An image of a child with a bucket at the beach.

Our top 10 beach activities for kids this summer

It’s a classic beach holiday dilemma: while you’re happy enough basking in the sun with a book, your kids are getting b-o-r-e-d. They’ve swum, they’ve eaten their sandwiches, and now – now what? Luckily, the beach is a secret goldmine of fun and exciting things to do as a family. Check out our top 10 kids’ beach activities to get some inspiration for your next seaside break.

Our top 10 things to do at the beach with your kids

Build sandcastles – with a twist …

If you’re stuck for things to do at the beach, try getting the whole family involved in some proper sand architecture:

  • Build the ultimate sand fortress, complete with a moat. Dig a channel from the sea to your sandcastle’s moat to surround it with water. Your kids can then create their own rivers, streams, and the occasional flash flood.
  • Make a mermaid. Partner dropping off to sleep at the beach? Big mistake. Help the kids bury their legs in sand and sculpt it into a swishy mermaid tail. If you can, give them a sea-weedy hairdo before they wake up.
  • Build a sand boat. Of course, it won’t be going anywhere soon, but it’ll be perfect for games of pretend. Whether you become dastardly, scurvy-ridden pirates or adventurous sailors is up to you (our vote is for pirates).
  • Create monsters of the deep. Perfect for kids who aren’t quite old enough to build epic sandcastles. Try making gentle turtles or starfish with your little ones – or menace other holidaymakers with a shark.

Go wildlife spotting 

The best beach activities for children help them make the most of their new and exciting surroundings. So why not teach your kids a little about the local wildlife?

  • Go rock pooling. Help budding explorers learn more about the creatures hiding just beneath the surface of the sea. All you need are clear buckets, sturdy shoes, and a reference book to look up your finds. 
  • Bird watch. Show your kids how to get a closer look at any sea birds hovering and diving around the beach using binoculars. Or just leave your chips unattended. 

Top tip: Make sure your kids know not to touch a sea creature without first checking with you. Keep your new friends in separate buckets (or they may eat each other), and watch your step – wet rocks can be very slippery!

Make a collection

The tides bring in plenty of treasure for kids on the beach. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Stones and shells with holes in. Thread them onto some stringy seaweed to make a necklace.
  • Small, flat stones. If the sea is calm, you can try one of the best children’s beach activities around: skipping stones. Collect as many flat stones as you can and then give it a go!
  • Sea glass. Bits of broken bottles and jars that fall into the sea get worn smooth over time, creating these pretty green and blue ‘stones’. They’re perfect for beach art.
  • Funny-shaped rocks, driftwood, and shells. Compete to find the strangest object. 

Top tip: Some local councils have specific rules about what you can and can’t take home from their beaches. Be sure to check before you go!

These kids’ beach activities are a great place to start, but remember that there are always fun things to do on the beach if you let your little ones follow their curiosity. Offer a few ideas, but give them time for some real play as well – it’s a holiday for them too, after all!

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