Beach Games (Fun Ideas for Adults and Kids)

Many people think the perfect break is a day at the beach with sun, sand, and sea. Once you’re done relaxing, sunbathing, swimming, or reading a book, how else can you occupy yourself and your kids? What beach games can you play to maximize your time outdoors?

One of the best ways to have fun at the beach is with some games! For adults, the best games are those with an element of competition, such as volleyball or the more relaxed bocce. For kids, sandcastle games, swimming games, or simple ball games are excellent choices.

Which games are suitable for the beach? What equipment do you need, and how can you play? Get all the information you need below. 

The Best Beach Games For Kids and Adults

For some, a day at the beach equates to relaxing under the shade of a parasol with a good book or chasing the sun for a great dose of vitamin D.

For other beach-goers, it’s a chance to let off some steam and enjoy time with loved ones by enjoying some games.

From old-school favorites to updated ideas, we look at some of the best beach games for kids and adults, as recommended by beach-goers, to ensure you have a memorable day by the ocean.

1. Frisbee

As a legendary beach game, sometimes it’s hard to find a beach without at least one frisbee game taking place amidst the sunbathers and swimmers.

Why we love it

Other than throwing and catching a ball, there’s nothing as simple as throwing a plastic disc between 2 or more people.

And yet, it’s great fun, particularly since there are enough ways to vary the game to keep you occupied for hours.

As long as you have at least two people, you can get a game of frisbee going, although extending this to more players is easy.

You can also play on the beach, add the extra challenge, and take it into the water.

How to play

While the basic premise of frisbee is that you throw a disc between two or more people and aim to catch it, there are additional rules you can add to make the game more exciting.

For example, you can divide your players into teams and aim to intercept the frisbee from the other team between passes.

You can also add time limits on the amount of time you can hold the frisbee before throwing (i.e., a 10-second rule).


Since you all need a frisbee and friends, this is the perfect beach game for those traveling light. It’s even possible to get foldable frisbees if you don’t want to carry a large disc. 


If you’re ready to invest and have room to spare, you can change up the game even more.

For example, Kam Jam combines elements of both frisbee and golf, where you aim to get your frisbee (and deflect the other teams) into the can.


2. Badminton

More lightweight than tennis and more accessible, badminton is a great option for active beach-goers who want to play something fun that can be as competitive as they would like to make it.

Why we love it

Beloved the world over, a badminton set is lightweight and easy to bring along with you on any beach trip or vacation.

It’s also a little more manageable to play than tennis as it isn’t quite so fast-paced, and point-scoring can be as difficult or easy as you make it.

Perfect for kids, young adults, and experienced adults alike, so long as your beach day isn’t too windy, it’s easy to pick up your racket and have fun.

How to play

Make a badminton court in the sand, ensuring that you have a back area marker and a dividing line. A net is desirable but not a requirement.

Face off against a partner, or have a doubles match to bring your shuttlecock down in the other team’s court when they can’t return the shot.

Keeping score is up to you, depending on how competitive you feel. 


You’ll need two to four badminton rackets and at least a couple of shuttlecocks in case any go astray.

It’s possible to get ‘beach’ badminton sets where the rackets come with shorter handles, so they’re easier to pack into your beach bag.

On a related note, make sure you’re not just packing the fun stuff and forgetting the essentials.

My article lists down beach essentials that may come in handy, feel free to check it out!


Consider an update on traditional badminton.

With no need for a net, you can play Jazzminton on the sand or in the waves with compact, brightly colored bats and shuttlecocks that are almost impossible to lose.


3. Swimming games

As well as enjoying the sand and the beach itself, there’s also the sea itself.

While some prefer not to get their toes wet, we say embrace the waves and, as long as you’re at a safe place for swimming, get competitive and make the most out of it.

Why we love it

Perfect for adults and kids alike, you can have a great time as long as you feel comfortable in the water. Going to the beach is about being near the ocean.

As a predominately cold-weather beach-goer, if you’re lucky enough to be somewhere warm and safe enough to swim, I think it’s an absolute requirement to make the most of it!

How to play

Whether it’s races, water polo, or wave jumping, you can set your own rules and make the competition as relaxed or as strenuous as you like.

Race from the ocean to the beach, or bring your ball into the water, and you’ve got a whole new activity to enjoy.


All you need is your swimming costume, the sea, and hopefully some warm weather, and you can jump right in!

Swimming games

4. Sandcastle Risk

Of course, nothing is so synonymous with the beach as sandcastle building. Spending hours getting creative and sculpting your sandy residence or figurine is easy. 

Why we love it

If you have kids, it’s a great way to keep them occupied for a good few hours, and it’s a chance for adults to get creative too.

If you add in the element of an incoming tide to see if your creations are structurally sound, you’ve got the ultimate beach game of risk and strategy. 

How to play

Sandcastle making needs no introduction, but to make it sandcastle risk, you’ll need to start your project with an awareness of the incoming tide.

Give yourself time to build competing structures and wait for the tide to roll in to test which stands up better against the waves.


While you may opt for sandcastle-building buckets, spades, or tools, you can also just fashion your structure using your hands.


If you want to up your game, choose from an array of sandcastle kits, such as this ultimate sandcastle-making kit for kids.

Sandcastle Risk

5. Bocce

Slow-paced and strategic, bowls is a traditional family game that can be played by anyone aged 5 to 80 plus. 

Why we love it

Relaxing, but still, with an element of competition, bowls can be played individually against an individual or as a team competition and can lead to great bonding family moments.

It’s a little slower-paced than other beach games, but that can make for a pleasant change after spending a lot of time enjoying the waves and the fresh air.

How to play

The premise of the game is as uncomplicated as it gets.

First, roll the smallest ball in your pack (the jack), and then players or teams take turns to get their balls (different colors for each team) closest to the starting ball.

It sounds as easy as it can be, but the real element of competition comes when teams start knocking each other’s balls away from the prime spot.

Increase or lower the difficulty by drawing a line in the sand as the throwing point, and you’ll find that what seems like a lazy and relaxing game can transform into a highly competitive event.


Although it’s possible to fashion your alternatives, it’s best to bring your own bowls kit since it has all the equipment you need for a great game, including a handy carrying case and a measuring line to help avoid arguments.


6. Ball games

Is it even a day at the beach if you haven’t played at least one of the ball games you used to as a child? Throwing, piggy in the middle, rounders – the list of potential ball games is endless.

For our purposes, we’ve chosen the good old ‘toss and catch’ velcro ball that’s been the delight of children (and grown-up children) for decades. 

Why we love it

Thoughtfully designed to help avoid the worst cases of lost balls, this velcro masterpiece is a great way for children to practice their hand-eye coordination and for adults to refine those skills that may have slipped out of practice.

How to play

Attach the velcro paddle to your hand, find a partner or group and head out onto the beach or into the sea to practice your moves.

Throw the specially designed ball, and your partner can snag it with the velcro paddle.

Increase the distance between you and the other players, or throw in some trick shots to make it more of a challenge. 


All you need is a toss-and-catch game kit and a friend, and you’ll be surprised how long you will spend enjoying this simple task.

Ball games

The Best Beach Game Ideas For Adults

While adults and children can enjoy the games above, some beach games may be more suited to older beach-goers.

1. Volleyball

Perhaps the ultimate classic beach game, volleyball, has been played on beaches since the start of the 20th century in Hawaii and continues to dominate the beach-lovers list of games.

Sandy beaches make the perfect cushion for a game where you can throw yourself at the ball in moves that would otherwise cause an injury.

Why we love it

It’s fun, and it’s versatile. You can play with a few players or many, and chances are you’ll attract some more teammates or spectators from around the beach.

It’s fast-moving and high scoring, so it’ll keep you entertained for some time.

How to play

Although the official game has many regulations, for a game of beach volleyball, you can make it as complicated or as simple as you like.

As a basic premise, two teams stand on either side of a dividing net or line and aim to hit the ball over to the other team’s side with their hands.

You can’t hit the ball more than once in succession, you can only pass three times within your team, and points are scored when the ball touches the sand of the other team’s playing area.


For the best experience, you’ll need a volleyball (light enough to punch without injury) and a net, although it’s easy to make improvisations if you don’t have all the equipment.

Some beaches already have nets set up, ready for a game.


As long as you have a sandy beach, a volleyball kit will give you everything you need to set up your beach volleyball game on the go.

Complete with an inflatable net, stand, and balls, you can set up your portable court in a matter of minutes.


2. Waterproof cards

Although the beach can be the perfect place to get active and enjoy the sun, the sand, and the waves, it’s also a great place to sit, relax and enjoy some more sedentary activities.

Why we love it

Cards, especially the waterproof kind, made especially for this kind of trip, are an excellent way to wind down after the exertions of volleyball, frisbee, or swimming.

You get to spend quality time with loved ones that don’t involve a screen, and there are enough games to keep you occupied for an afternoon or evening.

How to play

In keeping with the theme, we’ve chosen ‘Go Fish’ as our favorite beach card game. To play, you’ll need 2-6 people. Remove the joker cards from the deck and deal out the cards.

If you’re playing with 2 or 3 players, each person needs 7 cards. For 4 or more, deal 5 cards each. The rest of the cards stay face-down in the middle.

The game aims to get four-of-a-kind matches by asking one person for a card type you already have.

If they have it, they must hand it over to you, and you can take another turn. If they don’t, you must ‘go fish’ and take more cards.


Invest in a deck of waterproof playing cards to make sure that sea splashes don’t spoil your fun.

Discover New Twists on Classic Games…

Whether it’s a family trip to the beach or an outing for friends, there are plenty of ways to keep occupied and entertained while you enjoy the scenery.

Although classic games remain the most popular, you can always find an updated twist if you’re looking for something new to try.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with his pet bunny when not out in the woods, exploring the infinite beauty of mother nature.

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