A day at the beach is always huge fun for the whole family. If you booked two weeks of vacation and decided to spend every single one of them relaxing on the beach, then your little ones might mess with your plans because they need a little more action.
Here's how you keep them busy so that everybody gets the holidays he or she wants. Read through our 18 amazing sandy game ideas to give your family the best beach days ever.
Funny shadow faces
Enjoy the sun and the shadows it casts. Have everybody in your family draw a funny face in the sand and then take a picture with your shadow heads and the funny faces.
Everyone can build a snowman in the middle of winter, so how about a cute little sandman in summer? Use wet sand, small shells or stones and a little stick to make it. You could even make your whole family.
Speaking of snowy things in summer: How about making a snow angle on the beach, or better put, a sand angle. Even the youngest can join this fun activity.
Highest peak and bottomless hole
First round: Every player gets a shovel and 5 minutes time to make the highest peak. The highest one gets 3 points, the second highest 2 and so on.
Second round: Every player has to dig as deep as possible with just the hands in 2 minutes. Who gets 3, 2 and 1 point?
Who wins the game?
Press some random things into the sand while your kids aren't allowed to look. Use keys, shells, your feet, ice cream sticks or anything you'll find. Then have your kids guess what it was that you used to make the print. Maybe you have a little Sherlock in your family?
Basic course in architecture
Show your kids how to build a mighty sandcastle with buckets full of happiness. If you want to go for a more advanced architectural design, read our how-to explanation for amazing sandcastles.
Building drip castles competition
I remember, that playing with muddy sand was always one of the greatest things on the beach. Have a competition in your family: Who can build the highest drip castle?
Tic tac toe
Bring a pastime classic to the beach by simply carving the basic game layout of tic tac toe into wet sand. Use moulds or shells or whatever you can find or carve crosses and circles with the stick. Who has the best strategy to win this game?
Have a taste of your kids' most delicious sandpie or help them with the family recipe for sandy cake with sandy crumbles. Who can make more sandpies in 1 minute?
Look, the little mermaid on the shore! Use stones, shells and seaweed to create a mermaid on the beach.
You could even build a mermaid tail for one of your kids by digging their feet and legs in the sand.
This is a variation of our sponge darts game. Use a stick or your finger to draw big circles into the sand to create your dartboard. Then collect shells of different colours as your arrows and start the game.
Have your kids draw masterpieces into the sand with a stick or their fingers. You might have the next Picasso in your midst, who knows?
Look for all the different sizes, colours and shapes of sea shells that you can find on the beach. Turn it into a scavenger hunt by asking your kids to search for one shell as big as their hand, a black one, or two that have the exact same size and colour.
Fill the bucket!
If you're playing all these fun games at the beach, don't forget about that huge body of water. There is also a great game that refreshes and cools down your active kids! Two opposing players sit on the beach next to each other, holding a cup or a bucket on their heads. Their teammates run to the ocean, fill a small cup of water and run back to dump it into the bucket. The first team to fill the buckets wins!
Fresh Beach Breeze
For this one, you will need a ping-pong ball. Together with your kids, dig a channel in the wet sand, about as deep and wide as the diameter of the ping-pong ball. Drop the ball in the end of the channel, and blow it from one end to the other. Turn it into a competition by digging as many lines as there are kids, and have a race!
At the beach, you have water and sand in abundance, but don't forget about the seaweed. Create your own mysterious seaweed labyrinth and have the rest of your family try to figure it out. How long will it take them to find the passage?
And don't forget about the classic group games on the beach.
Help your kids to make new friends by bringing a ball or frisbee to the beach. You can relax while your little ones tire themselves out by playing soccer, football, volleyball or frisbee with all the other kids on the beach.
Who let the piranhas out?
Another great game is "pirahnas on the beach". Every kid sticks a small towel or ribbon in the back of his swimming pants. All kids run in the aquarium, a big rectangle on the sandy floor, and try to catch the other kids' tails without being caught themselves.
Have fun at the beach!