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Tips for Entertaining Kids at the Beach

Updated on July 17, 2010

Are you and your family headed to the beach soon for a wonderful beach holiday? Will you have little kids along for the trip? If so, you might be wondering how to keep them entertained. With teenagers, this usually isn’t a problem. They spend lots of time “cruising” the strand, searching for others their age – especially members of the opposite sex. Of course, this isn’t appropriate for younger children, so what to do?

Below are some ideas and tips for beach activities for kids!

 

Princesses Lexi and Audrie trying out their castle.
Princesses Lexi and Audrie trying out their castle.
Tristan will take care of all that seaweed!
Tristan will take care of all that seaweed!

Sand Toys

A collection of different sand toys is a must for beach activities. Buy the sandcastle molds in different shapes and sizes so that the kids will spend hours creating castles. They can surround their castle with a large moat and even fill it with water if you include a couple of extra buckets. If you buy extras like little flags and small plastic people and horses, the task will be even more fun.

Plastic shovels, small spades, and rakes are also good choices. My grands love digging in the sand. They make big holes and fill them with water. Sometimes the pits are large enough for the kids to sit in! They also dig for buried seashells.

You can find all kinds of plastic beach toys at dollar stores, and they’re a great vacation investment! You'll usually find the best deals on beach toys in your local stores, so buy before you leave for your beach holiday.

 

The kids loved this bug float.
The kids loved this bug float.
Lexi chillin' on her boogie board.
Lexi chillin' on her boogie board.

Water Toys

These are just as important as sand toys – maybe even more so. My grands love boogie boards, and they’ll spend lots of time riding the waves and just paddling around in the shallows on the inexpensive boards.

Floats are another good choice. Buy the kinds in animal, fish, or bug shapes. The kids seem to find these a lot more enjoyable, for some reason. If you can’t find these locally, check out a beach shop once you get to your destination.

A beach holiday just isn't the same without beach activities like floating and riding the waves!

 

Jonathan is serious about catching minnows!
Jonathan is serious about catching minnows!

Nets

We always have to buy nets for all the kids while we’re on our beach holiday. The children love chasing minnows and small crabs around in the surf and in tidal pools. Sometimes they place their live catch in the “ponds” they’ve created. They also use the nets to catch bugs, butterflies, and even lizards.

We find the nets at dollar stores for a buck each, and believe me – they’re worth their weight in gold! If the kids catch big crabs, the nets might get torn from the crab claws, so keep a couple of extra nets, just in case.

I think netting small fish is the favorite of all the beach activities for my grandsons. The girls enjoy it, too!

 

My niece, Madison.
My niece, Madison.

Snorkeling

Snorkel sets for kids are pretty inexpensive, and they provide lots of fun and educational opportunities. Our four-year-old grandkids have had no trouble snorkeling successfully in shallow water after we gave them some pointers and some practice in the swimming pool. In fact, they’ve found some neat stuff, including huge starfish and sand dollars. They also got to see some interesting fish and other marine life up close and personal.

Snorkeling works best in calm water, and of course, it’s also a lot better if the water is clear. Snorkeling can easily turn a fun beach activity into an educational experience, too.

 

Jonathan and Tristan with a bluefish they caught.
Jonathan and Tristan with a bluefish they caught.

Fishing

Fishing is a great way for kids to pass the time at the beach. You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment – just use what you probably have already, or buy cheap rods at Walmart or Kmart. Fresh dead shrimp make excellent bait. Just cast the line for the kids and have them fish right on the bottom. You probably won't have to cast far - many fish feed just where the waves crash. They’ll probably actually catch some fish!

Make a big deal of their accomplishment. Take a photo of them with their fish, and if they catch enough, cook the catch for dinner. There's nothing better than really fresh fish that you catch yourself!

 

Captain Tristan.
Captain Tristan.
Jonathan's "poker face" while playing cards.
Jonathan's "poker face" while playing cards.

Indoor Games and Crafts

Always be prepared for rain. Many beaches commonly get afternoon showers, so be ready for some indoor entertainment for the little ones on your beach holiday. Bring along a couple of their favorite video games, along with a new one or two they’ve never played before.

Board games and cards are essentials for us, too. Even the adults can join in the fun! These are great ways to spend quality family time together.

Sometimes we also make crafts while we’re at the beach. One year, I bought supplies for each kid to make a T-shirt to use as a bathing suit cover-up. I found plain white tees at a dollar store for $1 each, then I went to Walmart and purchased slick fabric paint, paint pens, glue, and acrylic rhinestones. On a rainy afternoon, I helped the kids design and paint their shirts, and they had a blast! They were so proud of their creations that they could hardly wait for the paint to dry so that they could wear their new shirts. One kid’s shirt depicted a shark, one had a giant sun, one had tropical fish, while another had palm trees.

Another beach craft idea is to cover small cardboard boxes or picture frames with shells. Let the kids collect tiny clam shells for this project, and then use glue to fasten the shells to the box or frame.

Creative beach activities will stimulate your child's imagingation and give him the chance to express himself artistically.

Kite Flying

If the kids start getting on your nerves, tell them to go fly a kite – literally! Kites are very inexpensive when you can find them at dollar stores and discount stores, and a beach is a great place to fly them. There’s almost always a breeze, and there aren’t usually any power lines or trees to worry about. Tie the string around the kid’s wrist so that once you help the kite get airborne, the child can take over the kite flying task.

 

Ah...now it's peace and quiet for the adults! We wore the kids out!
Ah...now it's peace and quiet for the adults! We wore the kids out!

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    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Nancy! entertaining kids at the beach or lake is pretty easy until it rains! lol

    • nancy_30 profile image

      nancy_30 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for sharing all these great tips. We go to the lake a lot and these are great ideas for our trips to the lake.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Dominica!

    • Dominica Gomer profile image

      Dominica Gomer 7 years ago

      Wonderful! But you should point out some of the basic/standard tips for keeping children safe whilst on holiday: http://hubpages.com/hub/Teenage-Holiday-Claims-on-

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      That's a good point, Jim. I guess it adds to the anticipation!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Awww...thanks, Garnet!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      hi, Judy! Thanks for stopping by!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Billy, the beach and kids are a wonderful combination!

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Not bad. Actually, sometimes the drive adds to the fun of it.

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Lovely children--good ideas, well-presented.

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Great ideas for the beach. What a great time for kids of all ages!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      So much fun - love the beach with the kids.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Buckie, it's always a race to see who can wear out whom first! lol

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading, Eth!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Jim, you were lucky to grow up so near a beach. I can't complain, though - we're only 2 hrs away!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      GL, hubby and I LOVE the beach and go several times a year!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for visiting, HH!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Sheila, I'd be lost without dollar stores!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      G, the kids even catch bait for us with those wonderful nets!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      V, thank goodness for the Dollar Tree!!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Yes, Woody- you're just a big kid!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      The ultimate goal - to wear 'em out! I miss those seaside vacations with our kids - it was so much fun. Great pics - what a bunch of adorable kids!

    • E M Smith profile image

      E M Smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Great fun for big and little kids. Thanks for sharing the sweet images.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      What a perfect and timely hub with the temperature dial outside tipping past 90 degrees. And those kids look like they are having such a good time.

      Beaches are always a blast. Be it lake or ocean. When my sister and I were kids we grew up in a lake subdivision, Holiday Shores, and we spent a lot of time at the clubhouse on the beach. Great fun.

    • G L Strout profile image

      G L Strout 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      It's not just kids who love to play at the beach. I always look forward to our winters at the beach. One of the things I like is just watching the people. Tham you for a well written article.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your wonderful hub. Kids love playing with beach toys. Thank you for your lovely pics.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      I wish there'd been dollar stores when my children were little - as you said, they have so many fun beach toys. Just loved your ending, with the children lined up in that most comfortable-looking bed.

    • GPAGE profile image

      GPAGE 7 years ago from California

      Hey habee! GREAT ideas, adorable kids! We are at the beach a lot but always like to learn new things.....my little one would love a net and also the castle buckets! Cool....G

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      I love all those little beach toys they have to offer at the dollar tree. They really make the beach more fun for the kids.

    • profile image

      Woody 7 years ago

      We just got back from the beach & the waves there were the biggest I've seen in awhile. I even body surfed with my 14 yr olds board. Yep, there's a lot of kid in this 49 yr old. LOL

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