A beach day out is the perfect way to spend time with your family. However, if you don’t have some activities up your sleeve, it won’t be long before you hear the phrase “I’m bored!” Especially if you’re travelling with little ones. To stop that from happening and ruin your trip, here are some of the best ideas for activities to do at the beach with your family.
Let’s take a look!
Make a picnic
Beach activities can start before you actually arrive. Depending on where you’re going, there may not be anywhere to eat or restaurants/cafes may be prohibitively expensive if there are a large number of you. Instead, get everyone involved the morning of your beach trip making sandwiches and salads and other things that are easy to make for the whole family. It’ll save you money and it’ll be a bit of family bonding. Just make sure that you store your picnic in appropriate containers and make sure to have freezer blocks to keep your food chilled!
Go for a walk
Now you’re at the beach, let’s start with a fairly chilled out activity. Going for a walk is the best way to work out the lay of the land and also find a spot where you’d like to chill out. You might even find a secluded spot where nobody else will disturb you! Be sure to take off your shoes and socks, there’s no nicer feeling than the sand between your toes. Especially if the beach has been warmed by the sun!
Build a sandcastle
Once you’ve found your spot on the beach, building a sandcastle is an absolute must. Don’t get too close to the water though, as your sandcastle could be swept away by the tide before you’ve even finished it! You’ll need a bucket and spade, then you’re ready to go.
To begin, shape a mound of wet sand, this will be your base. While you shouldn’t be too close to the sea, it will need to be a little damp to keep its shape. Then, dig down until you reach water below. You can use that to dampen the sand, making it easier to mould into interesting shapes. Then, everyone can use their creativity and imagination to make the most stunning castle. As well as doors and windows, why not add some turrets too to give it that proper castle look? Alternatively, decorate it with some shells.
Other cool things you could try building at the beach include rafts – especially if there’s a lot of driftwood and seaweed around!
Stand up paddle boarding
There’s a reason that more and more families are stand up paddle boarding. This super fun sport is great for all ages – but the younger you start the better. While kids can enjoy paddle boarding on a regular board, if you’re going to do this regularly it’s better for them to have a smaller board tailored to their size and weight. That way, they’ll be able to keep up with you and do the manoeuvres properly.
If the whole family are travelling in a car together, it may be a good idea to get an inflatable stand up paddle board. These are much easier to store and they’ll take up a lot less space in the car – you can just roll them up and put them in a backpack. Check out GILI for more details on inflatable SUPs.
Go rock pooling
If you don’t go to the beach very often, you kids might not have the opportunity to get up close and personal with marine life. And you don’t have to go snorkelling and scuba diving to do this! Instead, just head to the rock pools. These small ecosystems are packed with life – including shellfish, plants, and crabs. Of course, this depends on where the beach you’re visiting is.
The best way to find out what animals you may find is by picking up a book from a local tourist office of what animals live in the area. Perhaps you could even make a bingo card beforehand if you’re super prepared. Take the bucket and spade that you used for building the sandcastle, or perhaps get a small see-through net so that everyone can inspect the marine life just that little more closely. However, make sure that you’re gentle with the creatures and don’t leave them out of the water too long.
It might be the first step that develops and hones your children’s interest in the natural world.
Have you managed to get a lot of space on the beach? If so, consider turning it into a sports field. Of course, you’ll need balls (maybe rackets and nets too) but it can be a lot of fun. Especially if it’s a big family gathering!
Put down a couple of towels or coat and make soccer goals, or get a net up and play beach volleyball. On some beaches, there will already be nets set up so all you need to do is try and keep the rally going for as long as possible. While it’s good to be competitive, make sure that the game is still fun and that everyone is able to get involved.
Fun beach games that don’t require a ball include tug of war, limbo, and hopscotch. Your only limit is your imagination!
Last but not least, this one can give older families a little bit of peace and quiet while making sure that younger children are safe and occupied. The bucket makes an appearance again as something to collect ‘treasures’. Make a list of cool things you’d expect to find on the beach – for example, shells, interesting rocks, and feathers. We’d suggest against putting any live animals though! This might keep kids entertained for the whole day, or it might just be for half an hour. It totally depends on their age and attention span!