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21 Fun Beach Activities for Kids

A close look at a sand castle on the beach.

One reason as a parent that I love going to the beach with our kids is they usually find plenty to do on their own.

Fortunately, our boys can play on their own and on a good day play nicely with one another which gives me and my husband some relaxation time.

And yes, I love the beach for the scenery, sun, being outdoors, swimming (I almost always for a few dips) and lying in the sand.

And another yes, I also play with our boys… but certainly encourage that they find things to do on their own.

But, sometimes things don’t go to plan and your kids utter the horrid phrase “I’m bored, mom”.

How can you be bored is my immediate thought that I sometimes utter audibly.  You’re at a beach where you can swim, find cool shells, run around, dig, eat fun beach snacks… all the stuff you love doing.

Nevertheless, boredom does set in.  Perhaps you have kids who need some direction to keep busy and to have fun.

After countless beach outings with kids, here’s a list of beach activities for your kids.

FYI, because we have boys, you might find my list geared toward young boys.

1. Let’s see how deep or big of a hole you can dig

This is a beauty and can take an hour or longer.  Our five year old loves to dig and sand is perfect for digging. I’ve seen him go down 3 to 4 feet.

2. Build a sand structure with a moat

Who doesn’t love building sand structures with a moat.  I find if I get the project started it doesn’t take long for kids to get engrossed in it and within a few minutes take over the entire project.

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3. Dig water channels

Kids love channeling water.  There’s no better place to do it at the beach.  This can be an activity that provides hours of fun.

4. Go find 20 stunning shells

A variety of seashells on the sand.

My five-year-old loves collecting shells.  He’ll do it for hours.  Many of his friends like doing so as well.

5. Find crabs

My brother growing up loved looking for small crabs.  Some kids are wild about this.

6. Swim

What’s a hot day at the beach without a swim.  Fun for everyone.

7. Soccer, catch or frisbee

My husband is into throwing anything so be sure to take a ball, frisbee, or glove and ball to get in a little sporting action.

8. See how far you can throw rocks

Two kids playing on the beach throwing rocks.

Kids love a challenge.  Challenge them to see how far they can throw rocks.  Just be sure there aren’t people swimming in the area.

9. Suggest “Can you hit “X” with a rock?”

My husband loves throwing rocks trying to hit various objects.  When he does it, the kids join in.

10. Fly a kite

Whenever windy, the beach is an ideal place to fly a kite.

11. Go on a walk

What’s a day at the beach without a stroll down the length of it?

12. Balance/climb on driftwood

Both of our boys love climbing and jumping off driftwood.

13. Dig a tunnel under driftwood

A close look at driftwood half buried on the sandy beach.

Another digging activity.

14. Explore rocks

Beaches that have large rocks make for fun exploring.

15. Take a nap

While kids reject nap suggestions, often in the afternoon it just takes them to lie down for a few minutes before they’re snoozing away.

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16. Toss rocks into a bucket

My husband loves setting up a bucket 10 feet from where he’s sitting and tossing pebbles into.  He no sooner starts and both boys are tossing too.

17. Move large logs into the water and build a raft

Our five-year-old loves floating on logs and building rafts. If the beach has large pieces of wood, it’s great fun to turn them into rafts and boats.

18. Collect seaweed and dry it

A close look at a clump of seaweeds on the beach.

While not all kids get excited about seaweed, our oldest is fascinated by it and likes collecting it and drying it on the beach.

19. Collect “X”

Suggest kids go and find/collect something (shells, seaweed, cool rocks… anything that requires exploring).

20. Watergun fight

This is great fun for all; bring the super soakers and have a good ole water fight on the beach.  Hopefully, you don’t inadvertently soak other people.

21. Pull out your bubble machine

We bought a bubble machine this summer and I can’t tell you how much our boys love that thing.  It’s great anywhere outside including the beach.