Beaches are amongst the best places to spend a day with the kids. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, and you don’t necessarily have to break the bank to have some fun. Also, you can get in some uninterrupted family bonding time and build lasting memories. Last but not least, beaches are naturally healing: According to NBC News, time at the beach is good for your mind, body, and heart. 

Below, Swim Guide offers a handpicked selection of fun – and free – beach activities for kids and parents to enjoy together:   

Building sandcastles 

This classic beach activity can keep your kids entertained for hours. It teaches kids creativity, imagination, and practical hands-on skills. You just need a bucket, a shovel, and some sand to get started. You could have a family competition, with each family member trying to make the biggest or most intricate sandcastle. Or you could build a single castle together, to make it a collaborative, bonding event.    

Collecting seashells 

Seashells are beautiful and exciting to collect. You can encourage your kids to explore the sand and look for the most colorful and unique specimens they can find. You could turn it into a scavenger hunt, where you have a competition to find a specific number of shells or the highest amount. Canadian waters are colder, which reduces the number of shells, but you can still find some. Clams are plentiful. This kind of activity is fun and also teaches kids about sea creatures and their habitats. Make sure you don’t dig up or disturb live shells, though. The dead ones are okay. 

Swimming together 

Don’t forget to go swimming! The ocean makes for an excellent natural swimming pool. Kids can have a lot of fun taking a dip, swimming against the current, or tumbling in the ways – especially the boys. Make sure you supervise your kids at all times and teach them about common dangers like jellyfish, currents, and tides. Swim Guide offers health and safety tips here. For added fun, you could teach your kids to swim a different stroke (butterfly looks the coolest) or give them a snorkeling mask. 

Walking and exploring 

Walking along the beach and nearby areas can be incredibly relaxing, and a good way to wind down after a swim. You can take in the sound of the waves, enjoy the refreshing saltwater smell, and feel the warm sand between your toes. Walking barefoot is good for you. You can ask the kids to explore and find exciting things – interesting rock formations, warrens, cliffs, caves, coves, and maybe a lighthouse or two. 

Beach games and sports 

Beach games or sports are always a good option. The sand makes for an excellent cushion, meaning everyone can let go, play hard, and take tumbles without getting hurt. You can get a frisbee, a volleyball, or a soccer ball. If you want to do something different, you can play games like frisbee golf, where everyone attempts to land a frisbee at marked places in the sand.  

Have a picnic lunch 

Picnic lunches are a great way to take a break, or end a hectic day. If you pack food from home, you don’t need to buy something at the – typically overpriced – restaurants near the beach. Some easy picnic foods are sandwiches, fruits, salads, eggs, and cakes. Epicurious offers some fancy picnic dishes that are easy to make if your kids are especially picky.  

Spending time with your kids is essential for their development 

Busy parents can’t always spend as much time as they’d like with their kids. If this is you, it’s essential you make time. Quality time with you is essential for overall growth, development, and happiness. They can learn from you, get some exercise, bust stress, and generally receive the attention and care they need to be physically and emotionally strong. 


As you can see, spending a day down at the beach is a great way to bond with the kids, have fun, help your kids grow, and enjoy yourself without spending too much. You can use Swim Guide’s app to know the weather and water quality at 8000 beaches nearby. That way, you’ll be able to avoid bad weather and make sure you go to the perfect beach for the perfect day.   

Image via Unsplash

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