You are a great parent.  Pail?  Check.  Lotion?  Check.  Designer tent/umbrella/cabana boy? Of, course.  Oh.  What are we supposed to do now?  If you’re long on accessories but short on ideas, we have a few activities for you to try.

1.  Buried treasure games.

2.  Rubber duck races.

3.  Re-purpose I spy into “sea Life” and “Be Green” treasure hunts that help clean up the beach.

4.  Take small baby food jars and let the kids make their own little take home beach.

5.  Make a mini-forest out of driftwood.

6.  Outline on paper different shapes of things they might find and have a scavenger hunt for the shapes.

7.  Find a tidal pool and do a biology lesson on crabs and fish (no cheating).

8.  Pick a shell color of the day and search for other shells that color.

9.  Play frisbie and fly a kite (hubby can fly a kite with the kids while you get a tan).

10. Dig big holes and make huge forts. Make a palace for some very lucky barbies.

11. Make a nature jar.  Put a layer of sand or grass in first and then put larger things on top. With older children I would set out a mini scavenger hunt ( find 3 rocks, 5 leaves, 4 shells…) , toddlers will have a blast just picking things up and popping them in the jar. Pop the lid on and take the nature home with you to recount your day later.  Recounting an activity is a great thing to do with your child, it is actually a very important skill and is important for early literacy, so sit down even with toddlers and pull out your jar and talk about what you did at the beach.

12.  Bring some non-toxic paints, and create sea monsters out of driftwood.  Place your art sculptures around the beach for others to discover.

13.  Grab a Nature Bag and do some sleuthing!

14.  Bring playing cards – we have giant plastic ones – and work on number recognition, teach a card game, or simply draw card to see who gets the larger number.

15.  Do a ‘group exercise class’ and get your kids to follow along.  This gives you an excuse to spend time with them instead of hitting the gym, too.

For more fun ideas, check our at-home activities article.