10 Fun Activities For Young Children At The Beach



If you happen to have small children with you, then you’ve probably gathered by now that they tend to have an entirely different set of interests and priorities than us adults.  This is especially true when you’re on a vacation – everyone is excited, and there’s usually a lot of new things to see and do.  Because kids are kids, they will always have a different, shall we say, different “focus” than we do  … and when we go to the beach, this is true as well!

kids beach activities guide

Therefore, one of the keys to making sure that they, and you, enjoy the trip to the beach is to ensure that they have adequate entertainment.  As the adult in the situation, you are the provider of said entertainment, and so it’s always good to have a plan.

Check out some of the tips and tricks that we recommend below, to ensure that the youngsters you bring along with you have a spectacular time on the beach with you!

#1 – Serious Sandcastle Building

best sandcastle ever

Everyone is familiar with the process of building a sand castle, but how many individuals really devote any level of seriousness to its construction?  Often times, we bring a small mini-shovel and a couple of buckets to the beach, and expect that we’ll be able to build a structure worthy of hiding Princess Peach in!  But it often doesn’t happen like that because we have no clue where to start!  So, you should definitely consider investing in some sandcastle guides, so you and your little one can build something awesome!

#2 – Collecting Seashells

kids collecting sea shells

This activity is one of the most fun and explorative things to undergo with your youngster. Looking for seashells is an easy activity for young children to get involved in, that helps to expand their imagination, and sharpen their skills at identifying various items via name recognition.  Also, sea shells are pretty!

#3 – Boogie Boards

kids boogie boarding

Boogie boards are the perfect addition to maximize your child’s beach adventure.  For those unfamiliar, boogie boards are like miniature rubber surfboards.  Most of them are made to be child-friendly with the attachment of a string that connects directly to the child’s wrist to ensure that they, or the boogie board, does not become lost.  Boogie boards are perfect for children because they enable them to coast along the shore of the beach, where the tide meets the sand in a fun way.

Read our latest review of the best boogie boards

#4 – Identifying Sea Critters

starfish on the beach

Although you are on the beach, and not directly in the ocean, this does not mean that there aren’t many sea critters that you may find along your way close to the tide and around the beach.  This is always a fun activity to perform with small children, because it educates them more in the field of marine biology via the recognition of various sea creatures, and it also helps to spark their imagination and excitement, as they stumble across starfish, little crawfish, and other sorts of friendly critters, that may be roaming around the beach.

As a side note: This is an activity that is best done under supervision, because many younger children may be tempted to keep the sea critter as a pet or eat it.

#5 – Beach Ball Bounce

kid playing with beach ball

This game is a classic and simple one.  You merely bring a beach ball with you, and the only goal of this activity is to keep the beach ball in the air as long as possible via ‘bouncing’ it with your hands.  The first person to let the ball touch the ground loses.  This game is really great to play with the younger ones, because it is extremely simple, very fun, and helps them burn off some of their excess energy.

#6 – Go Scavenger Hunting with a Metal Detector

metal detector kids

This is yet another really fun and mentally stimulating activity to do with a young child at the beach.  This is a simple, yet timeless classic that involves you bringing a metal detector at the beach, and searching in the areas where the detector has detected some metal object buried in the sand.  This is something that young children are sure to find highly entertaining and enjoyable.

Read our review of the best metal detectors here

#7 – Playing With Water Guns

kids water guns

There may be no place better to get into a good ol’ fashioned water gun fight than at the beach! You’re already next to the water, but often times you don’t want your young children to venture too far into the waves, as they are very susceptible to slipping under current if there is one at all, and sometimes little ones attempt to trek out much further than they should due to natural curiosity.  A great way to mediate an even ground here, so that they can still get their ‘fix’ on being in the water is to bring water guns with you.  This is perfect because it’s very fun, gets your little one to burn off more excess energy, and you’re near an infinite water supply, so you guys can always stock up on more ammo!

#8 – Take A Raft

kids island raft

This is another really great and exciting activity to do with your small children at the beach.  You can take your mini raft into the water, and navigate it with them on board.  As you’re in the raft, they’re sure to be thrilled with traveling about the water, Lewis & Clark style!  You can let the small children play ‘captain’ by giving the directions on where they want to go (within reason).  

You can also check out island rafts (pictured above), which are fun for the whole family!  You need to be even more watchful when using an island raft, because they’re so big, and kids can get pretty excited when they see one.  Water safety rules are a definite must, as always!

Read about the 5 Best Island Rafts for Summer fun!

#9 – Burying Them In The Sand

kids buried in the sand

This is a classic, yet very fun activity to do while you’re at the beach.  Bury one of the small children in the sand from the neck down, or have them do the same to you!  This is always a very funny and entertaining activity that makes for great pictures, and laughs for years and even decades to follow.  You have to make sure you don’t miss out on this one!

#10 – Beach Bowling

kids beach bowling

This is another activity that is often overlooked in terms of fun and exciting beach activities, but is also a classic that folks of all ages are sure to enjoy.  It works by lining up 10 bottles in bowling pin formation (inverse pyramid), and then rolling a beach ball into the pins, seeking to strike them all down in the same fashion that you would with regular bowling.  If you don’t have real pins, you can just make your own pins out of sand as well!  This is a very simple, yet highly entertaining game that is sure to keep the young children engaged and active for a solid length of time while you’re at the beach!

We hope you got a few good ideas from our little guide to kid’s beach activities!  At the end of the day, even if you get a few of these activities in, you can say you had a pretty eventful and fun day at the beach.  If you have any other ideas for great kids beach activities, feel free to comment below – we’d love to hear from you!

About the author: Sariya is our resident tanning expert.  Being Turkish, she has a tendency to tan easily, which she considers a blessing. At the same time, Sariya minored in chemistry, so, when it comes to various lotions and bronzers, Siriya knows a thing or two.  As much as she loves her tan, she knows that sun safety is also very important.