Whatever the season, we love to head to the beach. You”ll never be stuck for beach ideas again, with our list of 50 interesting things to do at the beach with kids, from spotting seabirds to racing seashells or even hunting for fossils!
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The beach is such a great day out or vacation idea for families, and there’s lots to do. Take a look at our round-up of things to do at the beach that are fun, educational and bound to leave lasting memories!
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Things to Do at the Beach with Kids
#1. Collect Shells
See how many different colours, different sizes and different types of shells you can find.
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#2. Go Paddling
If weather permits, have a paddle at the edge of the sea and enjoy the sand and water between your toes.
#3. Make a Mermaid
Draw her outline with a nice curvy tail then use
- seaweed for her hair
- shells for her tail scales and
- two large stones for her bikini top.
#4. Build Sandcastles
One of the best things to do at the beach! Don’t forget the moat and decorate your sandcastle with shells and stones.
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#5. Build a Channel to the Sea
Dig out a big channel from the sea back to your sandcastle to fill the moat.
#6. Explore a Rock Pool
Take a net and explore a rock pool. See if you can find an anemone or a hermit crab (one that takes another new shell every time it outgrows the old one).
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#7. Make Footprints
Make giant or baby footprints from stones in the sand. Draw the outline of your foot and your child’s foot, on the sand with your finger/stick and then collect some interesting stones and pebbles to decorate the foot shape, not forgetting the toes!
#8. Hunt for Footprints
Go barefoot and make footprints in the sand and then follow other footprints that you find. You might see bird tracks or dog paw tracks or different shoe or feet sizes.
#9. Body Boarding
Have fun BodyBoarding in the waves. Or progress to a bit of surfing if you master that!
#10. Write Your Name in the Sand
Use your finger, or a piece of driftwood and write big letters to make your name in the sand.
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#11. Have a Picnic
All of these fun things to do at the beach are exhausting and you’ll need to recharge. Yes, you’ll get sand in your sandwiches and spill your juice but hey that’s the joy of eating a picnic at the beach. Make sure to use our Picnic Checklist, so nothing gets forgotten.
#12. Go On a Beach Scavenger Hunt
Print off and take our Beach Scavenger Hunt list and see how many of the things you can find.
#13. Do Some Bird Watching
How many different types of sea and shore birds can you spot? Take a notepad and keep a count of different types and draw them too.
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#14. Spot a Seal or a Dolphin
Maybe you’ll be fortunate enough to spot a mammal like a seal, dolphin or even a whale!
#15. Play Rounders
The beach is a great place to play a game of rounders because you have plenty of space to set out the play space and it’s fun to run on the sand. Just don’t hit the ball into the sea!
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#16. Have a BBQ
Follow safety precautions and you’ll be fine having a BBQ at the beach (not too close to any grass or foliage). Sausages and marshmallows (or s’mores) are the easiest to cook for a Beach BBQ.
#17. Hunt for Fossils
If it’s a stony beach, have a hunt for fossils in rocks, sometimes you can find some cool examples. At our nearby beach we have found several plant fossils and something that looks like an ancient shell.
#18. Play a Game of Frisbee
Frisbee is the ultimate classic beach game and the great thing is it’s lightweight to pop one in your bag to bring along with you.
#19. Fly a Kite
It’s often breezy at the beach and there’s plenty of room to run to get the kite lifted, so bring a kite and enjoy flying it.
Just be sure to hold on tight to the string, as the wind can often lift the kite higher, and tug the string fron little hands. Younger kids will probably need some help from adults
#20. Do Some Fishing
You’ll need angling equipment or else beach fishing nets. Very relaxing but you do need to be patient too.
#21. Take Photographs
See how many different interesting things and angles you can take photos of. (Make sure you ask permission if taking photos of people).
When you’ve decided what things to do at the beach, take photos of them – capture the memories of your best ever sand castle, the shells you’ve found and the fun of splashing in the waves!
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#22. Play a Ball Game
Round up some extra bodies and have a game of Football, Tag Rugby or Volleyball.
#23. Make Stone Towers
Find flat stones of different sizes and pile them up into stone towers. See who can make the tallest stone tower before it topples over.
You could also make little towns/cities with stone towers for each building, and fences/walls from smaller stones.
#24. Collect Pretty Pebbles
Collect 10 gorgeous pebbles. See if you can find 10 different colours. Make “drawings” with your coloured pebbles.
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#25. Have Sand Races
Mark a start and finish line and have some fun sand racing.
#26. Search for Pirate Treasure
Pretend you are a pirate and hunt and dig for buried treasure. Maybe you need to look where X marks the spot!
Or, if you haven’t tried it yet, geocaching is like real life treasure hunting!
#27. Read a Beach-Themed Book
One of our favourite seaside-themed books is Sally and the Limpet by Simon James, about a little girl Sally who goes to the beach and gets a limpet stuck to her finger.
Or you might enjoy The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson (author of The Gruffalo), about a little snail who takes a journey around the world on the tail of a whale.
#28. Blow Bubbles
Take some bubble mixture with you to the beach and enjoy them blowing away on the sea breeze.
#29. Seashell Races
Each person finds a seashell, then everyone lines their seashell right at the water’s edge where the waves lap up on the beach, when the next wave comes in, whoever’s shell moves the farthest wins.
Make sure and save these to bring home and do some shell crafts.
#30. Peek Under Stones
Have a snoop and see what insect life or sea life you find under large stones at the beach.
You’ve a better chance of seeing some sea or beach life under stones that are closer to the shore, or even in rock pools.
#31. Build a Dam
Make a big dam out of sand and stones then add water and keep it from leaking (it’s harder than you think!).
#32. Make a Sand Sculpture
Could you make a dolphin or a turtle out of sand? Or a fish? Or a Mermaid?
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#33. Hunt for Shells for a Necklace
Find shells that have holes in them so you can string them onto a cord for a necklace. (Or you could make a windchime later too).
#34. Climb Up a Big Rock
Find a big rock to climb up (watch it’s not slippy) and then sing I’m the King of the Castle when you get to the top.
#35. Help Keep the Seaside Clean and Animals Safe
If you see any plastic rubbish, help to keep the beach clean and sea animals safe by taking it to a bin. Seals, fish and dolphins are all damaged every year by plastic that they either swallow or get caught on their body parts so you’ll be doing them a big favour!
#36. Bury Feet in Sand
It’s not recommended any more to bury people up to their necks in sand but you can bury your Mum or Dad or sibling’s (or even your own feet) in the sand.
#37. Beach Bowling
Bring a beach ball, make the pins out of sand and take it turns to knock them over.
#38. Fill a Bucket Relay Race
You’ll need two teams and two buckets. Each team has to run down to the water one at a time and carry back water in their hands to try to fill the bucket before the next person goes. First team to fill their bucket wins.
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#39. Jump the Waves
See if you can jump over all the waves coming into the beach. Every single one of them!
#40. Sand Art
Let the sand be your canvas! Draw a picture in the sand and see how creative you can be. It could even be a family competition to see whose masterpiece is the most impressive.
#41. Scoop that Sand
This activity is one of the best things to do at the beach for younger kids, but even older ones enjoy scooping and playing with sand. Bring plenty of spades and buckets and containers to enjoy the ultimate sand play.
#42. Limbo Dancing
The great thing about limbo dancing on the beach is the sand is soft to land on. (You could bring along a skipping rope to use as the limbo pole).
#43. Find a Mermaid’s Purse
See if you can find a mermaid’s purse. These are the egg casings from sharks, skates, and chimaeras.
They are often found at the strandline, the farthest point of the high tide.
#44. Dig a Tunnel
See if you can dig a tunnel to the country at the opposite side of the world to you!
#45. Do Beach Gymnastics
Can you do a cartwheel? A somersault on the sand? or even a backflip?
#46. Eat Ice Cream
One of life’s pleasures at the beach, a 99 cone or an ice lolly, drips and all.
#47. Play Sharks and Minnows
One person is the Shark, the rest are Minnows. The Shark stands in the middle of the group and has to catch all the minnows. If you’re a minnow and you’re caught you have to stand still.
#48. Sand Hopscotch
Mark out your hopscotch grid with shells and driftwood and then draw the numbers in. You’ll need a tossing stone and some good hopping technique!
#49. Make Sand Angels
Instead of Snow Angels make Sand Angels! Lie down on your back and move your arms up and down then get up very carefully!
You could decorate your sand angel with pretty shells and stones afterwards.
#50. Watch the Sunset
At the end of the long day, enjoy the sun setting over the sea and the colours of a beautiful sunset.
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