Beach at New Quay

Heading to the beach? Here are a few ideas...

Beach Games and Activities for Kids

Posted by Shell Grayston.
First Published Jul 2013; updated May 2023.

Don't have board children on the beach. Check out these beach games and activities for kids.

Are you heading to the beach? Lucky you! If you run out of things to keep the kids entertained, here are a few beach games and things to do.

Picture this: the sun shines, and you can hear the waves lapping against the shore. Relax.

'Mum, I'm bored!' Yep, no rest for the parent!!

So here are some beach games and activities for kids to have up your sleeve.


Surfer Dude!

Kids can burn up much energy playing in the water, and body-boarding is excellent fun.

You ideally want somewhere with some waves (not too big for kids). Some great surfing beaches in Cornwall have lifeguards, but you must supervise them as the currents are strong.

However, kit them out with a child-sized board, and you don't need big waves for them to enjoy being a surfer dude. The good thing about body boarding is that kids can still have fun on small and gentle waves.

They are also better to play on in the water than inflatables, as it is possible for someone on an inflatable to get blown away from the shore, but this is less likely to happen with a bodyboard.

Tip: If you are in the UK, get some wetsuits. Kids will be able to play in the water a lot longer before the 'Mum, I'm cold' starts. Kids wetsuits aren't that expensive these days.

Waboba Ball

A waboba what?

The Waboba is a ball that 'bounces' off the water.

Ideal for playing catch in the sea or the swimming pool. Bounce it off the water when you throw it to someone else.


Get some child-sized snorkelling gear if you are heading off to a beach with clear water.

Their age and swimming abilities will determine how much real snorkelling they will do, but even splashing around at the shoreline can be fun.

Kids are fascinated by looking underwater, so get a properly fitting mask (btw, we have found these mask-style goggles fantastic).

Play some diving games, which can be as simple as getting them to retrieve a shell from the sea floor. It doesn't have to be deep water - even within easy reach - but it gets them used to the mask and looking under water.

If your child is older, try them with flippers. Don't expect them to find flippers easy though, but it's good entertainment!

Beware of some of the 'cheap' snorkel sets you can buy at the beach. Usually, the masks don't fit well, and flippers can rub.

If getting a mask, it is often better to buy one at home from a manufacturer that makes children's swimming gear and ensures it fits before going to the beach. (We've found Zoggs excellent).

Build a Sand Sculpture

Mermaid Beach Sculpture

Anyone can build a sand castle - but what about a shark, crocodile, or turtle (or even a mermaid)?

These are all easy shapes to build with your child, especially if you are sitting closer to the water line as you need damp sand.

Just pile up the sand and get the rough shape with your hands. Then smooth it and use a stick for details.

Get your kids to decorate it by getting stones for the eyes, shells for teeth (shark and crocodile), shells for scales (crocodile), or the shell (turtle).

Build a Windbreak

It's usually windy on the beach. Well, if you have someone who would rather dig than build a sculpture, get them to create a windbreak by making a sand wall on the windy side of where you are sitting.

Building a wall can keep energetic kids busy for a while, but be ready for sand to come flying your way now and then!

Once built, it can help with keeping the wind out, if you lie down low that is.

Kite Flying

Cool Kite Flying

If you are on a big beach with plenty of space, use that wind for some kite flying.

There are all sorts of kites available these days, from simple ones that toddlers can fly, to larger ones that can do aerobatics.

Beach Combing

OK, so this is a more traditional sort of activity, but turn it into a scavenger hunt.

Give them a bucket (or bag), and ask them to go and find some specific items. You could even give them a prize for completing the challenge.

Here are some suggestions. Adjust, combine, and add your own depending on ages and what's on your beach.

  • Find four different colours of sea glass
  • Find four different shaped shells
  • Find five different things beginning with the letter 'S' (answers could be: sand, sea, seaweed, stone, shell)


When you finish the beachcombing scavenger hunt, get them to arrange their finds and make a collage.

More Beach Games and Activities...

Here are just a few more ideas...

  • Stone Towers - try piling up stones on top of one another. The one who can make the highest tower wins. (This isn't as easy as it sounds!).
  • Beach Noughts and Crosses - create a grid in the sand and use stones as noughts and shells as crosses.
  • Hopscotch - As easy as it sounds. Just mark it out in the sand.
  • More energetic: what about long jump? There's plenty of sand.