A trip to the beach has become tradition for our family – we go every single summer. We love to lounge next to the waves all day long! But…some of us (not naming names here) are also a bit competitive. Without fail, some sort of family competition breaks out on the beach after we’ve soaked up the sun for a bit. The kids have always been good sports, sitting on the sidelines and cheering on their family members during a noisy game of beach volleyball. So, over the years we’ve come up with some fun beach activities for kids too! They are packed with gross motor, fine motor, and sensory motor fun – I hope they inspire you to create a little joy with your kids on your next trip to the beach!
1. BODYBOARD RELAY
Grab your bodyboards and sand buckets! In this relay race, your kids will work in pairs to move from point A to point B while balancing buckets of water on a bodyboard! Fill up 4 medium sized buckets with water for each team participating. Set two buckets at the starting line and two at the finish line for each pair of kids. Have each partner hold one end of a bodyboard so it is horizontal and even. The teams must move back and forth, picking up and balancing each bucket on their bodyboard, adding one more as they go each time. If one falls, they have to fill it back up and start from where they dropped it! The team that balances all 4 buckets across the finish line is the winner!
*This game is easily modified according to the age and strength of your participants with how many buckets they carry, the length of the distance, and how full the buckets are with water!
2. POINT TOSS
Sand is awesome for strengthening! All you need is a little muscle power and something to toss (balls, beanbags, rocks, sea shells, etc.) Have your kids dig 5 holes in the sand. Designate each hole as a different point value by placing that number of shells next to it. The kids take turns tossing balls, beanbags, rocks, or sea shells into the holes, adding up their points as they go. The kiddo with the most points wins!
*Modify this activity by how far the kids have to throw. Also, larger holes make easier targets!
3. TALLEST SANDMAN
This one is simple. Set the clock for 30 minutes and the team who builds the tallest sandman/sandcastle wins!
*Make it easier by allowing the kids to use buckets and shovels to dig and dump sand. Make it harder by challenging them to use only their hands!
4. SHELL SEEK AND FIND
Print off our Seashell template and send kids on a scavenger hunt to find all of the different types of shells. The first one to find them all wins!
5. SURF COMPETITION
Have your kids stand on their bodyboards near where the surf comes onto the beach. This is a test of balance! Who can stay on the longest without falling off as the water moves and shifts their boards?
*For younger kids, it is fair game to hold a parent’s hand! Put a beach towel down over the board for better traction!
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Balance, bilateral coordination, coordination, endurance, fine motor skills, grasp, gross motor skills, proprioception, sensory integration, social skills, strength, trunk stability/core, visual motor integration
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