Fun Beach Games for Kids

Kids and Adults Can Enjoy These Classic Beach Games

After a dip in the water and a snack, kids can run out of ideas for fun at the beach. If you're looking for ways to keep them busy, happy, and active, you might want to try out some of these tried-and-true beach games. As you'll see, several of these games require adult involvement–and that means you have a reason to get active too! Not a bad way to spend a hot summer day.

Fill a Bucket Relay Race

Three children play with sand buckets on the beach C1054
Maiava Rusden Sri/Perspectives/Getty Images

What you’ll need:
2 small buckets of the same size

How to play:
Split your group into two teams. If older and younger kids or adults are playing, be sure both teams include some bigger, stronger players.  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 fill their bucket. The catch: players may only carry the water in their bare hands! After the first player pours his or her handful of water into the bucket, he or she tags the next player. Players continue to carry handfuls of water to the bucket into one of the buckets 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 and ideal for two children or for parent-child play. It can also be fun for kids in a group.

Start the tossing game with players standing just a foot or two apart. After a successful throw and catch, both players take a step back to make the gap larger. Soon, the water balloons will be flying through the air.

Since the kids are already in their bathing suits, having the water balloons burst on their hands and body will be just as much fun as a successful catch!

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Beach Volleyball

beach volleyball beach games for kids
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Beach volleyball can be a lot of fun, whether you play by official or customized rules. Some beaches already offer beach volleyball courts. If yours doesn't, you can pick up a low-cost net and ball at your local store.

For older children, it can be fun to play a real, rules-based game. For younger children (or for a less competitive type of fun), why not bend or change the rules? For example, try playing a variation of volleyball in which players catch and throw the ball rather than hitting it back over the net? Another option is to play with a lighter or bouncier ball or to use balloons instead of balls.

Sand 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, such as specially-shaped buckets and spades, making sandcastles can be easy and fun for kids of all ages. Sculpture-building can be freeform -- or, if your kids need inspiration, you can offer a theme such as "mermaids," or "kings and queens."

Do 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 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. Many kids enjoy taking the most beautiful shells home, so consider bringing along plastic bags to contain their special finds.

Kite Flying

kids flying kites, beach games for kids
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There are few things more exhilarating than watching your kite soar into the air. The beach can be a perfect place to fly a kite, though you will need to check to see that it's allowed during crowded times of day. You can usually count on a breeze, especially as the evening draws nearer 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 cord -- something that can be used as the limbo stick.

How to play:
Designate two people to hold the limbo "stick." Start with the stick fairly high, so that everyone can pass underneath without bending far. After each player makes it through, lower the bar and have the players bend backward to pass under the stick. Continue to lower the bar a bit at a time until only one player can bend far enough (or is short enough) to pass under the stick. The last player who makes it without touching the limbo stick wins.

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