Cheap, Easy and Fun Beach Games for the Kids
Sometimes you need a few things for the family to do to bring everyone together and have a little fun, game time, and laughter. Or maybe the kids just need a little extra direction and focus during your beach days. We've rounded up the best beach games that everyone is sure to love. Make some memories, have a few belly laughs, and get silly together. These kid-friendly beach games are cheap, easy and can be modified to suit every age level. Are you ready for some of the best beach games ever? Here you go!
Beach Ball Parachute Games
Kids love parachute games. Adults love parachute games. So grab a large beach towel and a beach ball, hold the ends and sides of the towel with the ball in the middle of the towel, and see how high that ball can bounce. Aim for the sky and test your skills.
Beach Bubble Blowing
A beach is a great wide space to blow and chase bubbles. And if the bubble solution spills on your bathing suit, simply head for the water to wash yourself off. The dollar store is a great source for multiple shapes and sizes of bubble blowers and solution—or make your own.
Beach Ball Dodge Ball
A game that is sure to wear everyone out, beach dodge ball involves chasing the ball as well as avoiding it. Begin by throwing the beach ball into the air. Someone grabs the ball and has three steps and five seconds to throw it to hit another player. If someone gets hit, they sit down. The ball can now be grabbed by any other player. Those sitting can grab the ball if it comes near them and throw it at a standing player. If they manage to hit someone, they can stand up and get back into the game.
Let your child bring out their inner Phil Mickelson and spend a day at the sandy links. Pick up a plastic set of clubs and balls at your local dollar store or improvise with what you have at the beach. Set up a few targets to aim for or dig holes in the sand to practice. Or try Beach Frisbee Golf using items you brought to the beach ( a picnic blanket, an umbrella, a towel, or you could even dig a hole in the sand to aim at). Take turns trying to throw your frisbee as close to the target as you can.
With two people holding the ends of a pool noodle, jump rope, or even a rolled up towel, have each child take a turn trying to go under the “bar” with their backs facing the sand. After each child has succeeded at a certain height of the bar, lower it again and again. If you can play music without disturbing other vacationers, pick a selection of fun beach tunes.
Beach River Race
This beach game works best if there is a slight slope leading to the water. You will need as many pingpong balls as there are teams. Each team digs a channel from the starting point to the water. At the starting line, the teams set a ping pong ball into the channel, then dump buckets of water into the channel so that the ball moves down to the water.
Beach Treasure Hunt
Supply each child with a list (can be a written list or a list with pictures) and a bucket in which they can collect their treasures. Have your kids hunt for driftwood, shells, rocks, crabs, something round, something blue, a feather, etc. The list can be as long or as short as you feel your child will be able to handle.
Beach Tug of War
Using a skipping rope or towels tied together, stand at the water’s edge. Divide the kids (and adults) into two teams. Make sure the middle of the rope is right over a line drawn in the sand. Hand the ends of the rope to each team and show them how to pull. Be prepared to end up in the water!
Bocce ball is so simple for all ages to learn and to play. A “jack” or target is thrown on the sand. Players then throw their weighted balls and the one who gets their ball closest to the target wins a point. The game continues until a certain number of points are reached. If you don’t own a bocce set, improvise with rocks and other beach treasures. Just always make sure no one is walking by when it’s your turn to throw.
Build a Sandman
Here's a chance to transfer your winter skills to the beach! A sandman can be decorated with pebbles, shells or rocks for eyes and mouths. Children can use their creative skills to use other beach treasures such as feathers or seaweed for their sandman’s noses, arms, clothing, etc. We happen to think that building a sandman is way more fun than building a snowman. Give it a try and see for yourself.
Fill the Bucket
This is the beach version of a classic party game. You will need two large buckets and two smaller buckets or cups. Separate into two equal teams and place the buckets up on the sand, about 50 feet from the water's edge. At the word “go,” the first person on each team races to the water, fills the smaller bucket or cup and runs back to dump it into the big bucket. The emptied cup is handed to the next person on the team and so on. You can continue the game until the buckets are full, or set a time limit and see who can put the most water in the bucket.
How Low Can You Go
Nothing beats good ol' digging in the sand. Challenge your kids to see how deep of a hole they can dig and when they’ve dug as far as they can, see if an adult can fit in the hole or see how long it takes to fill the hole with water. Ask them if they can dig to China. Have a timed race to see who can dig the deepest the fastest. The possibilities are endless and this game is fun for kids and kids-at-heart. Challenge the adults in your group and see who's up for some sand-digging action and show those youngins how it's done.
Similar to Musical Chairs, this game uses beach towels laid out flat on the sand. Make a line of towels, enough for each player, minus one, and start the music. Adults dance around the beach towels until the music stops. Each player must find a beach towel to stand on and the player left without a towel is out. The winner is the player left at the end of the game.
Play Slithery Snake
Snakes on the beach? Oh yeah! Well, not real ones anyway. Whew! Have two kids or adults hold the ends of a skipping rope down on the sand. Wiggle the rope slowly or quickly depending on the age of the children and have the kids jump over the rope without getting touched by the “snake”. Warning: this game may trigger squeals of delight in both young and old alike.
Most kids already have experience in the art of making snow angels. Transfer those skills to the sand and make summer angels. Sure the kids will get sandy but that’s half the fun!
Draw a large circle in the sand, with several concentric circles inside that one. The players stand several feet away from the dartboard and toss pebbles or shells onto the sand trying to get as close to the center as possible.
Bring the popular hopping game to the beach! Using a stick or rock, draw a grid on the sand and use rocks or shells for markers. It's an oldie but goodie. If the sand is hot, don’t forget your flip flops or water shoes. Go ahead and test your hopscotch skills from back in the day. We dare you!
Sharks and Minnows
One person is designated as the shark, with the other players being the minnows. The shark has to tag the minnows as they run around the shark. As each minnow is tagged, he or she becomes a member of the shark’s team and now help the shark tag the rest of the minnows.
Sorting shells is a fun way to start a new collection and also teach the little ones a thing or two. Have each child run up and down the beach gathering as many different kinds of shells as they can. Draw a grid in the sand and have them sort the shells into different categories; the kids can sort them by color, size or type. Or mix and match the categories for an added challenge.
Kids can work together or compete against each other in this fun game. Give each child a beach ball and squirt gun or spray bottle and have them stand across a line drawn in the sand. Each child has to squirt their ball to get it across another line down the beach. Run to the water’s edge to refill squirt guns if water runs out or to begin the game again.
Find more beach fun and games for the kids and kids-at-heart by watching the short video clip below.
If you love these games and want more awesome family fun ideas for the beach, check out these links.
After all of your beach fun and games, please remember to leave nothing behind but your footprints. Also be sure to fill in any holes you've dug in the sand, in consideration and protection of our Emerald Isle sea turtles and other coastal wildlife. Thank you!
What are your favorite games and activities to play with your kids on the sand during your Emerald Isle beach vacation?
We would love some more ideas to add to our list!