Tips for Entertaining Kids at the Beach
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.