Fun Beach Games for Kids

The next time you're headed to the beach, try these fun beach games for kids. Kids can have lots of fun at the beach just splashing in the waves or digging holes in the sand or burying dad or mom, but these games can be perfect for when the kids are looking for something else to do. They're loads of fun for parents, too!

Fill a Bucket Relay Race

Three children play with sand buckets on the beach C1054
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What you’ll need:
2 small buckets of the same size

How to play:
Have kids split up into two teams (adults can join in too! Just be sure there are an even number of adults on both sides and the little kids and bigger kids are split up evenly on each team to make it fair). Have each team form a line by the shore.

Set up ​the buckets about 10 feet from the water’s edge. The object of the game is for each team to carry the water in their bare hands to the bucket. Once a player fills the bucket then the next player in line can grab a handful of water and race to the bucket and so on until the bucket is filled. The first team to fill the bucket wins!

Water Balloon Toss

water balloons outdoor party games
Playing games with water balloons is a great way to cool off on a hot day. Photolyric/Getty Images

This fun outdoor game is perfect for the beach. Since the kids are already in their bathing suits, having the water balloons burst on their hands and body will be just as fun for them -- and more refreshing -- than a successful catch!

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Beach Volleyball

beach volleyball beach games for kids
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While the official game of volleyball has certain set rules, you can easily have a less structured but still very fun game of beach volleyball with younger kids. All you need is a net (that’s not set too high for kids), a volleyball or a beach ball, and the sand! Some kid-friendlier modified rules of play can include making the object of the game not to let the ball drop and keeping the play going rather than, say, spiking it to opponents.

Sandcastle Sculpting

kids with sandcastles, beach games for kids
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When it’s time for the kids to power down and settle into a quiet activity, consider making sand sculptures such as sandcastles. With the right tools, making sandcastles can be easy and fun for kids of all ages. Check out these step-by-step instructions on how to make sandcastles. Just be sure to apply lots of sun block and get your child to wear a hat as well since they’ll most likely be working in the open for an extended period of time.

Collecting Seashells and Pebbles

beach games - girl with seashell
Collecting shells is another fun beach game. Sri Malava Rudsen/Getty Images

Another quiet activity kids can enjoy is taking a walk on the beach and collecting different kinds of shells. You can make a game out of it by challenging kids to have a contest to see how many different types of shells they can collect. You can also bring along a book about seashells to help you identify the shells you find.

Kite Flying

kids flying kites, beach games for kids
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There are few things more exhilarating than watching a kite that you’ve launched soar into the air. (It’s a bit like a metaphor for parenting, don’t you think?) The beach is a perfect place to fly a kite. You can usually count on a breeze, especially as the day sinks into afternoon and there’s lots of open space for kids to run with their kites to get them airborne.


A soft, sandy floor takes away any concerns about falling and lets you really enjoy this challenging activity.

What you’ll need:
A long stick (such as a broom handle) or a long piece of ribbon or a jump rope or a cord -- something that can be used as the limbo stick.

A music player (optional)​

How to play:
Designate two people to hold the limbo "stick." When the music plays, each player bends backwards to pass under the stick. The last player who makes it without touching the limbo stick wins. (Variation: Little kids may have difficulty making it through while bending backwards; for them, being allowed to go sideways might be a better option.)

Sand Crafts

If you and your kids love to make crafts, remember to pack up some sand in a sealable container to take with you after your fun day at the beach. You’ll be able to make an array of fun crafts.

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