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Fun Beach Games for Kids of All Ages

Updated on November 12, 2015
Nanciajohnson profile image

I enjoy painting fantasy art, art shows, creating delicious dishes, spending time with my grandkids, taking walks and reading a good book.

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

Pacific Sports Smashball Set
Pacific Sports Smashball Set

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

Blongo Ball Complete Game Set
Blongo Ball Complete Game Set

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?

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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.

Small World Toys Sand & Water - Classic Beach Set 4 Pc. Set
Small World Toys Sand & Water - Classic Beach Set 4 Pc. Set

It is important to have at least one sand pail to carry water and sand.

Collecting Shells
Collecting Shells

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 seashell

black seashell

silver dollar shell

sea rock

small piece of driftwood

sand crab


speckled shell

gum wrapper

plastic 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.

Fun-Air Scoop Ball
Fun-Air Scoop Ball

A fun game that all ages will love to play.

Sand Volleyball
Sand Volleyball

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?

Triumph Volleyball/Badminton Combo Set
Triumph Volleyball/Badminton Combo Set

Very portable, lightweight for your next day at the beach.


My Favorite Beach

A markerSurf's Up -
Mission Beach, San Diego, California
get directions

Learning to Body Surf

Mission Bay San Diego
Mission Bay San Diego

Final Thought

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

What fun beach games does your family like to play?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What great fun this was to read! Thank you!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 4 years ago from West Virginia

      I like playing beach volleyball.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 4 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      @lanielluch: Thank you for your kind words. Have fun at the beach!

    • lanielluch profile image

      lanielluch 4 years ago

      Summer it is and we are looking forward for the beach days, thanks so much for these wonderful ideas.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      @Rodaussie: No, but it sure sounds fun! I will check your lens out too. Thanks for stopping by mine.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      @Rodaussie: No, but it sure sounds fun! I will check your lens out too. Thanks for stopping by mine.

    • Rodaussie profile image

      Rodaussie 5 years ago

      have you ever heard about footvolley... have a look on my lens about it...

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Such fun and you are so right - it really doesn't matter which beach or which continent!

    • profile image

      Joan4 5 years ago

      We love to play Bocci ball on the beach with the grandchildren!

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 5 years ago

      I mostly do cartwheels, handstands, and flips on the beach (the life of a gymnast haha), but I do enjoy a game of Frisbee or racing my friends if the beach is empty enough for us to spring without running into people! Very nice lens though :-)

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 5 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      Boogy Boarding (me) Flying Kites, Dominoes, (if we bring it) Bocce ball, Waterproof uno

    • deckdesign profile image

      deckdesign 5 years ago

      Our favorite game at the beach is playing frisbee. Thanks for providing the other fun beach game ideas.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 5 years ago from State of Confussion

      I grew up on a beach / lake

      Skipping stones

      1) Who got the most skips

      2) Who got the most in distance

      3) Who got the most distance between the skips

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      @PaigSr: Skipping stones is a fun game that can be played over and over again at no cost. Thank you for sharing your game with us.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      @KateHonebrink: Thank you for your comment. Let me know what games you play at your next trip to the beach. It's all fun.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      @piarejuden: Thank you so much for your comment. Taking my boys to the beach when they were younger is such a wonderful memory for me.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      @michiganmomof2: Thank you for the congrats. I remember taking my boys and chasing sand crabs for hours on end. So much fun.

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      We have never played any beach games, but after reading your great article, we're ready to start! Congrats on this wonderful article and for being featured on the Weekend at the Beach monsterboard!

    • piarejuden profile image

      piarejuden 5 years ago

      This is a great lens, lilmonkey! So important for families with children who want to enjoy the beach! Congrats on the purple star and for making it to the monsterboard!

    • michiganmomof2 profile image

      michiganmomof2 5 years ago

      Lots of fun ideas! Congrats on your purple star! The kids and I like to hunt for seashells and other treasures at the beach. Last summer we caught a little crayfish and watched him in our bucket for an hour or two before releasing him :-)