Going to the beach is a great way to have fun and spend time with the family. But for parents with toddlers, the beach can feel anything but relaxing. Between trying to keep them safe and finding something fun for them to do, a parent can feel exhausted and overwhelmed. However, there are ways to ensure that you and your toddler have fun at the beach.
Age-appropriate activities are the best way to keep your toddler busy at the beach. For example, you could help them collect shells, build sandcastles, or dig into the sand like they would in a sandbox. There is no need for a bunch of toys, just some shovels, buckets, and a little imagination!
Another important part of making a beach trip fun is keeping the toddlers safe and carrying all the necessary essentials. So make sure to carry plenty of tasty snacks, drinks, and sunscreen. Hungry, dehydrated, sunburned, and cranky children will not have any fun or be any fun at the beach. We have plenty more tips on how to keep your toddlers busy and happy at the beach, so let’s look at some of them.
How To Keep Your Toddler Happy And Busy At The Beach
1. Bring A Friend
If your toddler doesn’t have any siblings yet, bring along a friend who is about the same age. The kids will have more fun because they can keep up with each other. Plus, it will give you a few moments to take a break, lie down and watch them play together.
2. Take A Walk
Walking along the beach and taking note of all the interesting things there can be a lot of fun. You could play the “I Spy” game as you search for shells or have your child count how many birds they can see as you walk along.
If there aren’t too many people on the beach, you could help your child observe the difference between their footprints and yours. There is so much to see, discover and learn while walking on the beach.
3. Fly A Kite
Few things bring utter delight to a child like a kite does. And there are few places better to fly a kite than the beach. The constant wind blowing ensures that your colorful kite keeps flying and fascinating your toddlers with how it twists and floats in the sky. It is also a chance to teach your toddler how to operate a kite and improve their motor skills.
4. Chase The Beach Ball
Beach balls are light, colorful, and fun for the whole family. Once you have it filled up with air, throw the ball around and have the toddlers chase and try to grab it. Get a ball larger than your kids so it is a little challenging to grab and carry. You will all have a few laughs watching your little ones try to grab a massive ball.
5. Make A Sandman
A fun way to make use of all that sand on the beach is building a sandman. Help your toddlers build a sandman like they would make a snowman, and watch them express their creativity in how they decorate it.
6. Dig Into The Sand
Get the shovels out and see who can dig the deepest hole in the sand. Toddlers love digging in the sand and will be so excited at how much farther they can dig at the beach than in their sandboxes.
You could have the kids compete amongst themselves to see who can dig the deepest hole. That should keep them happy and occupied for a while. Moreover,they might stumble upon exciting treasure like this 7-year old from Prince County.
7. Build A Sandcastle
Children (and adults) have been building sandcastles for generations. It is one of the go-to beach activities to keep your child busy while helping them express their creativity and practice their language and motor skills. All you need is some buckets and shovels, and you’re all set.
Nowadays, there are sandcastle-building kits with molds that form castles that look more realistic. Whether simple or complex, building sandcastles and creating stories around them is a great way to spend time at the beach.
8. Cover Dad (Or Mom) With Sand
Covering an adult or older child in the sand is fun for everyone. You will have your toddlers giggling as they dig up some sand and try to completely cover that person with it. The one covered in the sand must be an adult or an older sibling who can stay still and won’t panic.
Also, remember to do this far from the water so the tide won’t trap the person in the wet sand. The final result will be a head sticking out of the sand that the toddlers can ‘decorate’ with hats, sunglasses, flowers, or whatever else they want.
9. Go Swimming
Your toddlers would love splashing in the ocean, but it is important to keep them safe. The ocean is unpredictable, and you can suddenly lose your footing even in shallow water. So ensure that they stay where the water is shallow and that you are with them always.
Even if they can swim, keep them in a lifejacket as long as they are near the water, no matter how much they protest. Just remind them that the ocean is not like a pool and that it is important to stay safe.
Also, ask the lifeguards about the ocean conditions before letting your toddlers in it. For instance, you can ask about the jellyfish concentration before getting in the water. A high jellyfish concentration means an increased risk of you or your child getting stung by one, which is very painful and can even be poisonous.
While it may be fun to get their feet in the squishy sand under the water, don’t allow them. They could lose their balance and fall from an incoming wave or get their feet stuck as the tide moves in and out.
If your toddler wants to swim in the ocean, ensure you are right there with them. Alternatively, send them out with another trusted adult who is a good swimmer and will keep them safe.
Toddlers can be challenging to contain at home, let alone on the beach. Their boundless energy and limited concentration make it rather hard to keep them busy and happy. But with these fun activities, you and your child will enjoy the beach while making memories that will last you a lifetime.