Fun Beach Activities for Kids

They've played in the water, buried Dad, and built a sandcastle, and now the kids are getting a little antsy. What to do? Though the beach is full of fun things to keep the kids occupied, you may need to exercise a little creativity if you're going to keep them amused for an extended vacation at the beach house.

Check out some of these suggestions for keeping the kids (and adults) happy:

Scavenger Hunt
Have a scavenger hunt. Make up a list of things you can find on a beach, shells, rocks, seaweed, horseshoe crabs, use your imagination, and see who's the fastest at finding everything on their list.


Sand Games
Play sand games. Sand offers lots of opportunities to make up new games to play, since you can draw on it and build things with it. Try tracing out a dartboard and tossing rocks or shells to see who can get a bull's-eye. Draw a tic-tac-toe square or a hopscotch court. You can even play "beach bowling" by constructing pins from sand and rolling a ball to see who can smash them. Or make a sand giant. Trace your shadow in the sand and decorate it with rocks and shells.

Arts & Crafts
Do arts and crafts. Shells, sea glass and other beach finds can be used to create art projects that will not only keep the kids busy, but will give them a souvenir to take home. Plan ahead and bring construction paper, glue and other craft items with you on your trip. Have them search the dunes for pretty rocks and different colored polished glass. (But be sure to remind them to stay away from sharp glass or other dangerous items.) Then have them use their collection to make a picture or decorate a piece of driftwood. You can even make "sand mosaics" by drawing out a picture in glue on a dark piece of construction paper, then covering it with sand.

Water Games
Make up new water games. If you've got squirt guns and beach balls, you can have a race. Draw a starting line in the sand and set the beach balls there. Then use your squirt gun to push the ball along with water, seeing who can go the fastest. Use your imagination and you'll think of lots of other games you can play with squirt guns.

These activities are great for days when it's too chilly to go in the water, or when the grown-ups want some time to themselves. Just be sure to keep an eye on things. Kids should never be left unsupervised on the beach, and should be monitored for overexposure to the sun. Check out our article on beach safety for the details on sunburn and other beach hazards.