How to Make the Beach Fun for Babies, Toddlers, And Teens

Sunny days at the beach are fun, especially with the little ones. However, speaking from experience, babies, toddlers, and teens have one thing in common; they get bored pretty quickly. After a few games and swimming sessions, they get grumpy and want to head back home, which leaves you wondering, is the beach really fun?

The beach is fun because there’s lots to do, and the views are breathtaking. Include activities like hopscotch, sand games, or swimming contests to make the beach fun for hours for babies, toddlers, and teens. There’s plenty to do for all age groups.

A baby boy sited at the beach with a hat and no shirt on

Making the Beach fun for Babies

For Ages 0 to 3

1. Float Them Around

If your baby can’t run around the beach, bring a baby pool float and keep them occupied at the seashore. This float allows them to sit comfortably upright and gives you space to enjoy beach time. 

Also, consider a float with sun cover so your baby is protected from the harsh rays. Remember, the sun cover goes hand in hand with baby sunscreen.

2. Blow Bubbles for Them

Babies love bubbles, and bubbles on the beach will capture their attention for hours. Bring your family into the bubble-blowing fun and see who blows the biggest or the most bubbles.

To avoid tantrums, carry extra bubble jars for backup in case one jar spills. Trust me; a bubble spill can shut down the seashore. When my babies were at this stage, I picked bubbles in different colors and shapes and that kept them engaged abit longer.

3. Bring a Paddle Pool

Obviously, It will take a few more years or months before your baby can swim independently in open water. So, why not carry a paddling pool? It is safer and your babies will feel like they’re swimming in the ocean.

Set it up near the shore or next to your  lounging area and let them splash around while you keep an eye on them. However, find a pool with a sun cover because the beach is sunny and shade is scarce. In addition, fill the pool with ocean water so the kids can enjoy the full ocean experience.

4. Throw Rocks Into The Water

Two- and three-year-old babies like throwing rocks and objects in the water and other spaces. Therefore, the next time you go to the beach, join them in throwing rocks into the water. The “plop” sounds and splashing water will make them giggle and pass time effortlessly.

However, bear in mind the safety of swimmers and other beachgoers by throwing the rocks in open areas.

A boy playing with beach toys

For Ages 4 to 5

5. Play Beach Ball Bounce n, Roll

Kids are always interested in bouncing and rolling balls. If you have a beach ball, your child will want to play with it once they spot it.So, carry as many balls as possible for beach day. 

In fact, how about you include different colored balls to create variety and make beach day fun? Moreover, it’ll keep them busy and that is the goal. However, these balls should be big enough to roll on the sand and not be a choking hazard.

6. Bury Treasure in the Ground

Toys keep your kids engaged at home, and guess what? The same will happen at the beach. For beach day, pack a couple of their favorite toys and try out treasure hunting; toys edition. Keep your kid occupied by burying toys in the ground and letting them search and unearth all of them. 

Include clues that will guide them to each object. If you have more than one kid on your trip, you should form teams and turn it into a competition. It’s also a fun game for toddlers.

7. Build Sandcastles with Them

Although babies aren’t perfect at building sandcastles, this will be a fun experience under your guidance. Start them off by practicing building plain and regular castles before leaving them to their own devices.

Essential beach tools for this activity include castle-shaped buckets, shovels, and design decorations. You can buy these at a local toy store or online platforms, like Amazon.

8. Teach Them to Write on the Sand

Sand is a natural chalkboard your kids will enjoy playing with at the beach. Take your babies closer to the shore to draw on damp sand as they practice writing letters and numbers.

This is an educational activity that keeps them entertained. In fact, you should join them in reciting the letters and numbers before the waves clear the shore. Moreover, scribbling on the sand helps to improve their motor skills and literacy.

A boy standing on a man's shoulders at the pool

Making the Beach Fun for Toddlers

For Ages 5 to 7

1. Chase the Waves Together

Toddlers are very active between ages 4 and 6, and you can’t stop them from running. Help them put their energy to work by playing ‘water tag.’ This is a good idea, especially if they aren’t comfortable getting inside the water.

Here’s an idea; encourage them to chase waves into the water and then run back when the big waves come crashing. It is a fun water activity, but you must be on high alert and your baby should have floaties on for safety purposes. 

My daughters love chasing waves at the beach and I enjoy it too. In fact, like motivating kids during a hike, encouraging them to chase waves counts as exercise and leads to a full-night sleep.

2. Collecting Sea Shells

Kids at this age are curious and joining the seashell search will get them excited. Ask your kids to look for seashells along the shore and gather as many as possible. The shells can work as decoration in your home or they can start a fun collection. I mean, who knows where that will go?

Grab a bucket and walk with them along the shores, digging and identifying “treasure”. This activity is fun, but it also motivates bonding with your babies. Cute conversations at the shore are memorable for your toddlers. And of course, you’ll get dreamy backdrops for your pictures.

3. Flying Kites Together

Kite flying is another exciting beach activity for toddlers catching up with beach life. Even better, running after flying kites is a great way for you to exercise. Wouldn’t you want to kill two birds with one stone?

Kites are easy to build and it’s fun to include your kids in the process. However, if you’re not up for the challenge, ready-made kites will do the trick.  

Once you get to the beach, find a less-crowded place and let your kids release their kites, one by one. This activity works best in the late afternoon or early evening when the winds are strong enough to keep the kite flying high.

4. Dig Ocean Pools

Some kids enjoy the calming sensory experience of pouring and sifting water and sand on the beach. Join in and help them make ocean pools by digging small holes in the sand and having kids fill them with water. The repetitive motions of playing and pouring water add some excitement.

A girls at the beach with snorkeling glasses

For Ages 8 to 9

5. Play Tug-of-War with Towels

Toddlers are always full of energy, and they never miss out on playing beach games. If you have more than two toddlers on your beach trip, keep them active with the towels you carry. The game is physical  and helps them build strength and improve coordination.

This tug-of-war involves turning towels into a long rope. The kids will pull on either side and the first team to let go loses the game. To make the game fun, ask other kids on the beach if they’d like to join. That always works for us, and kids love playing together. 

6. Have a Water Balloon Fight

Your kids will enjoy playing water balloon toss because their small hands grip the balloons and throw them over short distances. However, heighten the experience by turning this toss game into a water balloon fight.

The toddlers will refill these balloons with ocean water and throw the balloons at each other to release the water.  It is a fun game that  improves hand-eye coordination and keeps the babies fit. Nonetheless, ensure that the balloons are reusable and if not, dispose of them properly to keep the beach clean.

7. Teach Them How to Play Catch

A beach ball has many uses, including teaching toddlers how to play catch. The energetic ones, especially boys, will always find solace in playing intense games that involve throwing, running, and jumping.

Beach balls are soft and spongy, with bright colors that attract toddlers. Therefore, they can take turns catching the ball while you throw it from the opposite end. Alternatively, they can throw the ball at you while you run to catch it.

8. Take Them For Some Ice Cream

The beach is hot and these activities are draining. So,  after a while, take the kids to an ice cream shop for some cooling down. They’ll love it. These ice cream dates are also a great opportunity to recap the day’s events. 

Ask them what they liked, what they’d love to do, or when they want to come back. If the ice cream is good, they’ll definitely want to spend more time at the beach; for more ice cream and fun family activities.

A teen girl at the beach with her mother

Making the Beach Fun for Teens

For Ages 9 to 12

1. Engage Them In Photography

When you realize your teenager is enthusiastic about photography, consider their needs during beach day planning. Your teenaager will appreciate a chance to showcase their talent, whether they have a phone or a DSLR camera. After all, the beach is a perfect spot to sharpen their photography skills.

Let them take charge of the family photography at the beach, and if you can, invest in quality equipment. Nowadays, there are waterproof smartphones that will get the job done. Exploring their creativity is enough to make your teenager enjoy beach day to the fullest.

2. Bury Someone in the Sand

Although toddlers can also participate in this game, it is better with teens who can practice caution. This activity involves burying one of the members in the sand from the neck and decorating the mound of sand.

Experienced builders can build a small sandcastle on their stomachs to make it more fun. However, it would help if you are vigilant so they do not dig deeper holes that cause water accidents.

3. Plan for Beach Camping at Night

Once your kids are nine years old, prepare them for survival by taking them to camps. A night at the beach can be a great place to start. Teach them how to set up the tents and make a bonfire in the sand. 

Tell stories around the fire to create a memorable bonding experience. If they find it fascinating, make it a yearly family tradition.

Teens at the beach

For Ages 12+ Years

4. Go for Skimboarding

Skimboarding, also known as skimming, is a sport where an individual uses a skimboard to glide across the water to meet an incoming breaking wave. Your teenager will run along the ocean’s edge with the skimboard in one hand and throw the board on the water towards an oncoming wave. 

It is an exciting watersport, but it requires skill and swimming ability. For beginners, you will find trained instructors on the beach, ready to turn our baby into a pro skimmer.

5. Play Bounce Ball on the Water

A great way for teens to spend time with their friends at the beach is by playing bounce ball on the water. These balls are available at local sports stores and are great for challenging strength and precision.

Players must stand further apart from friends and throw the ball at each other. A wavy beach makes it more interesting because the ball bounces off the wave to land elsewhere, and the players must rush to catch it.

6. Family Sunbathing

Sometimes the best way to enjoy your day at the beach with your teen is by sunbathing. After a long week or month of activity, spend a lazy day relaxing and enjoying your kid’s company. A beach is a great place for sunbathing because it provides the ambiance.

Grab a cushiony sand bed, wear sunglasses, and lay under the sun’s rays. Feeling the warmth of the sun hitting your body while enjoying the scenery is rejuvenating for teens. If they like reading, ask them to carry  their favorite novels, so they can pass time reading in between fun beach activities.

7. Join in Kite Surfing

Kite surfing is another water sport that will get your teenagers’ adrenaline pumping. However, include them in this activity if they have the skills to stay on top of the board while controlling a flying kite. It may take time for them to master control, but lifeguards are always on-hand to save the day.

Alternatively, combine sailing and surfing by taking them for a windsurf. Windsurfing is a thrilling activity and is also safe for beginners. Kids with great balance on the water can join the adults in exploring the waters. For kids between 9 and 12, this might be a good time to learn windsurfing as part of the family tradition.

8. Play Beach Games

Playing outdoor games keeps pre-teens and teens in a competitive mood and builds their social skills. Therefore, use the vast beach space to play various outdoor games like volleyball, frisbee, hopscotch, badminton, and freeze tag. These games are refreshing when you play with a huge team of family and friends.

It is challenging to maintain the momentum of beach day from start to finish. However, these games and fun activities help you pass time and they accommodate kids across all age groups. You don’t have to worry about tantrums from your toddler or walk-offs from your teenagers. The right planning and activity selection will turn your babies into beach day lovers. All the best!

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