kids having fun on the beach

Ideas for Beach Activities for Summer Fun Under the Sun with the Family

Having kids in the 21st century means having to deal with a lot of patience and restrictions when it comes to the use of electronics. Watching my sons grow reminds me of my childhood, and how different it was for me as a child having fun without the technology they now have.

Luckily, as a parenting team, my husband and I started planting healthy habits in them early on, so we haven’t encountered much stubbornness regarding playtime without their phones and tablets. What’s more, they love sports of all kinds, and even when we go on family trips, they make sure they have all the equipment and supplies for some great outdoor fun.

Besides going camping, we love spending time at the beach given that Australia is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking coastlines. So naturally, beach sports essentials are among the crucial gear we carry along. Water fun is simply a must, so bodyboards, water trampoline, surfing, scuba diving and snorkelling equipment are part of the stuff we bring, but they’re certainly not the only requisites.

What Can You Do at the Beach?

I bet this is a question many parents have asked themselves before hitting the sand with their families, and I understand the concern given that kids grow bored easily. And I really mean easily. Honestly, what could harsh your mellow easier and quicker than a bored kid when you’re trying to work on your tan?

If your kids have outgrown the season of building sandcastles, it can be difficult to come up with some energetic and entertaining activities for them to enjoy on their own, or even with you. The great news is there’s plenty to do at the beach, including one activity after the other for more variation, and I didn’t have a clue until we started going on beach trips as a family.

family having fun at the beach

Sports Activities

After consulting my trusted Hobonichi planner on the list of beach sports essentials, here’s what I found:

  • You can play soccer,
  • You can play football,
  • You can play cricket,
  • You can play volleyball,
  • You can play tennis,
  • You can play mini golf,
  • You can throw a frisbee,
  • You can play beach bowling,
  • You can ride a bike.

Yes, you can do all these sports activities and have lots of fun under the sun, all while listening to the relaxing crashing waves. I’m not going to lie, the boot does get fully loaded with all the gear, so at times we choose some activities over others. Another way we’ve found to be great for minimising the stuff is by choosing durable beach balls that could serve different sports.

For example, the Wahu soccer ball we got is easy to repurpose into a volleyball, or soccer tennis, and we’ve also tried using it for football. If you want to be even more lightweight with the load, especially if you have more family members to fit in the car, my advice would be to look for products that have more activities in one. A 3-in-1 set with a beach ball that guarantees basketball, volleyball and bash fun in the pool could cut if you’re staying in a hotel with a pool.

kids playing with a ball on the beach

Activities with Little to No Equipment

Instead of buying and bringing your surfboards why not consider renting them? This way you bring along something that doesn’t take up much space, like a kite. Flying kites is exciting, more so when you get to the beach on a windy day, and it’s something you can do as a family.

Other activities you can do without the need for any equipment would be watching the beautiful sunset and doing cloud watching to try and make out some shapes. Wildlife watching is also loads of fun, especially for the kids who are only getting to know about the world that surrounds them, but I would recommend taking along some binoculars with you if you’d like to spot dolphins and whales.

Going on treasure hunts, and organising scavenger hunts are also a couple of ideas you can try out if you’re into this kind of entertainment. To make things more interesting, why not make up your kind of game by going on seashell hunts? I enjoy the coast for the long walks on the sand, and having the chance to read a book while sunbathing. These may not be sports, but they sure offer the perfect relaxation for me.

In case you’re a foodie, there’s just the ideal thing for you to do on the Australian coastline: have a picnic. What could be better than eating some of your favourite foods alfresco with a stunning view of the ocean? Cook your meals, or snacks, pack up some drinks, dishes and utensils, bring along the portable freezer, and find the best spot where you can settle.

family flying a kite on the beach