Fun Beach Games for Kids of All Ages
Beach Games That are Fun for Both Parents and Kids Alike
A trip to the beach is a fun is fun for the whole family. It does not matter what age you may be from toddlers to grandparents. I look forward to a day at the beach now after my children have grown up and are on their own, just as I did when I was a child going with my parents, as a teen going with friends and as an adult to take in the beauty of the water, sun, sand and sights of the beach.
I grew up near the southern California beaches but have traveled and had fun at beaches in the northwest, east coast and Florida coast. The fun is always the same no matter what coast or continent you are on. As a child, then with my children and now with grandchildren we still play the same fun beach games every time we go.
When going for just a day at the beach, we take a minimum of beach toys and games with us. Each time we take a different beach games to play so we don't get bored. When my boys were growing up, we would take a camping trip to spend a week at the beach outside of Santa Cruz, California. Then we would take a bigger selection of beach games such as volleyball, paddle ball, boogie boards and the traditional sandcastle building buckets. The boys would make a game out of seeing who would build the biggest sand castle each year.
There are lots of games that can be adapted to play at the beach. With just a little imagination, many fun beach games can be made up for family fun at the beach. Let the kids get involved in the ideas and you will be surprised on how much fun they will have.
Photo taken by author
Great for older kids and adults. No need for a net.
A Day at the Beach is Lots of Fun for Kids of All Ages!
Beach Games from Amazon
Otherwise called "Ladder Golf". This is a very "addicting" game that I got hooked on recently. All ages can play this fun game.
Lawn Games Adapted for the Beach
Lightweight and Portable Games
Lawn games such as bocce ball, ladder golf, bean bag or ring toss and even a game of ball are easily taken to the beach. All of these types of games usually come apart and with a carrying case that makes them easy to carry from your vehicle to the beach. They are lightweight so you can enlist your children to help carry the beach games.
The set up of these types of games are quick and you will not need too much area or beach to play them. Being at the beach is a social affair, so don't be surprised if you gather a crowd wanting to play also. I put out a variety of games to keep everyone involved. That way no one is sitting to wait to "play next".
How to Play Ladder Golf
Learn the basics of how to play this extremely fun game in this easy to follow video clip by Matt. this is one of my favorite games to take with a family outing. It is perfect for camping trips, a day trip to the beach or a park and a game to take when visiting out of town family. Be careful, you will get hooked!
Almost everyone must have an experience or memory of a "Day at the Beach" that was lots of fun. What games did you play at the beach either with your parents or with your children?
What Fun Beach Games have you Played?
Sand Castle Contests
A fun beach game too!
Building sand castles are a must when going to the beach. Kids of all ages really get into building a unique castle of their own. Trust me, I know from personal experience. Every year we spent that week at the California coast with grandma and grandpa, the kids would get their father and grandfather into a contest on who can build the biggest castle before the tide would come in. Each year our collection of sand pails, sand toys and tools would grow.
You too can make a contest with your family. Maybe the winner could pick their favorite food or restaurant for dinner. The point of this game is to have fun. It also gives the kids an opportunity for healthy competition or teamwork.
Suggestions for contest criteria:
1. Most detailed castle with use of beach objects such as shells, rocks, sticks, etc.
2. Largest castle with real moat.
3. Unusual design and shapes.
4. Tallest castle.
5. Not a traditional castle or building, but a creative creature.
I am sure you can add more to this list for your own contest.
It is important to have at least one sand pail to carry water and sand.
Beach Scavanger Hunt
Take this great outdoor game to the beach; a scavenger hunt is lots of fun with a group. Believe it or not, there are lots of things to collect on the beach besides seashells. This game can teach children to help the environment by cleaning up bits of items that do not belong on the beach. I used to "play" this game with my summer camp kids by having them go through the park finding items such as candy wrapper, gum wrapper, six-pack plastic holders (dangerous to birds), paper, etc. Here is a sample list to start with, you can add to or make up your own list too:white seashellblack seashellsilver dollar shellsea rocksmall piece of driftwoodsand crabseaweedspeckled shellgum wrapperplastic item
Don't forget to bring a bucket or container with a handle for each child to put the treasures in. I would put a time limit on this game to make it more fun. Being on the beach, I would give the kids a parimeter also, so they don't wander too far.
Playing Catch on the Beach
Ball or Frisbee? Your Choice!
Another very popular game to play on the beach is a "game of catch". Most often you see groups start up a game of Frisbee. Anywhere from 2 people to a circle of 8-10 people can play this game of catch. The challenge is if the day is windy and trying to get the flying disc to the recipient. That sure adds to the fun.
Other games of catch include baseball mitts and a baseball, Nerf games of catch using Velcro gloves, which is great for the younger kids, and a game of catch called the US Games Fun-Air Scoop Ball. This game uses a scoop type basket that you each hold and toss a wiffle ball with. A very fun and light game.
A fun game that all ages will love to play.
Sand Net Games
Easy to Set Up
The most popular beach game I can think of is sand volleyball. Whenever you head to the beach, you can be sure that you will find a game of sand volleyball happening. If you have at least four people, you can have a fun game of volleyball. But of course, the more people you have to play the more fun it is. You don't really need to find an existing volleyball net on the beach, but can easily set up your own with a lightweight portable system. Start out with as little as just two of you playing and just you wait, a crowd will gather. It is like a magnet that brings out fun-loving folks who will want to have a good time on the beach too.
In addition to the all popular sand volleyball, there are other games that you can play in the sand with a portable net. Consider a game of badminton (if the wind is not too strong) and the game of Pickleball that is growing in popularity with all ages. The great thing about playing these games in the sand is that it is softer on the feet and knees, plus easier on the body if you fall diving for the ball or birdie. Portable nets are lightweight and some come in a carry bag that has pockets for the balls, birdies and paddles. Drawing the court lines in the sand is easy with any stick or even your foot. These are games of fun for all ages.
Volleyball or Badminton Anyone?
Very portable, lightweight for your next day at the beach.
My Favorite Beach
Learning to Body Surf
My youngest step-son learning to body surf during a recent trip to the beach in San Diego. We all met for his brother's wedding in San Diego and decided to make a family day the next day after the wedding. We went to Mission Bay Beach where there are nice beaches, lifeguards and amusement rides. Something for everyone. These types of days are great family bonding opportunities for everyone. It was a great day, but I don't ever recall having a bad day at the beach.
Photo by author
© 2014 Nancy Johnson