A family step into the sea at sunset

13 Fun Things To Do at the Beach with Kids


It’s summer time, and the beach is calling! As you pack up the car for your beach road trip, pack a list of all the fun things you can do with the kids at the beach. Think boogie boards, scavenger hunts, picnics and more!

a small girl wearing a rubber duck life savers plays in the sea

Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash

Here are some of the best things to do at the beach with kids. Remember to bring a camera to capture all the memories!

1. Build a Sandcastle

an impressive looking sand castle

Photo by Jaime Spaniol on Unsplash

The classic beach activity, building sandcastles is what childhood memories are made of. Bring a bucket and sand shovel, or just let the kids freestyle it. Definitely join in the sandcastle fun, and be prepared to host a competition for the biggest or best castle on your next trip.

2. Treasure Hunt

Beaches are full of all sorts of treasures, whether it be beautiful seashells or ethereal sea glass. Let the kids roam a little to see what treasures they can find along the shoreline. Have them come back and show you their treasures, and you can even bring them home to put in a special treasure box.

3. Beach Soccer or Kickball

Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash

Pack a soccer ball or kickball and let the kids play along the beach. Outline a makeshift goal with driftwood for soccer, or set out some towels as bases for kickball. This is a great activity for trips with extended family, or to make new friends on the beach.

4. Boogie Boarding

Pack up the boogie boards for endless fun catching waves and paddling out into the water. Body surfing or actual surfing are also fun activities for catching some waves. If the kids are interested, surf lessons for the whole family could be a fun add on to your beach trip too!

5. Hold a Relay Race

Make yours the most active family on the beach by setting up a relay race to get everyone working together and encourage some healthy competition. You can use a stick of driftwood for the baton, but make sure to pack something special for a prize, like the biggest seashell from last year’s trip. 

2 boys [play in the sand with a wheelbarrow and spades

Photo by Pichara Bann on Unsplash

6. Scavenger Hunt

Think of things you might find by the sea (this can be a fun car game for antsy travelers), then put them together in a scavenger hunt or make cards to play beach bingo. Bring a fun prize for getting all of the items, and maybe a bonus prize for someone who sees the weirdest or most interesting thing.

7. Beach Bowling

a ball on the beach by the sea

Photo by Sofiia Vytrishko on Unsplash

Set up an easy bowling alley with six plastic bottles and a soccer ball. Fill your bottles partly full with sand and arrange them in the shape of bowling pins. You may be chasing down a wayward soccer ball or two, but you will have tons of fun bowling on the sand.

8. Exploration Walk

Take a walk along the shore as a family, exploring the coves and inlets on the shore. Look for seashells on the ground, dolphins in the water and pelicans in the sky. Be prepared for questions about the cool marine life you find, and also be prepared for tons of fun learning and exploring as a family.

Photo by Aliko Sunawang on Unsplash

9. Fly a Kite

two colourful kites fly in the air

Photo by Bill Fairs on Unsplash

A family outing so classic, Mary Poppins sang a whole song about it. The beach is a great place to bring some kites and fly them as a family. Ocean breezes are so good for kites, in fact, that many people sail or surf on them. Consider kite surfing or parasailing as a fun family outing, too.

10. Sand Writing

Photo by Tsunami Green on Unsplash

Find a clear spot of sand and a piece of driftwood and let the kids write a message in the sand. You can write a short poem, write your names or leave a message for other beachgoers. This is a great time to practice some words and fine motor skills, or foster family spirit with a fun tradition like writing one thing you are thankful for on your vacation.

11. Beach Read

When your kids need a break from the sun and waves, set them up with a towel and a book. Bonus points if your beach read is set on an actual beach! If you love a good beach read, this is a great opportunity to bond with the kids over something you love. Also take this opportunity to re-apply sunscreen, grab a snack and refresh before everyone heads back out onto the waves.

12. Sand Games

a small boy plays in the sand at sunset

Photo by Monica Gozalo on Unsplash

By drawing in the sand, you can create all kinds of games. Play hangman with a sand drawing, or make a tic-tac-toe board and play sea shells versus sea glass. You can even make a hopscotch course in the sand and see who can come up with the most complicated hopping set up.

13. Clean Up

Part of teaching kids about nature is teaching them about taking care of the world we live in. Picking up trash on the beach is a great way to give back and take care of the beautiful places we visit and call home. Grab some gloves and trash bags and head up the shore as a family. Dispose of everything you collect properly once you’re done.

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