Heading to the beach with a toddler can be lots of fun and eye-opening to see their wonder at this new experience. We first took our little one to the beach when he was a few weeks old. One of the benefits of living close to the coast. However, it wasn’t until our second came along that we made beach days part of our regular days out and holidays. Part of the fun is the beach games that you can start to introduce your little ones to. So after sharing our Top Tips for Taking Toddlers to the Beach we’ve put together below some of our favourite Beach Activities for Toddlers that the whole family will enjoy.
Activities and Games to Play at the Beach with Toddlers
I’ve seen lists with hundreds of ideas of activities to do at the beach with Toddlers, but I like to keep things simple and using things that you have around. We always take some sand toys to the beach with us as well as bat, ball, and our kite is usually hidden in the back of the car whatever the weather is outside! So these beach games are simple, low prep and chances are you will have the equipment you need with you already to have a great time with the little ones.
Water Relay Races
Our top pick for keeping cool and having fun no matter what your age is water relay races. We make it a little fairer by using the cups we bring along for the picnic and everyone uses the same size cups and fills up buckets. BUT… the bigger the person the further they have to run because little legs can’t go as far or as fast as some of the adults. Then Ready, SET, GO!!! Run from the sea to the buckets as many times it takes to fill it up and the winner. The one that fills up their bucket first.
Just a warning that this can get highly competitive even with the toddlers. But watch out for Dad or Grandad as they can be the worse.
Sand Castle Bowling
In my experience, toddlers love nothing better than knocking down things – towers, blocks, and sandcastles. So give them a go at some sand castle building. Quickly build a set of 3 or 4 sandcastles take your beach ball or ball from a bat and ball set and bowl them over.
How Deep Can You Go
A challenge for the family – but make it fair, give the toddlers a spade and the adults a spoon! In a set amount of time how deep can you dig a hole in the sand? The spoon will make it fairer for the little ones to dig as much as you can.
We always take a bundle of towels with us to the beach and at least one of us has a smartphone with music on. So dancing and playing around to music is easy. Musical towels was my little ones favourite game when we headed with friends and family. But you may need to remind some of the adults that it’s good to let the little ones win from time to time.
Sand Play Sculptures
I always remember as a child going to the beach and after we had been bored building sand castles the adults would get imaginative with the structures that they built, from mermaid tails on us to boats and race cars. We all helped together and created structures with a difference! Turns out it’s stuck and when we headed to the beach the first time as a large family my brother and Rainy Day Dad built Star Wars structures that the kids could sit on and play Star Wars with!!!
Build a Dam and River Races
As I said toddlers love knocking down things so set up a game to build a river to sea. Work in teams adults and children together to dig a river out with a pool at the top and dam. Fill the “pool” with water and then… On Your Marks… Get Set GO! smash the dam and see whose river reaches the sea first.
Beach Treasure Hunt
Two different ways to play this you could either bury some treasure near to where you are sitting on the beach for everyone to find – make it big enough that it won’t disappear or set up a beach scavenger hunt for everyone to join in. Can they find or spot a Pink Beach Towel, a person in a yellow polka dot bikini – you can make it as silly or as normal as you want.
Why not go and print out these fantastic Beach Scavenger Hunts over on Ruffles and Rainboots there the toddlers will love the picture card and your older kids the list of items keeping both entertained.
More Beach Fun for Families
- Beach Crafts for Kids from Toddler Up
- Learning Activities at the Beach
- Top Tips for Heading to the Beach with Toddlers
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.