girl sitting in beach chair in pink bathing suit and matching beach towel

Fun Beach Activities for Kids

By: Brooke Hamilton


As you prepare for your family trip to the beach, you look around your foyer and wonder if you packed enough for your children.

Clothes? Check. Snacks and sunscreen? Got it. Kids swimwear ? On. Beachside entertainment for all of the kiddos? Maybe not.

Well, get your pen and paper ready because we have a bucket full of fun beach activities for kids of all ages. With a bit of creativity and planning, you'll escape to the beach with a handful of ideas that will keep the whole family entertained.

Explore these kid-friendly activities for a day of family fun on your next trip to the beach!

Sandcastle Building Competitions

What’s one of the first things kids want to do when they get to the beach? Building sandcastles, of course! Encourage them to unleash their creativity and turn building sandcastles into a little friendly competition!

Depending on their ages and personalities, you can let each kiddo create their own sandcastle or ask them to work in pairs to encourage teamwork and collaboration. Whichever approach you choose, make sure you have these sandcastle-building beach essentials for toddlers, including:

  • Buckets

  • Shovels

  • Molds

  • Natural beach finds like shells, seaweed, rocks, sand dollars, etc.

Here are some helpful tips for ensuring a seamless sandcastle competition among your little ones:

  • BeforeSet a time limit for the competition to add a dash of excitement. We recommend giving them a minimum of 30 minutes for optimum creative freedom.

  • During – Encourage them to work independently or within their teams, but feel free to swoop in if they need help perfecting their moat or even just packing sand into their buckets. Encourage your little one to decorate their castle by collecting sea glass, sand dollars, or seashells.

  • AfterGather everyone around and highlight specific parts of each sandcastle you particularly enjoy and award prizes for creativity, execution, and design. We think that everyone deserves a special sweet treat—ice cream, anyone?

Beach Treasure Hunts

Let your children embrace their adventurous side and set their imaginations sailing with a treasure hunt! Regardless of age, organizing a treasure hunt fosters communication between you and your kids as you discuss where their treasures lie.

Additionally, a well-planned treasure hunt can help them develop critical thinking skills as they channel their inner pirate. Toddlers can search for seashells of a specific size or color and practice counting, while older children can practice reading and deciphering riddles to uncover their next clue.

Here’s how to best prepare for your treasure hunt depending on the ages of your little swashbucklers:

  • Toddlers – Toddler-approved treasure hunts are an excellent opportunity for your toddler to engage all of their senses, from using their eyes to search for their treasures to feeling the wet sand between their toes. For this age group, try keeping the treasure hunt simple by allowing them to focus on any colorful or interestingly shaped items they find scattered along the shoreline. Practice counting as you collect rocks and shells that interest them. You can also make it a more interactive experience by asking questions that spark their curiosity and imagination.

  • School-aged children – There are several ways to make treasure hunts engaging for older children. If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can hide treasures around the beach ahead of time and write a list of clues to help them find each treasure or clue. If several children are participating, you might want to sort them into teams, encouraging them to work together to decipher the clues.

Creative Sand Art Projects

Sandcastles are a classic beach activity, but they certainly aren’t the only beach activities for kids to partake in! There are several other ways you can use sand on the beach as a creative art project that your kids will love.

Consider helping your little ones take part in a few of these sand-based activities:

  • Crafting sea creatures – Little and big kids alike can let their imaginations run wild by creating their very own real and make-believe animals in the sand. From mermaids to manatees, toddlers can use sticks to draw creatures in the sand, while older children might enjoy sculpting 3-D renderings of their favorite sea crittersusing sand, rocks, and seaweed.

  • Making sand sensory bins – If you’re looking for extra toddler beach activities to keep them entertained, you can create a sensory bin with a few easy-to-find beach items. Simply fill a wide pail with damp or dry sand and hide small toys and shells for your toddlers to excavate. Not only are they activating their senses, but they’re also working on their fine motor skills. It’s a win-win!

  • Drawing sand mandalas – A mandala is a geometric, circular design full of intricate patterns that many cultures use as a tool for meditation. Before you begin, show your children examples of mandalas, and then let their imaginations lead the way in drawing unique mandala designs in the sand. If you’re interested in offering an effective way to help them unplug and relax, you can also introduce the concept of meditation after they have finished with their artwork.

  • Forming sand angels – If your kiddos know how to make a snow angel, then they certainly know how to make a sand angel. Have them lie down on their back and swipe their arms and legs back and forth in the sand to form the classic angel shape. This works best when done with slightly wet sand. Finally, decorate the angels with seaweed for hair and shells for facial features.

Water-Based Activities

The ultimate beach day wouldn’t be complete without a little playtime in the water. But aside from the obvious splishing and splashing, what else can you do?

We’ve collected a few worthwhile ideas that’ll keep your kids entertained:

  • Playing water tag – Load up your spray bottles or water toys and gear up the kids for an energy-fueled game of water tag. Just be sure to define the perimeters of how far they can run in each direction and how deep into the water they can go.

  • Snorkeling – Snorkeling gives your older children an excellent introduction to what’s happening under the ocean’s surface. If you have bonafide swimmers and future marine biologists on your hands, consider renting or purchasing a snorkel set. They’ll be mesmerized as they watch fish swim by and explore the underwater world around them.

  • Floating in inflatables – Whether they’re simply floating or creating brand-new games, inner tubes, and inflatable rafts provide hours of fun for older children.

Educational Beach Activities & Games

Incorporating a bit of learning into your next fun day at the beach! Here's a list to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing:

  • Fly a kite – With its consistent sea breeze, the shoreline offers an ideal setting for flying a kite. If your little ones are fascinated by planes and aerodynamics, teach them the mechanics behind kite flying, such as how wind generates lift and drag. Then, demonstrate how to launch the kite and let them enjoy the thrill of seeing it soar.

  • Play musical towelsIn this beach-friendly adaptation of musical chairs, children can enhance their listening and social skills. To play, arrange your towels in a circle, leaving one fewer towel than the number of players. Start the music and have the kids walk around the circle. Each player must quickly find and sit on the nearest towel when the music stops. The player left without a towel is out. Remove one towel after each round and continue playing until only one player remains as the winner. Check out our hooded towels to make the game even more fun!

  • Go cloud gazing – If you ever enjoyed cloud gazing as a child, you know how calming (and fun!) it can be. Plus, it lets your imagination run wild. Lay with your littles on a beach towel and start the game by pointing to a cloud and telling them what it reminds you of. Then, let them tell you what they see. Where you might see an elephant eating a banana, they might see a pirate ship in an epic battle with a rival ship. In this game, the sky really is the limit.

  • Make a sundial – You can introduce the concept of telling time by helping your kids create their own sundial. All you need is an unopened beach umbrella or piece of driftwood, along with a few large shells or rocks. To make the dial, place the wood in the sand and set a timer for an hour. When the timer goes off, your littles can place a stack of rocks or shells wherever the shadow of the dial stops. Throughout the day, they'll observe how the sun's movement helps them create a natural clock!

  • Play sand tic-tac-toe – It’s a classic for a reason—you can play it almost anywhere, including in the sand! All you need is a stick and two willing participants. Tic-tac-toe is an excellent way for your children to learn how to strategize and think critically.

  •  Play sand hopscotch - Use a stick to draw hopscotch squares in the sand and a seashell to toss on the squares. Let your child hop and jump through the spaces to retrieve the shell! 

Pack for an Unforgettable Beach Day With Posh Peanut

With a diverse list of beach activities ready to go, you're all set to create unforgettable memories with your little ones at the beach. And what could make the experience even better? Dressing them up in the most adorable (and comfy) swimwear for the summer season and beyond.

Posh Peanut is your one-stop shop for all your children’s clothing needs, from swimwear to toddler girl dresses and everything in between. Our pieces are made with viscose from bamboo, a material known for its softness, breathability, and stretchiness, ensuring a comfortable fit for your rapidly growing tot.

Stock up on your must-have summer essentials, and rest assured that your beach bags are packed with both comfort and style.


1. The Guardian. How to build the perfect sandcastle.

2. Asia Society. Exploring the Mandala.

3. Healthy Children. Just Breathe: The Importance of Meditation Breaks for Kids.