I love the beach! Standing at the shoreline with my toes in the sand and looking out across the water – I am filled with awe for the world we lived in. Spending time in nature is one of the absolute best ways to connect with ourselves and our loved ones. Standing at the edge of the ocean makes me feel so small. It grounds me and fills me with gratitude. I love being able to share that experience with my kids. Beyond that, it is just plain fun! My kids and I love spending time together at the beach. We always find tons of things to do and even after hours out in the sun, we are almost always sad to head home.
When you think of beach activities, most people think about building a sandcastle or flying a kite. Funnily enough, we hardly ever do that! My kids are wildly creative and adventurous and are always coming up with new ways to express themselves. They always have the best ideas for games and fun activities. With our last trip to the beach, I had the idea of sharing with you some of the cooler activities we do at the beach. Here is a list of ten fun things to do with your kids at the beach this summer:
10. Make-Believe Fun: Beach-Front Restaurant
My girls love playing make-believe. When we go camping, they love playing house inside the tent and decorating their new “home”. When at the beach, they also come up with some fun make-believe games. One of their absolute favorites is playing restaurant. I am usually their best customer (of course), and they come to me as servers to take my order. No matter what I decide to get, miraculously they can always whip it up in no time. Using their frisbees as plates, I get served deliciously sandy spaghetti and meatballs, stir-fry, salads, and some of the best pies you have ever seen!
By using sand, seaweed, reeds, shells and whatever other natural beach items they can find, they build appetizers, main courses, and deserts for me to enjoy. It will often turn into a competition so to avoid a fight I will usually try and have one make me a nice soup and salad while the other prepares the main course. It is such a fun and creative way to spark their imaginations and mine.
9. Artwork in the Sand: Making Designs
We’re all a bunch of weirdo artists here, and I love it! Just as I watched my mother paint growing up, my kids have always been fascinated by my art and motivated to make their own. At the beach, we go beyond just writing our names or initials in the sand and create full on works of art. Gathering whatever extra natural artifacts we can, we shape hearts, swirls, stars, and anything else we imagine. Using shells, sticks, pebbles, and grass, my kids have created pictures of our family, designed their own pirate flags and so much more. It is so much fun, and one of my favorite ways to spend our time.
8. Exploration Time: Searching for Creatures
Searching out natural habitats is a great way to teach your kids about nature and show them first hand the awesomeness of nature. Depending on where we are, Florida, the Carolinas, or even at lakes and rivers, we go hunting for creatures to watch and learn about. Back home in Indiana, we find crawfish and salamanders, but on the beach we can find awesome marine life. While I was in South Korea last year, I missed them even more than normal when I found a whole beach full of star fish.
So, go beyond searching for shells and look for beds of coral, jellyfish, sand crabs, and hermit crabs. If you take the time, you can do a little research and tell them all about the different animals, fish, and crustaceans you find. Teach them that learning can be fun and filled with adventure.
7. Jumping Over the Rainbows
Do your kids like to jump over the waves? Mine like to jump over the rainbows! As the light catches on the waves, you will often see rainbows flash in the sea spray. Holding hands and jumping as high as we can, we try to jump over the top of the rainbows. I can only imagine the make-believe worlds that are swimming behind their eyes. I will take turns picking them up and twirling them over the top of the waves as they come rolling in one after the other. These are the moments your kids will remember! Make them great.
6. Become a Mermaid
Buring yourself in the sand is a standard beach time game for kids, mine like to go the extra mile by making themselves into mermaids! They always take turns digging out holes for each other. Sometimes, they just make as deep of a hole as they can and jump in to be buried. Other times, they will even dig smaller holes and stick their faces in the sand like little ostriches… That one I don’t understand, but the one I usually have a lot of fun with is when they want to lay back and be turned into a mermaid.
They have to lie really still as we all hustle around and shape a large fin onto their lower bodies and then draw designs on them or put shells on them for ornamentation. The girls love it of course. Zaid prefers to become an octopus or a shark!
5. Treasure Map! X Marks the Spot
Solie will often show up to the beach with her pirate flag to stick in the sand and a treasure map to find her buried treasure. A great creative activity for kids at the beach is to take turns burying their treasures. You can even take your own small treasure chest (they sell cheap wooden boxes as Michaels or Hobby Lobby). They will fill it with their own coins or shells and take turns finding places to bury it, marking the spot with a big X, and then creating a map on how to get there.
You need to make sure to pay attention during this game so that the treasure doesn’t get truly lost and you end up leaving it behind.
4. Shells, Shells, and More Shells
Another great beach time activity is shell collecting. Collecting them, sorting them, and even having a competition to see who can get the most. Finding shells is a tried, tested, and true way to have fun at the beach. Depending on the beach you go to, there will often be more or less shells of varying sizes. You may even get lucky and find a shark tooth or sea star!
Learning about the different shells is another great way to implement learning into your beach day fun. You can then sort them out by sea shell type and then keep sorting until you have a collection of the best of the best. My kids always want to take home a ton of shells, but having them sort out their shells by size, shape, color and type usually helps them pick which ones are their favorites.
3. On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
It’s race time! Creating fun, easy, and energy-releasing games for your kids can be super and fun as well as highly beneficial! Not only are you all getting some exercise, but it helps to wear them out and make them calmer, gentler activities more enjoyable. My kids love to run so we are always taking turns to see who can get down the beach and back the fastest.
We do relay races, obstacle courses, and organized sports. If you don’t have a soccer or volley ball its all good. You don’t need a thing to have some great sporty fun on the beach. All my kids have been taking gymnastics classes and they also like to see who can do the most cart-wheels. No matter what kind of activity you come up with, if your kids like to compete, the beach is a great place to do it.
2. School Yard Games: Hop-Scotch
Use a stick or a shell to draw yourself a game of hop-scotch in the sand. Pretty much any game that you would play with chalk on the sidewalk, you can play in the sand. Another fun game would be tic-tac-toe! I particularly like this one because it means I get to lay back and get my tan on while still interacting and playing with the kids.
1. Beach Day/ Earth Day: Doing Your Part
Last on the list but not least, is doing a beach clean up. You will be surprised how much your kids will actually like doing this and how good it makes both you and them feel afterward. Doing your part by picking up the litter left over by the other more careless beach goers, is a great beach day activity that will show your kids what it means to be a good citizen and responsible beach goer.
You can make it into a game or simply just enjoy walking and talking as you go up and down the coastline picking up whatever left over trash you find. Hopefully you don’t find much, but often you will be surprised how quickly your trash bag will fill up.
Wether you are looking for a relaxing day to just chill out and enjoy the sunshine and waves, or want to do something more energetic and engaging, there are tons of great ways to spend your beach day. I hope that some of these activities will become some of your favorites!
Thanks for reading!