Family Fun Activities for the Beach

Ellen

With school reopening dates being pushed back, there is still time to get a family vacation in here in beautiful St. Augustine! There are many opportunities for family beach fun.

1. Take a scavenger hunt walk on the beach to find things to bring back to your spot so you can create beach art or collect seashells to make a beach mosaic. That’s a great way not to have your little ones want to bring back dozens of seashells to your condo!

2. Play games like tic-tac-toe, darts, or hopscotch by drawing the shapes in the sand and using shells and other items as markers and darts. Another good game would be to have the kids draw pictures in the sand and others guess what they are drawing. Make a rule the pictures must be beach or ocean related.

3. Have a contest for the kids to create their own unique sand sculpture. They could design anything from a super sandcastle, a sea creature, a sandman, or anything they can imagine. At the end of the day, be sure to flatten the sculpture so it doesn’t create a hazard for sea turtles or hatchlings and other beach visitors. A good way to accomplish this is to bring pails of water and melt the sculpture by pouring water over it.

4. Bring some favorite books to read for a family story time. If you plan ahead, it’s a great idea to bring some beach-themed books with you.

5.  Play musical games such as musical towels (like musical chairs) or the limbo (holding sticks you’ve found or towels) and use music on your cell phone. Please be considerate of other beach goers and not turn the music up too loud.

6. Talk about the different habitats you can find – the grasslands, water, dunes and animals that live in each habitat. Take a walk and look for sea turtle nests (just remember, it is illegal to disturb nests) Also, remember you are not allowed in the dunes or pick sea oats and any other beach vegetation. Make this part of your beach reading for the day by finding books ahead of your visit.

7. Have relay races: 1) Beach ball relay where participants can use any part of the body EXCEPT THEIR HANDS to carry a beach ball across the finish line before the other team or opponents; 2) sand pail relay – use shovels and small cups and have team run back and forth from the ocean to fill their pail with water.

8. Have competitions for the family such as hurdles, 40-yard dash, discus (frisbee) throw, draw two parallel lines about 4 inches apart to act as a “balance beam”, crabwalk relay or race, Hula-Hoop-A-Thon, etc.

9.  There’s always a breeze on the beach, so buy or make at kite to enjoy one of the most typical beach activities of all!

10. Make a beach version of the favorite arcade game, Skeeball, by digging the holes and using beach balls or smaller balls to roll into the holes for points.

11. Another typical beach activity is digging a hole which is always a fun thing to do! See who can hit wet sand first or just try to fill it with water.

12. Have a time to meditate and do yoga to the sounds of the ocean waves. To avoid getting extra sandy, do poses that only require standing and think of ocean names for the poses.

13. Have your kids line up their boogie boards at the edge of the water and then stand on the board with their back to the ocean so they won’t see the waves coming. The winner is the last one standing on their board when the water withdraws.

14. Do you remember the colorful parachutes at school where everyone held an edge and balls were tossed in the middle? Make a beach version by using a large oversize beach towel. Have everyone hold the edges and throw a beach ball in the middle of the towel and then lift and lower the towel to toss the ball around.

15. Pretend you are castaways on a desert island and create a beach tent out of whatever supplies you have on hand!

16. Families enjoy burying each other in the sand, but please be careful with this one and supervise closely. You don’t want anyone hurt. A safer alternative would be to just dig a hole for someone to sit in and create a mermaid tail out of sand.

17. Don’t forget the boogie boards or skimboards and floats! Just remember there can be rip currents in the ocean and also don’t let yourself float too far out from the shore. Just plain bodysurfing is a fun activity as well.

18. Toddlers especially love bubbles. Bring some bubble solution and bubble making accessories and watch your little one run and chase the bubbles. This is sure to bring lots of smiles and giggles.

19. Those from up north know all about snow angels, but in Florida, you can make a sand angel! It will be a very sandy activity but getting sandy is all part of the beach experience, so have fun! Good old cornstarch or non-talc baby powder are great ways to get rid of the sand at the end of the day! There are usually places at your condo near the pool area or just off the boardwalk where you can stop and rinse off as well.

20. After all the day’s fun, take a few minutes to clean up the trash, fill holes that were made, and flatten any sculptures to make it safe for the ocean life and other people on the beach. Make it a game to see who can clean up first or pick up the most stuff in your area. Leave only footprints behind!