Tug of War

A game of teamwork, a battle of strength, and a fun beach game for the whole family. While this is a game that can be played anywhere, the soft sandy setting makes it perfect for when the losing team falls down!

What you’ll need

  • A long, strong, grippable piece of rope.
  • A pen or piece of tape to mark the rope with.
  • An even number of people for each team (or an uneven number with the smaller team also being a stronger team)

How to play

  • Begin by laying the rope down on the sand. At its middle point, make a mark on the rope. Also, mark the ground. This will signify its mid-point.
  • Next, draw a line in the sand 3 metres on either side of the rope. Make sure this won’t easily blow away in the wind.
  • Each player pulls back as hard as they can. The game is won when a team pulls the mark on the rope towards the line closest to them.

Top tips for playing

  • The rope must be pulled underarm.
  • It is considered a foul if a player brings the rope below knee level. It is called ‘locking’.
  • A Tug of War match is often done in sets of three.

Beach Cricket

A far more relaxed, flexible version of the well-known game. Beach cricket is a game that the whole family can get involved with (and even means you could get some other beach-goers involved if that suits you).

What you’ll need

  • A Cricket Bat
  • A ball that bounces in the sand (preferably a Tennis Ball)
  • Two sets of stumps. If it’s only possible to get one set of stumps, the non-striker's end can be marked with a t-shirt or shoe, etc.
  • Not enough people for a wicketkeeper? Use a deckchair or windbreaker to stop the ball if it misses the batsman and the stumps.
  • There is no limit to the number of players for the beach. It can be a small game between 5 people, or you can get 50 people involved.

How to play

The game can be played in a number of different ways.

  • It can just be a simple game of a batsman hitting the ball up to the other players to catch.
  • One player can bat until they are out, with each other player getting six balls to bowl or overarm/ underarm throw. In this version, the person who gets the batter out usually becomes the next batter.
  • There’s also the option to create teams of two players. Depending on the number of people playing, the batting duo will be given an allotted amount of time to bat in, and are deducted points from their run total if they lose a wicket. If the batsman hits the ball, they are obliged to run. If either batsman is out with a one-handed catch, the innings will come to an abrupt close.

Top tips for playing

  • It’s all about having fun and getting people involved. Therefore wide and no-balls are not involved, and as it’s unlikely there will be an umpire, the LBW rule is optional.
  • If a side manages to hit 100, it’s probably time for them to declare (give someone else a bat).
  • As previously stated, Beach Cricket is a game that will be different each time, so changing the rules to suit is definitely encouraged!

Musical Towels

Not hugely different from the famous birthday game of Musical Chairs, this is a game that will get your kids up and moving, and burn off energy.

What you’ll need

  • One beach towel or mat per player. If you’re worried about your towels getting too wet and slippery, there is also the option to bring along carpet squares).
  • A music playing device and fun, dancey playlist.

How to play

  • Start by laying out the beach towels. Much like musical chairs, you want there to be one less beach towel for the number of people playing.
  • The game begins with the players walking in a circle around the towels whilst the music plays.
  • When the music stops, every player has to dive onto a towel.
  • The last player standing is eliminated from the game.
  • Remove a towel. Start the music again.
  • Repeat the game until only one player is remaining.

Top tips for playing

  • When the players are circling the towels, make sure they keep a healthy distance. This is so that when the music stops, you don’t have players crashing into each other as they make a dive for the towels.
  • Play the music loud enough so it can be heard, but don’t play it so loud that it bothers other beach-goers.

Badminton

While the sand may make it a little tougher to run around than on a regular court, this is still a game that works perfectly for a day at the sea (as long as it isn’t too windy!)

What you’ll need

  • A badminton set
  • Speeders, which is a type of shuttlecock that works far better outside.
  • A way of marking the court in the sand (rope, vanishing spray)

How to play

  • Very similar to how you play indoor badminton, just at the beach!

There is also another version of the game that is played outside, known as Crossminton, which is a mixture of Badminton, Tennis, and Squash. It’s a game that is more about smashing the speeder into the other opposition court, than trying to hit it high in the air.

Here are the rules.

  • There is no net in Crossminton, simply two 5.5 metre courts, separated by 12 metres of spaces. (the sizes can obviously be adjusted depending on the age of your kids).
  • Much like Badminton, the point is to score by landing the ball in the opposition’s court, or for the opposition to be unable to return it.

Top tips for playing

  • Don’t play if it is too windy, but also don’t play if it is too bright! As previously mentioned, a particularly blustery day can lead to the shuttlecock being blown around too much, and ruin the game. But there is also the case that if it is too bright, being able to see and make proper contact with the shuttlecock can also make things tricky.

Wheelbarrow Race

It Is popular at school sports days, but also works very well at the beach. A Wheelbarrow race is a fun activity that is part teamwork, part crazy competition.

What you’ll need

  • Even numbers! Doesn’t matter how many teams there are, but due to the nature of the race, you will need two per team
  • An object to mark the start and finish lines.

How to play

  • Before the race, the ‘crawler’ team member should lie face down on the floor. The ‘carrier team member will stand at the feet of the former, and hold them by their ankles. The ‘crawl’ will then lift themself up, as if in a press-up position.
  • Much like any other race, someone will shout ‘On your marks, get set, Go!.
  • The ‘crawler’ will start walking on their hands, as fast as they can. Still holding onto their race partner’s legs, the ‘carrier’ will start jogging at a gentle pace.
  • The first team to the finish line wins!

Top tips for playing

  • The aim is for both crawler and carrier to work in unison, and get to the finish line first.
  • Make sure the crawler is the lighter team member. The alternative may cause a difficult race and a potential sore back.
  • Play fair! Keep a wide berth from opposition races and don’t try to take each other out.

Limbo at the Beach

A classic game for the beach, testing out both your flexibility and your stability.

What you’ll need

  • A long (preferably 2 metre stick or rope).
  • At least 3 players.

How to play

  • The game begins with two people holding the stick or rope at chest height. It should be held with cupped hands, so it falls easily if contact is made.
  • Each player takes turns attempting to get underneath the stick without making significant contact for the stick or rope to fall. The player’s hands are not allowed to touch the floor.
  • A player is eliminated if either the stick or rope falls or the player touches the floor.
  • Each time a round is completed, the stick or rope gets lower.
  • The last player standing is the winner.

Top tips for playing

  • Take it slowly. The quickest way to get yourself out in a game of Limbo is by rushing and trying to get through to the next stage too quickly.

Building a Sand Castle

An old favourite, driven by the imagination of yourself and your little ones. The norm is to build a castle but don’t let tradition stop you and your kids from creating something more. Whether it’s an entire palace or modern city created on the sand, this can bring hours, if not a whole day of fun to your little ones. Just don’t build it too close to the water. While this is obviously not a game as such, we didn’t feel like it was possible to be left out.

What you’ll need

  • A spade. For digging, scooping, chiselling. Consider this the brush for your painting.
  • A bucket. A great way to lay the foundations to your tall buildings. Simply fill it with sand, turn it upside down, and you’ve got yourself a tower!
  • Sticks and stones. This will add character to your project.
  • Sand (and lots of it). How else are you going to build your families’ masterpiece?

How to play

  • Start by finding a space that’s big enough to build your empire, but not big enough that means space is wasted, and not big enough that you’re stealing prime beach space from others. It sounds specific, but will actually be very straightforward when you start cordoning off your working space.
  • Draw a square, rectangle, or circle to mark your space, city walls moat.
  • Using sand from outside your building site, fill your buckets with sand to the very top. Make sure the sand is moist. It will be much harder to keep the sand molded if not.
  • Next, choose the spot you want your tower to be, and carefully turn the bucket upside down, and bring it onto the sand. Gently tap both the side and the top of the bucket. This will loosen the sand, and make it easier for you to lift the bucket up. This should create a tower.
  • Continue with your building fun!

Top tips for playing

  • Have fun! It may take a little while before your sandcastle starts looking like anything at all, and there may be some crushed towers along the way, the most important thing is to keep spirits high. That’s a chance your little ones may lose their temper, but just get them back on that tower-building journey and they’ll be back happy in no time.
  • Build a pathway to the sea. That means your area will have a healthy supply of water, which is vital to a healthy sand creation.