When it comes to family days out, what could be better than hitting the beach? It really has got everything. You can play sports, chill out, go for a swim, and build stuff. Also, depending on where you live, it’s easy to get to in the car altogether. However, don’t just rely on being at the beach to be fun. If you’re traveling with children and teenagers, they can quickly get bored, and the mood of the day can change! That doesn’t have to be the case though.
In this post, we’ll take a look at five of the best activities for the whole family that you can do on the beach. There’s something in there for everyone, whether it’s terrible toddlers or troublesome teens. You may have to adapt the activities depending on the beach you’re traveling to, but let us reassure you that all five of them are not only a lot of fun, they’re safe too!
1. Build something
With wet sand, rocks, and seaweed in abundance at the beach, why not get your creativity and imagination flowing and build something? The most obvious thing for families is a sandcastle. But it’s not quite as simple as filling the bucket and spade and getting to work.
First, you’ll need to build a mound of wet sand to use as your base. Then, dig down until you find water. Then, the real fun starts. Make your castle as big and imposing as possible, decorating it with shells and fashioning turrets. Be careful not to build to close to the sea, as it may get washed away by the incoming tide before you finish it off. And of course, take loads of pictures!
Sandcastle been done before? Too easy? If there’s lots of driftwood and sticky seaweed, you could even attempt to build a raft. We’d only suggest getting on it if you’re in shallow water without a current, though. Don’t want to get wet at all? If you’re on a rocky beach, you could instead make an inukshuk (stone tower). The tallest is almost 40 feet tall, but if you can manage even ten stones high, you’ll have done a good job!
2. Stand up Paddle Boarding
Go to any beach with flat water, and you’re likely to see stand up paddle boarders enjoying this exciting and increasingly popular board sport. Like skiing, starting to SUP young means that you’re likely to master it quicker and enjoy the sport more. It’s also good for the family to do it together as it’s a fun thing to learn, and you can be assured that your children are safe – whether or not you’re taking lessons from someone.
Many beaches have SUP rentals, but if you want to buy your own, an iSUP is a good place to start for beginners. It’ll easily roll up and fit into a backpack, taking up much less space in your car than a hardboard. Whichever board you choose, you’re not just limited to paddling on it. Other exciting ways of using your board include yoga, fishing, and SUP surfing (a little different from regular surfing). Check out GILI Sports for information on paddle boarding.
Don’t fancy SUP? There are plenty more water sports that you could have a go at (age and beach dependent, of course). These include surfing, parasailing, and riding banana boats.
3. Playing sports
You don’t have to go into the water to play sports on the beach. If you don’t have a lot of people around you, there are no limits to what you can use your little stretch of sand for. Should you have balls and/or bats for your beach trip, consider making a rounder or soccer pitch and pitting the family against each other. While it’s nice to be competitive, make sure that things stay fun and friendly!
There are even some beaches that will already have facilities set up. For example, there may be volleyball nets. All you need to do is bring a ball and see how long you can keep the rally going. Finally, if you do get hot and sweaty, can you think of a better way than running down to the sea to cool off? Just be sure to pack a towel with you so you can dry off before you get back in the car!
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4. Treasure Hunt
There are two ways that you can engage in a treasure hunt at the beach. The first might need a bit of advanced preparation, such as making cards with a load of things to find at the beach. For example, you could use obvious categories like shells, rocks, or something more open to interpretation – such as something blue or red. This works especially well with younger kids, and you could enlist teenagers to help their younger siblings and cousins.
Though not a treasure hunt, rock pooling is also a great way to engage with marine life at the beach. Check out the rock pools for plants, crabs, and small fish. You could even get a book showing what life children can expect to find at the beach. A net and a bucket are great ways to give the animals a closer inspection and teach your children about how to respect nature.
5. Chill out!
Last but not least, make sure to set some time aside to chill on the beach. All of the activities above are likely to tire you out, but that’s not what everyone wants from the beach. Don’t forget to take a walk and feel your toes in the sand, enjoy a picnic that you’ve created at home, or go to a family-friendly cafe or restaurant with a view. Spending time together as a family is valuable, and beach trips should be savored and enjoyed by everyone.
So, remember before you stress yourself with plans to keep everyone happy, going to the beach is just as much about disconnecting from the stress of real life as it is playing sports and games. We hope you enjoy your trip!