There’s nothing better than seeing your kids experience the world for the first time. Bringing your kids to the beach is one of the best ways to expose your kids to many natural wonders at once: the water, the sand, the blue sky, etc. The excitement doesn’t have to stop after their first visit; instead, the beach offers endless opportunities for new games, adventure, and fun.
While it may seem stressful to pack all of your and your kids’ belongings into the car and spend the day at the beach, we promise it’s worth the effort. If you’re in need of some help thinking of fun activities to do with your kids at the beach, look no further.
We have compiled a list of our favorite kid-friendly beach activities that will keep your kids entertained and will wear them out by the end of the day.
1. Scavenger Hunt
One of the most common beach activities that will excite your kids and get them moving is an old-fashioned scavenger hunt. One of the best parts of a beach trip is the variety of stimuli your kids will be able to explore. Before visiting the beach, compile a list of common objects your kids will likely encounter while running around on the beach.
Your list can include a funky seashell, a beach towel, a rock, a cup of ocean water, some seaweed, etc. Not only will this introduce them to various beach features, but it can also keep them occupied for a while.
2. Towel Bounce
Who doesn’t love a parachute game? Take it from the P.E. teachers across the country who bring out a parachute and a ball when they need an activity that is a guaranteed fan favorite. Although you can’t bring a full parachute to the beach, you can make a water-side version of this popular game.
Have a kid or adult stand on either side of a beach towel, with the longest side stretching between them. Hold the towel taught and put a beach ball on top of it. Then, challenge your kids to bounce the ball up and down as many times as possible without dropping it. Make the challenge exciting, and they will have a blast!
3. Beach Bowling
With the entire family at the beach, we’re guessing you’ll have a collection of water bottles (reusable or plastic) in your beach bag. When everyone finishes their water, line up six bottles in a bowling formation: three in a line, two lined up in front of that, and one more at the tip of the formation.
Give your kid a beach ball, place them a few feet away, and have them try to knock down all the “pins.” If they are young, be sure to cheer for every pin they knock down. If they are a little bit older, you can make it more of a challenge by placing them farther away or tuning it into a competition between the parents and the kids.
4. Sand Games
Take all of the well-loved sidewalk games that have been entertaining kids for generations, and turn them into sand games. Take a stick or shell you find on the beach and draw a hopscotch layout on the sand. You can make them as long or as short as you want, and your kids will love it if you join in on the fun and hop alongside them.
You can also draw a 3x3 grid in the sand for a fun game of tic-tac-toe. Draw your Xs and Os with a pointy seashell for a beached theme game.
5. Bucket Fill-Up
If your kids are brimming with energy, the bucket fill-up game should be your go-to game. If you have two kids, place two sand buckets about ten feet from the water. Give your kids cups and place them in front of their respective buckets.
After a countdown, they will run to the water, fill up their cups, run back to their buckets, and dump the water in. They will repeat this process until the bucket is full and some of their energy is expelled. Cheer them on as they are running and make this a high-energy, and exciting activity.
6. Sand Sculptures
It wouldn’t be a trip to the beach without making some form of sand sculpture. You should bring a few sand castle molds with you for your kids to pack with sand and build a castle. This activity is a classic for a reason and requires concentration and creativity from your kids.
Additionally, you can add to your sand castles or create a unique sand structure using beach treats as tools. Form a mound of sand and use small sticks for arms, shells for eyes, and seaweed for hair to create a sand person. You and your kids can even build an entire sand family and give them names for an extra level of creativity!
7. Clean Up
While you are on the beach, it’s important to teach your kids about how to respect nature. There is always trash on the beach, and picking it up with your kids can be a wonderful learning opportunity. Slip gloves on your and your kids’ hands before strolling down the beach, trying to spot trash that belongs in a trash can.
While this might not seem entertaining, it’s an easy activity to turn into a game. Challenge your kids to see who can pick up five pieces of trash first or who can find the biggest piece of trash. They will feel zoned in and excited to pick up discarded items, while also learning about the importance of keeping the beach clean!
8. Kite Flying
Take advantage of those windy days at the beach with a kite! Learning how to keep a kite in the air, while watching its bright colors glide above you, is such an exciting activity for kids. There are different sizes of kites you can buy, depending on your kids’ ages and skill levels. This is also a wonderful way to bond with your kids since you can hold onto the string with them, especially if they are still young.
9. Musical Towels
Musical chairs is an exciting game that entertains kids with sounds and fills them with excited anticipation. This is an extremely easy game to bring to the beach; all you need is a handful of beach towels. Lay down one less beach towel than you have people, and have everyone start by standing in a circle around the towels.
Play some beachy tunes, and tell everyone to find a towel when you pause the music. Keep going until one person comes out victorious, and then set up for round two!
10. Bury You in Sand
If the energy it took to get your family to the beach happily and safely wore you out, but you still want to do beach activities with your kids, this one is for you. Lay in the sand and tell your kids to bury your legs and torso, so you look like a sand mermaid.
You will benefit from the momentary rest, and your kids will find it hilarious to bury you in the sand. Additionally, this activity usually takes a while, so you won’t have to worry about introducing any new games right away.
11. Jump the Waves
One of the most important lessons your kids need to learn at the beach is how to handle the waves. While this activity is reserved for your older kiddos, it’s both exciting and helpful. Get into the water with them and teach them what size of wave you can safely jump over and what size of wave you should duck under for.
The timing of ducking under and jumping is also important and a great lesson to learn. For wave jumping, make sure you are wearing a secure bathing suit that won’t slip around when the water hits you.
Off to the Beach
Now that you’re ready with your list of exciting activities, throw plenty of sunscreen and water in your car to keep your kids safe from the heat, and you are ready to go!
The beach is such an exciting place to explore as a kid, and they will always remember the fun times they had playing in the sand with their parents.