Summer is here and you say to the kids “Put on your bathers, we are going to the beach”.
You’ve packed the bags with food, drinks, towels, hats, sunscreen and the trusty bucket and spade.
Children love the beach, with its fresh air, cooling ocean and endless supply of sand. However, the trusty bucket and spade may only get you so far when it comes to entertainment.
Having some beach activities planned for the kids is an excellent and low-cost way to create a fun and energetic day for the whole family. The beach is a great place for children to explore a little further than they would at home, and with the soft sand and ample space it becomes a big backyard.
Planning your day doesn’t have to be hard – keeping a few low cost items in your beach bag can create some simple beach games for the kids and give parents time to relax or join in.
Here are some great ways to have fun in the sun. You’ll need:
– 1 or 2 packs of tennis balls
– 3-5 plastic cups, one for each child
– 3-5 plastic or metal spoon, one for each child
You have an ocean in front of you, so use it! Relay games will give the kids plenty of exercise and keeping them cool at the same time.
How to play: You need two teams. One player sits on the beach with a cup above their head and the others are runners. The runners play tag with another cup while running to the ocean to fill up their cup and pouring the water into the sitter’s cup. The first team to fill the sitter’s cup wins!
Another game to keep the kids’ energy up before lunch.
How to play: Each team stands in a straight line at the top of the beach, facing the water, with their legs standing apart to form a tunnel. The player closest to the water turns to face the tunnel and rolls the ball up through the tunnel to the person at the back. Once the ball has reach the back, that player picks up the ball, runs down the beach to the start of the line and starts to roll the ball through the tunnel of legs again. The game continues until they all end up in the water.
A game that requires a bit of patience and co-ordination.
How to play: Dig two or three holes in the sand, all different sizes. Have the children line up and take turns to roll some tennis balls towards the holes. Why not involve your cups and stand them upside down behind the holes and see how many can roll the balls past the holes and knock down the cups.
Here’s a game that will keep them occupied and quiet for a while. Nothing beats a seashell hunt at the beach, but why not have them thinking a bit more? Collect nature items to make a self portrait on the sand.
How to play: Each child plays individually, collecting as many nature items (such as shells, sticks, and seaweed) they need to draw a self portrait on the beach.
A good old fashioned “Egg and Spoon” race with a twist.
How to play: Each child has a spoon they need to fill with dry sand – not wet sand as this will make the game too easy – and place a shell on top. Have the children run down to the water and back up to you, while keeping the shell on their spoon. First one back is the winner.
– Be sure to stop the kids for water and snack breaks. Keeping active is hard work that will build up an appetite.
– Apply sunscreen throughout the day and always have a shaded area reserved for some time to sit and regain energy. Keep hats on and slip, slop and slap.
– These games are bound to have your children wanting to get outdoors and active again soon. So keep a stash of gaming supplies in your beach bag for the next trip. You could even use them at the park and pack a picnic.
– The children are bound to be exhausted after such a fun day, so a nice, cold icy-pole does the trick while walking back to the car.
Click here to see the whole issue of “Kid Magazine” Issue 11, we are on page 37-39
We hope you enjoy this article and try some of the games suggested!
Cheers Lee xx