A day at the beach always seems like the perfect way to spend a summer's day. But, if you want to avoid grumpy sand-covered little faces, you'll need to have some beach games up your sleeve.
Take a look through our collection of fun beach activities and make sure that your trip is full of cute photo opportunities and lots of smiles.
- Forced perspective challenge
- Beach bowling
- Seashell wind chimes
- Digging challenge
- Fly a kite
- Beach volleyball
- Sand volcano
- The physics of sandcastles
- Make a sundial
- Beach scavenger hunt
- DIY skee ball
- Waterproof playing cards
- Beach ball race
- Take a picnic
- Sand angels
- Boogie boards
- Pirate treasure hunt
- Beach I-Spy
- Blowing bubbles
- Beach frisbee
- Seashell activities
- Bury a friend
- Super soakers
- Build the perfect sandcastle
- Remote control car
- Art on the beach
- Take a beach ball
- Dye your sand
- Catch sand crabs
- Beach golf
Forced perspective challenge
Break out the camera early in the day and your kids will have loads of fun playing with perspective with the help of our photo challenge. Create hilarious and unlikely shots with all of our tips!
Add a dash of education to your day with this fun beach bowling game from The Nerd's Wife. All you need are some tennis balls and some sand to brush up on math skills.
Seashell wind chimes
Collecting seashells is one of my favorite things to do with the kids on the beach. But what to do once you've gathered your treasure? Make one of these wind chimes from Craftionary, of course!
As simple as it is effective, this digging challenge will keep your little ones busy for hours. The premise? How deep a hole can you dig? And can you beat your siblings?
Fly a kite
So your beach day is a little windier than you planned? Then why not fly a kite? If you're a beginner, then Mom Junction has 6 easy steps to fly a kite with your kids.
Inspired by the Olympics? Then why not get everyone active and stage your very own game of beach volleyball? Score cards are optional of course!
Kids learn best when they're having fun, and this STEM sand volcano experiment is perfect for keeping them busy and teaching them something about chemistry. Head to Growing a Jeweled Rose for the details.
The physics of sandcastles
From chemistry to physics, NASA has a page on the science of sandcastles. Why not brush up and then head to the beach to make your own?
Make a sundial
You can also use the vast expanse of sand to find out about the sun. Learn how our ancestors would have told the time with this sundial guide from wikiHow.
Beach scavenger hunt
Hearing one too many requests for ice cream? Send the kids off to run around with this beach scavenger hunt. Get the free printable from Views From a Step Stool.
DIY skee ball
Sand is an endlessly useful resource. You can make all sorts of fun with it, including this skee ball game just like Life With Leo. Set up the competition and the winner gets extra ice cream!
Waterproof playing cards
Family card games mean bonding, strategy, and math skills. But cards can get soggy on the beach, so pack some of these waterproof cards instead.
Beach ball race
If you've got a beach ball and a large open area (like the beach) then this beach ball relay race from Kid Friendly Things to Do will get the whole family laughing!
Take a picnic
A day out on the beach means more than snacks, you're going to have to pack a picnic. Creative Cynchronicity can show you how to pack the ultimate beach picnic to keep everyone's bellies full.
I mean, if you can do it with snow then you can do it with sand. Making sand angels is a lot of fun for kids of all ages (and adults too!). Then you can decorate your efforts with seashells and stones.
It's not all about the sand, you know. Grab a boogie board and head into the surf for splashy, salty fun. Just make sure you know your beach safety.
Pirate treasure hunt
If you've got a little time to prepare, then setting up your own pirate treasure hunt can be great fun for little seafarers. This pack from Blimey Box is also great if you're taking a group to the beach.
Occupy your little ones and help them develop their letter sounds with this printable I-Spy from Simple Play Ideas. See who can fill their sheet first!
Kids love bubbles! And this perfect bubble mixture from Emma Owl will give you another fun beach activity for your little ones. Have them running around popping bubbles all afternoon!
Get them ready for college Ultimate Frisbee with one of these hard-wearing discs. It'll help them burn off energy, and improve their aim.
As we've mentioned, seashell hunting is the perfect beach activity. And Mom Beach has a whole load of ideas for what you can do with them, complete with printables.
Bury a friend
Obviously, we don't mean this in a sinister way! But who hasn't been covered in sand up to their neck at some point in their childhood? Cover your chosen person, and then turn them into whatever you like by drawing in the sand. Mermaid, anyone?
When you're on the beach, you don't even have to run to the tap to fill up your super soaker - the water is right there! Pit adults against children, or let siblings go wild with something like this.
Build the perfect sandcastle
If you're already at the top of your sandcastle game, then skip this one out. But if you'd like some tips then Martha Stewart herself can help you out with making the perfect sandcastle. Grab your bucket and spade and let's go!
Remote control car
You can enjoy taking your remote control car through its paces by building an epic track in the sand. Ramps, bridges, tunnels, chicanes, anything your heart desires. Bring two and you could even race.
Art on the beach
Why settle for sandcastles? Your budding artist can have fun on the beach making designs out of anything they can find. Creative in Chicago has some great ideas.
Take a beach ball
If you've got a beach ball in your bag then the possibilities for fun are endless. We've already mentioned a couple of options, but Birthday Party Ideas 4 Kids have 20 more games that you can play with a beach ball.
Dye your sand
If you're feeling like your sandcastles lack a little pizzazz, then Diana Rambles can show you how to dye sand at the beach and make your constructions really pop!
Catch sand crabs
If the rockpools aren't yielding any of your usual sea crabs, why not follow this wikiHow guide to finding sand crabs instead? Smaller and duller than your usual cartoon crab, you can still learn a lot about crustaceans.
Keen to practice your swing even when you're away from the course? You can get your children involved in your favorite sport too by making your own beach golf course. Just make sure to check for passers-by!