfully, Halifax is full of great beaches for making sand castles and trenches.

Our personal favourite beach is at Kearney Lake. What is your perfect HRM beach experience?


Michael is a marketing manager by day, who has been at the blogging thing for almost a decade. Father of two, husband to one and griller to the Gods. Read more about his parental adventures, including his current stint on parental leave on his blog, Like A Dad.