You could splash out on shop-bought beach games or create your own mini Olympics with a selection of fun, free activities that even the littlest member of your team can enjoy. And you don’t have to worry about leaving your bats on the beach at the end of the day. Here are our ten favourites.
Grab four sticks, place upended paper cups on each and plant into the sand. Place them in a rectangular ‘pitch’. Two teams take it in turn to knock off the cups from the opposing team’s side, by using a Frisbee. If the cup is hit, it’s a point. If it falls to the floor, it’s two. The other team can try to catch the cup before it hits the ground. If they do, the point is saved. The name? It’s Frisbee Cricket, of course!
Beach Ball Bingo
Get a beach ball, and write lots of forfeits on it (run to the surf and back/ impersonate the person on your left/ hop for 30 seconds/sing a Beyonce song…you get the idea!). Stand in a circle and throw the ball at random to each other. Whoever catches it, if their left thumb lands on an activity, they have to carry out the forfeit!
Sand Pictionary (main image above) will bring out the quick-draw artist in you. Head to the firm sand at the water’s edge. You have the time it takes to draw something in between the time it takes for the wave to retreat, and the next wave to wipe it out. It’s quick fire and fun! If your other team members guess it, you score a point.
If your beach has a slope, make teams and give everyone a little ball. Each team has to place the ball on the sand and dig a channel to the water, while other team members fill the channel with water. The first team to float their ball to the sea is the winner!
Set up a scavenger hunt. Create a shopping list of items for your little treasure hunters to seek – pink shells, slimy seaweed, crab shell, sea glass etc – and see who completes their list the quickest. (Thanks to Momtastic for the pic)
Hole in One
Build a sand mound, and make a hole in it, and you’ve got a variation on golf/netball and bagatelle. You can set up a simple variation: just throw your ball and try and get it into the hole, or add some obstacles in front of the hole, to make it a little more tricky. (Thanks to Leo for the pic)
Sand darts is a brilliant way to pass an hour. Just sketch out a dartboard in the sand (on a slope you’ve built up) and use
little pebbles to aim at the target.
Grab two small buckets and two large ones. Set up the large buckets far from the water, and then have relay teams race to fill it by getting small buckets of water from the sea. Make it harder by blindfolding the teams!
Frisbee golf, if played properly, requires a suspended net to aim your disk into. But they cost around £100. So you can improvise! Suspend a beach towel hung between some driftwood sticks, like a hammock, and aim for that instead, or upturn a parasol! It’s a larger target, sure, but you’re on holiday! You take as many goes as you can to get your Frisbee into the target.
Sharks and Minnows
Sharks and minnows involves one person designated as ‘shark’ – usually the oldest, and the minnows splashing and running around them in the shallows. When a minnow is ‘caught’, they’re working for the shark, and can catch other minnows. The last minnow caught is the next shark.
Of course, if you know of any better games, we’d love to hear about them…