For adults, there’s a ton to do at the beach – splash around in the water, soak in the sun’s rays, or play a game of volleyball. But for younger kids, they may need a bit of extra help to stay entertained. You can’t expect your child to always play independently, especially the younger they are.
If you’re going to the beach with your toddler, plan ahead to do a few of these activities. Having ideas on hand to keep your toddler occupied will make the outing go smoother and is an easy way to make memories.
10 Build A Sandcastle
For a classic beach activity, try building a sandcastle with your toddler. You’ll need to come prepared with at least a shovel and bucket to craft your fort with. Have patience with your toddler as you show them how to load the bucket with sand and flip it over to create the castle’s towers.
9 Write In The Sand
Another fun activity you can do in the sand is to write in it. As Mommy’s Bundle explains, trace out a word or letter for your toddler, like their name. You can use your finger or a stick. Then, encourage them to trace the letters. Not only is this a fun activity, but it’s an educational one, too.
8 Blowing Bubbles
If your toddler is getting bored or fussy at the beach, pulling out a bubble wand is an easy way to improve their mood. Your little one will be fascinated by the bubbles and will want to try to blow them on their own. Encourage kids to chase the bubbles and try to pop them before they explode on their own.
7 Scavenger Hunt
One way to kill a lot of time at the beach is to organize a scavenger hunt for your toddler, Tiny Beans suggests. Prepare a list of common beach items for them to find, like seashells, seaweed, or a seagull. Then, help your little one walk around the areas as you try to find everything on this list. This is a great sensory activity to teach your child about objects and textures.
6 Play Beach Ball
For a sporty activity, throw around a beach ball with your toddler. Pick up a lightweight ball before you go to the beach – check your local toy store or even the dollar store for options. Make sure it’s lightweight so your toddler can pick it up and throw it, and to reduce the risk of injury. Then, have a blast throwing it around on the sand.
5 Fly A Kite
Another classic activity is to bring a kite! Pick up an inexpensive one from the dollar store or Amazon and pack it in your beach bag. Make sure it’s windy enough before setting the kite up. Young kids, especially toddlers, will need parental assistance to do this activity. You’ll likely have to help them hold the kite while it’s in the air. But your toddler will be mesmerized by how cool the kite looks (and you’ll love watching their curiosity).
4 Beachside Race
If your toddler has a lot of energy, help them have a race to get some of it out. Don’t just tell them to run – give them a specific goal or task. Parents suggests giving your child a bucket and instructing them to run to the water. First person to fill it up wins. And since you’ll be playing it with your tot, that means you’ll have to let them win!
3 Mermaid Pretend Play
The beach is the perfect opportunity to play out your child’s Little Mermaid Fantasy. Think of a fun scenario and act it out with your child. Maybe they’re a lost mermaid who washed up on shore and needs saving, or they’re fleeing an evil sea witch. All you need is a little imagination and creativity.
2 Rock Painting
If you’re down to do something creative, bring supplies to do rock painting. All you’ll need is paint that will stick to the surface. Make sure it’s child friendly or can easily wash off to avoid a stain. Then, find a rock or two when you get to the beach that your child can paint. Allow toddlers to use their hands – it may get messy, but they’ll have a blast. Be sure to set up a shady area for this craft.
1 Buried In Sand
If you’re running short on ideas (or supplies), give this classic beach activity a try. All you need is access to sand and a willing participant to be buried – chances are, mom or dad will play this role. Have your toddler bury the parent under the sand. They’ll like getting their hands dirty, while you’ll enjoy being able to sit still.
Sources: Mommy’s Bundle, Parents, Tiny Beans,