As soon as the weather gets warm, the beach begins to call. And nothing makes a beach visit more fun than some good beach games. Beach games for kids keep them entertained when they are out of the water. Beach games for adults provide both exercise and fun. Everyone loves playing with a beach ball, and our beach ball games take this fun to a new level. Of course, every beach has sand and we’ve included an entire section on sand games your whole family will enjoy. Many of the beach games we have listed here require no special equipment or preparation. Read on to find the perfect beach game for your day at the beach.
Table of Contents
- 1 Beach Games for Kids
- 2 Beach Games for Adults
- 3 Beach Ball Games
- 4 Sand Games at the Beach
- 5 Beach Games for Families
Beach Games for Kids
All kids love relay races, and have played the old favorite with the egg and spoon. For this race, all you need is a plastic cup and a beach bucket for each child. Set the buckets on the sand in a row and have the kids run to the water, fill their cup, and run back to empty the cup into the bucket. The first one to fill their bucket wins the race. You can also set this up as a team game or have the kids play in pairs.
Beach Kite Flying
The beach is a perfect place for kite flying – large, flat areas with no trees. Keep a few inexpensive kites in your beach bag and wait for a breeze. You can find kites in toy and discount stores, or help your kids make their own.
Beach Bubble Blowing
That beach breeze also makes a great space to blow bubbles. Make your own bubble blowing liquid before you head for the beach.
Blowing Bubble Mix
- A large container with a lid
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup dish detergent
- 1 tablespoon glycerin
- ¼ cup corn syrup
Measure water into the container. Pour in one cup of dish soap and stir slowly until completely mixed. Add the glycerin and corn syrup and mix completely. Put the lid on tightly and carry to the beach.
Beach River Race
Kid will love this game and it will keep them entertained a long time. Have them dig two long narrow trenches with beach shovels or hands that lead to the water. Use buckets to create a flowing stream. They can make a dam to hold the water back and then release it all at once. Use small pieces of drift wood or paper to make “boats.” They can make the river curve if they want and add obstacles along the way.
Beach Treasure Hunt
Make a list of common beach items your kids can probably find on a beach. Base the length and contents of your list on the age and maturity of the children playing. Include items such as shells, rocks, a hermit crab, seaweed, a feather, etc. Provide each child with a copy of the list and a large cup or bucket. You may wish to tell children they forget one item, just in case one cannot be found. Also, make sure kids release any live specimens.
Tag is great on the beach as the sand makes the chase more fun. Kids slip, slide, fall, and sand flies! Try having the person who is “It” be a shark or an octopus. Whoever gets tagged last is the new It.
Beach Games for Adults
Most adults are familiar with the limbo. Create a beach version with a boat oar, pool noodle, or large beach towel. Two people hold the “bar” and each person leans back and “dances” under it. Add some beach music. The “bar” is lowered each turn and the “winner” is the dancer who can go the lowest.
You will need some preliminary planning and a fairly large group for this game. Divide your group into groups of three to five people. Create a list of challenges the teams must master, such as:
- Hopping across the sand – very difficult in soft sand
- Bury teammates in the sand
- Stand on one leg the longest
- A relay race
- Tug of war with a wet beach towel
Eliminate one team or one player each challenge – whoever fails first, loses, etc. The last team or individual remaining in the game wins.
Beach Musical Blankets
Similar to Musical Chairs, this game uses beach towels laid out flat on the sand. Make a line of towels, enough for each player, minus one, and start the music. Adults dance around the beach towels until the music stops. Each player must find a beach towel to stand on and the player left without a towel is out. The “winner” is the player left at the end of the game.
Beach “Bocce” Ball
You don’t need a bocce ball for this game, but if you have one, throw it in your car trunk for a fun beach day. The goal in this fun game is to throw the weighted bocce ball as close as possible to the target (jack) tossed on the sand. Use any other weighted object (a full water bottle works well) as a target, and beach stones for tossing. Just make sure you play where no one will be hit!
Draw a dart board on the sand with points for each ring. Instead of darts, use shells or beach rocks. Toss your “dart” and add up points to see who wins. Bored with the circle? Try drawing a hopscotch pattern instead.
Beach Ball Games
The Space between Us
Draw two parallel lines in the sand about fifteen feet apart. Have the players compete, two at a time, taking a beach ball from one line to the other with variations, such as:
- Holding the ball with only one hand
- Crawling and moving the ball with the head
- Holding the ball between the knees
- Kicking the ball
- Walking backwards
To make the game a bit of a challenge for older kids or adults, set boundaries on the side and players are out if their ball goes outside the lines.
Beach Ball Hot Potato
Start this fun beach game with everyone sitting in a circle. Start some music and pass the beach ball. When the music stops, the player holding the ball is out. The last person left is the winner. This game works well when you want to keep everyone in the same place for a while.
Beach Dodge Ball
A game that is sure to wear everyone out, beach dodge ball involves chasing the ball as well as avoiding it. Begin by throwing the beach ball into the air. Someone grabs the ball and has three steps and five seconds to throw it to hit another player. If someone gets hit, they sit down. The ball can now be grabbed by any other player. Those sitting can grab the ball if it comes near them and throw it at a standing player. If they manage to hit someone, they can stand up and get back into the game.
Beach Ball Relay
Mark your start and finish lines in the sand. Divide your group into teams of three. Provide each team with a beach ball and an object they must wear, such as a beach cover-up or sunglasses. Team members take turns “running” from start to finish and back again holding the beach balls between their knees. Team members then pass the worn item and the ball to their team member. If a team member drops the ball, they must return to the start line and begin their turn again. The team with all members completing the challenge first wins the game.
This simple game requires only a beach town and a beach ball. Have players hold the ends and sides of a beach towel and throw the beach ball in the middle. Use the towel to toss the beach ball into the air. The goal is to see how high the ball will soar. Aim high!
Squirt Ball Race
You will need to plan ahead a bit for this game, as you must bring some squirt guns with you to the beach. Players use squirt guns to spray the beach balls and move them forward towards a goal line drawn in the sand. If you have several players, divide them into teams. When the squirt guns are empty, players must run to the water’s edge to fill them. This can be part of the challenge, or you can stop the game for refills, then begin a new game. The first player whose ball reaches the goal line wins the game.
Some beaches have nets set up for play, or bring your own. There is something about playing volleyball at the beach. Maybe it is because the sand cushions falls, so players are more aggressive. Whatever it is, beach volleyball is a favorite for young and old.
Sand Games at the Beach
Hopscotch is a fun way to pass the time. Draw your hopscotch grid on the sand and use small beach rocks or shells for markers. Playing barefoot helps maintain stability on the sand. If the sand is hot, play close to the water’s edge, marking your grid in the water cooled and hardened sand.
Dig It Deep
See how big and deep of a hole the kids can dig in the sand and then fill the hole with water. The hole is fun for little kids to play in if you want to keep them safely away from the waves. Give them some buckets for play.
Beach Sand Angels
Prepare for sandy hair and bodies when you and your kids make angels in the sand. Although doing so is messy, it is much warmer than making snow angels, and there is always the ocean to rinse off the sand.
Along with snow angels, kids love building a snowman. Build a man out of sand and make his face with small stones and shells, and even add seaweed for hair. You can even dress him up in someone’s shirt or beach cover up, and add sunglasses.
Beach Sand Art
Grab a bucket of water to moisten the sand and then get creative in the sand with these ideas:
- Smooth out a large flat area in the sand. Then draw a picture, write words, or both.
- Collect stones, shells, and driftwood to create a “painting” on the sand.
- Build a sand castle or fort.
- Craft animal shapes out of sand.
Beach Games for Families
Pong Beach Race
If the beach has a slight slope leading to the water, this game provides fun for the whole family. Divide your group into pairs and give each pair a ping pong ball. Each team digs a channel to the water. Set a starting line and on, “Go!” teams dump buckets of water into their channel to move the ball to the water’s edge. The first team to do so, wins the game.
Beach Frisbee Golf
Set up targets using items you brought to the beach, or those you find lying around. Towels, umbrellas, a hole dug in the sand can all serve as targets. Players throw the Frisbee as close to the target as possible. Have younger players stand closer to the target, adults and older children farther away.
Beach Tug of War
Divide the family into two teams, making sure they are as evenly matched as possible. You can use a rope or beach towels tied together. Draw a line in the sand and have each team take positions on either side of the line. The teams pull to see which crosses the line first.
Beach Obstacle Course
Create a beach obstacle course with whatever you have on hand. An umbrella suspended between two beach chairs to jump over, towels to hop on, a sand castle to run around. Take turns running the obstacle course and see who is the fastest.
Grab some toy or dollar store plastic pins and balls or use plastic water bottles partially filled for stability. Throw a ball to knock them down and see who can get a strike or spare. Keep score or just play for fun.
No need to take a great deal of equipment for your fun day at the beach. However, with a little planning, you can pack your bag with a few inexpensive items such as balls, buckets, toys, and kites from the local discount store and be ready to play the day away. Enjoy!
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.