Five classic seaside activities for you and your family

‘I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors.’ That’s George in one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books. If you share George’s love of the outdoors, come with us for an action-packed day at the seaside. 

A happy family of mixed generations loaded with bags make their way down the path at the beach

Photo: Shutterstock

Head to your favourite lifeguarded beach with your family and friends
Take your pick from these five timeless beach activities that every child and the big kid in all of us will love. 
A family of three holding hands, joyfully running into the sea, jumping in shallows

Photo: Shutterstock

Remember the joys of childhood, by joining the kids for a paddle

1. Have a paddle

What’s the first thing you do when you hit the beach? Roll up those trousers, and gamely join the children for a paddle of course! Feel the sea and sand between your toes and listen to the lapping of the waves and the sound of kids in their element.  

Paddling’s a simple pleasure and you can help keep your loved ones safe and happy by making sure you’re between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguarded beach and by keeping them close. Our friendly lifeguards are there to help keep you all safe too. If you do fall in and find yourself out of your depth, remember: Float to Live. Watch this video on teaching your child how to float.  

Two small children in sunhats enjoying the simple pleasure of building a tall and messy sandcastle

Photo: Shutterstock

Be proud as punch of your sandcastle

2. Build castles in the sand

Time to break out the buckets and spades. Top up everyone’s sunscreen and have a sit down while the kids build castles in the sand. Or get stuck in and give the kids a hand with the grand design. 

The simple pleasure of filling a bucket with sand, flipping it, tapping the bucket and revealing your grand tower - or atmospheric ruin - should not be underestimated at any age. Families who are usually glued to screens will soon be busy cooperating, engineering the best castle and moat you’ve ever seen. 

Three children gather around a large pink bucket, fascinated by the crab they’ve caught

Photo: Shutterstock

Have you ever caught a crab at the seaside?

3. Catch a crab

If you or your family loves nature, head for some rockpools or a quay and find a good place to catch a crab. There’s a huge sense of satisfaction if you’re lucky and skilled enough to catch one! You can demonstrate to your children how to be kind to the crabs: use a net, not a hook, and place any you do catch gently in a big bucket with sea water, rocks and seaweed. And of course, show them how to put them carefully back where you found them. 

It’s easy to get absorbed in hunting for crabs, only to find yourself cut off by the tide. It’s a good idea to check tide times on your beach. Work out if the water’s coming in or out, or ask a lifeguard. 

Do take care on any slippery surfaces too – lifeboat crews often get called out to people who have had slips, trips and falls. Always take your phone with you, so you can call for help by calling 999 or 112 and asking for the coastguard. Your phone will come in handy too for taking a photo of your proud child with their crab!

A young child in a rainbow dress concentrates on flying her kite high at the beach

Photo: Shutterstock

Delight in flying your kit high in the sky

4. Fly a kite

Is there anything more liberating than flying a kite on a sunny day? 

What kite did you have when you were a child? You get some fancy ones these days, but the simple joy of flying any kite is timeless. That moment when the kite catches the breeze, the line tightens and the kite soars, is unforgettable. It might take a few attempts, but your kite will be flying high before you know it. Just remember to let the kids have a go too. 

An enticing picnic hamper rests on the sand in the sunshine

Photo: Shutterstock

What’s in your picnic hamper?

5. Have a picnic

After all those activities, you’ll be more than ready for your picnic. Don’t you agree that all food tastes better outdoors … even with a sprinkling of sand in the sarnies? 

The simplest of picnics feel like a feast at the beach. So delve into that hamper. Cheese and cucumber sandwiches, chicken drumsticks, samosas, hard-boiled eggs, falafel wraps, crisps, watermelon, strawberries, brownies, flapjacks – anything goes. And don’t forget the ginger beer!

Find out more about keeping you, your friends and your family safe while enjoying the coast this year.

Get beach safety tips