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5 Fun Beach Games & Activities For The Whole Family

The beach is a coveted place for family members of all ages. Taking in the fresh, salty breeze, relaxing with a good book, splashing in the waves, and watching the tides shift are just a few of the beach’s simple joys. But keeping your family engaged — especially your little ones — for long stretches on the sand can take some work and planning. Fortunately, we have some excellent suggestions for fun beach games and activities that will delight the whole family.

  1. Beach Bowling

    Who says you have to go to the bowling alley to knock down some pins? Create your own bowling lanes right on the sand! To make the “lane,” flatten out several feet of sand (how long you make the lane depends on your kids’ ages) and at the end, use wet sand to mold 10 small bowling pins. Then take turns rolling a small-to-medium sized rubber ball down the “lane” and see who can get the highest score.

  2. “Painting” A Seascape

    Have your child grab a pail and go on a treasure hunt with you along the shore. Ask her to collect anything she sees that catches her eye — shells, seaweed, stones, wood, pebbles, etc. Once she’s found a suitable collection of supplies, encourage her to use her materials to “draw” a 3D picture in the sand. She can create her own beach landscape “painting” by arranging her newly-found wares into her own creative vision!

  3. Water Relay Races

    Relay races are an all-time favorite with kids. For this beachy twist on the old “egg and spoon” relay race, all you will need is a plastic cup and water pail for each child. Line up the buckets on the sand in a row and have the children run to the water, fill up their cup, then run back to the pail and empty their cup into it. The first one to fill their pail completely with water wins the race! This can also be played in teams or pairs for some added family bonding and comradery.

  4. Play A Beach-Themed Game

    The sand provides the ultimate “chalkboard” upon which your family can play classic games like Hangman, Tic-Tac-Toe, or even Pictionary. To get your family really immersed in their sandy surroundings, start a game of “I Spy.” Polish it all off with a round of beach-themed charades, hopscotch, or play musical beach towels instead of musical chairs.

  5. Digging And Building (Other Than A Sand Castle)

    While sandcastles are fun, there’s so much more you can do in the sand with shovels, pails, and even your own two hands. Transform yourself into a mermaid by sitting in the sand and building a mermaid tail with sand over your legs — bonus points for sculpting intricate scales and fins. Challenge your kids to see how big and deep a hole they can dig in the sand, then have them fill it with water, creating their own personal “swimming pool.” Or, you can take wintery activities and translate them to the beach. Try making sand angels instead of snow angels, or build a “sandman” instead of a snowman, using shells and stones for his face and seaweed for hair.

These games and activities — along with ample sunscreen, water, and healthy snacks — are sure to create a fun and memorable family beach outing. For more great summer tips and family-friendly events and activities, check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.

CATEGORIES: ParentsSan Diego


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