If your family is anything like ours, you will have been itching to get to the beach after a year of restrictions, so here’s a collection of engaging beach activities for kids.
We loved Cornwall’s beaches while on holiday and also love to explore other bodies of water closer to our home. Our children love being out in nature, and we can happily spend several hours soaking up the sun and playing in the sand.
Although spending an afternoon on the beach can be exciting on its own, I’ve always found it wise to have a few organised activities planned and tucked away in my bag. These Engaging Beach Activities for Kids not only bring our family closer together, but they also create lasting memories to look back on and smile.
I’ve pulled together some of our favourite ideas for family beach fun, as well as must-pack items for your beach bag. While most of these activities and games are meant to be played on-site, there are also several that you can enjoy doing at home. I hope they’ll help you create your own enjoyable memories during some much-deserved relaxation time by the water.
Engaging Beach Activities for Kids
You’ll notice that many of these beach activities and games I’ve included are appropriate for toddlers on up. That’s because many families have both younger and older children, and I love to get everyone involved in whatever we happen to be doing.
If you’re a parent of multiple children, you know how difficult it is to have fun when someone is feeling left out! So let’s avoid that altogether.
1. Create a Sand Clay Handprint Keepsake from The Craft at Home Family (Ages 1+)
There’s no better way to preserve your child’s memorable summer moments than with this sand clay keepsake. While everyone is at the beach, have your bub gather up seashells and other items, and bring home a jar or two of sand. My children have loved doing outdoor crafts with clay, and there are so many beautiful possibilities.
2. Have a Water Fight (Ages 2+)
When visiting a place with an unlimited water supply, a water fight is a natural result! Children of all ages can enjoy this fun beach activity, although it’s best to customise the type of water launching device or pistol to the age of your bub. These simple pump water guns work well for toddlers and young children, while older kids might enjoy more advanced aqua artillery.
3. Make a Beach Obstacle Course (Ages 2+)
One of the simplest and most engaging beach activities for kids is making a beach obstacle course. Use a stick to draw circles, relay paths, and other points along the route. You can make this as simple or complex as you want to, so it’s a fabulous idea if you have a wide range of ages in your family.
4. Go on a Beach Scavenger Hunt from Oh My! Creative (Ages 2+)
I’ve noticed that scavenger hunts have made a dramatic comeback since the advent of COVID-19, and I love how many different versions are out there. This beach scavenger hunt printable is relatively basic and well-suited for younger children. However, you can almost instantly involve older kids by turning it into a competition with ice cream as the prize!
5. Throw in a Few Beach Ball Games (Ages 2+)
A beach ball is one of my family’s go-to beach toys for kids, especially because you can play so many different games with one! One of our favourites is Beach Ball Relay, and we work together to create the different ways that players have to deliver the ball to their teammates. A few of these include:
- Doing the crab walk with the ball on your belly
- Running as fast as you can with the ball between your knees
- Hopping on one leg to get to your partner
If you’re looking for additional inspiration, check out these other entertaining Beach Ball Games.
6. Build Anything BUT a Sandcastle (Ages 2+)
Yes, I know that I’m going against every beachgoing tradition in existence, but I’m encouraging your children to use their imaginations! Our family always packs a bucket and spade set like this one, and you and your children can use the tools to carve out mermaids, forts, water trails, or anything else that sparks their creativity.
7. Orange Peels Crab Craft from Little Ladoo (Ages 3+)
Since it’s a definite no-no to take your own crab home from the beach, save back a few orange peels and make your own. This simple beach craft for kids only takes a few items to create, and it’s an excellent way to recycle something that would have just been tossed out in the rubbish bin.
8. Beach Count and Colour Activity (3+)
Keep the oceanic excitement going even after your trip with this educational beach-themed activity for kids. I like that there are two levels, making it appropriate for both younger and older children. If you’d like to reuse these sheets, I suggest laminating them and using white board pens to colour with.
9. Paint Sea Pebbles (Ages 3+)
Have an art lesson in the sand with a few bottles of non-toxic paint, some paintbrushes, and your child’s favourite sea pebbles. I recommend using non toxic acrylic paint, as it will stand up better to the wear and tear of time. Once everyone finishes creating their masterpiece, use them to decorate your driveways, garden areas, or give them as gifts to relatives.
10. Fly a Kite (Ages 3+)
Kite flying is the ultimate beachgoing pastime, and everyone in the family can get involved. Kites are lightweight, compact, and easily fit into your beach bag. They also don’t take an abundance of skill to fly, although it may be wise to help your bub get theirs into the air first.
11. Make Seashell Plant Labels from Bunny’s Garden (Ages 3+)
Turn scavenged seashells into colourful plant labels with this cute beach-themed activity. First, take advantage of the calming process of gathering shells along the coastline. Then, use basic craft supplies like acrylic paint and Mod Podge to create vibrant plant markers for perennials. This is an easy way for children to work on writing their letters, or you can paint the plant names on for toddlers.
12. Play Beach Frisbee (Ages 3+)
One of the best beach activities for kids is genius in its simplicity, and that’s throwing around a frisbee. I strongly recommend going with a lightweight disc type because it is easier for younger children to throw. The chances of someone ended up with a bloodied lip are also much less, which is beneficial for everyone!
13. Play Sand Noughts & Crosses (Ages 4+)
One of my favourite things about travelling to the beach is that the sand makes a perfect reusable canvas and game board. You just need a piece of driftwood (or your hands) to whip up a Noughts and Crosses board and let the water wash it away when you’re done. If you have several family members who want to play, try drawing out several and playing in rounds!
14. Challenge Kids to a Game of Spike Ball (Ages 10+)
Older kids and upwards will love this cross between volleyball and four-square, especially if it means the winners get bragging rights! You can easily modify the game to accommodate various players, and everything packs nicely into a carrying bag once the game is over.
Family Beach Bag Essentials
- Plenty of Drinks
- Picnic Blanket
- Sun Hats
- A CHANGE OF CLOTHES.
I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful! It really is so much fun to turn whatever space you’re in, into your own playground/classroom!