Affordable Family Beach Vacations Plus 5 Fun and Educational Beach Activities

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Taking a vacation to the beach can be not only affordable but also very fun and a great time to teach your children more about the world. The beach is a majestic and inspiring place. Children who visit for the first time may be a bit frightened or they might jump right in and enjoy all the fun. Either way, you can take the opportunity to teach your children more about the environment and teach them how to find neat items along the shore.

baby at the beach

Fun at the Beach

Going to the beach is great fun if you have some foolproof activities in mind to keep the children engaged all day to ward off boredom. Be sure to bring a basket or bag for all the goodies your child may find along the beach to bring home with them. Another thing to remember is the shovels and scoopers you’ll need to help your baby play in the sand. You can get in on the action too or just sit back and watch your kids have a ball.

Activities for little explorers:

Seashell Hunting

Seashells come in all shapes and sizes. It’s an affordable beach activity that is educational and lots of fun.  Just walking along the beach where the tide rolls in can net you lots of pretty shells. You can also hunt in the shallow area near at the water’s edge for more.

child at the beach

If your child is like most children you will have to help them sort through and choose the best shells to take home otherwise you may need a truck to carry them all. Teach them how to inspect the shells for defects, make groupings by color or shape, and even plan how to display them creatively at home.

Rock Collecting

The beach is a wonderful place to go rock collecting. Many rocks along the beach will be smooth from years and years of rolling through the tides which makes for easy collecting for little ones. You will find many types of rocks on the beach – agates, jaspers, quartz, jadeite among many others. You could even get lucky enough to find fossils among the rocks as well.

Some of these rocks are very beautiful just as you find them. But, if you choose to take them home to clean them up or put them through a rock polisher your child will be amazed at how truly beautiful their finds are.

Plus you can help your child start their very own affordable rock collection and learn more about gems, rocks, quartz, and stone. I had a rock collection when I was little and I’m pretty sure it’s what inspired me to get a job in the Physics & Geology Department at my College as a Teacher’s Assistant.

It seemed sorta dorky when I was little to have a rock collection, but I ended up winning a lot of awards in high school in the science department and even working for the head of my colleges Physics department, all because I was interested in science.

You can add the rocks from a rock collection to buckets to make playtime more fun for your children and let them search for jewels in the sand! Just make sure that you don’t rocks that could be a choking hazard.

I think it’s important to start kids out when they’re younger in getting an interest in Science and it will continue when they get older.

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Animal Watching

You can teach your child a ton about the animals that live in the ocean by pointing out the crabs along the shoreline and reading stories about fish. One of my favorite children’s book is Rainbow Fish. I love the message of this book, it’s definitely a MUST to bring along on a family trip.

beach animals

Beach Combing

The tides rolling in and out bring in lots of gifts from the sea that are deposited on the beach every day, such as sea glass, tropical seeds or fossils. Make it your mission for you and your children to find some treasures on the beach to take home.

A fun activity to do after you get home is to make a keepsake out of the things you found. A few ideas to get you started are:

  • attach all your finds to a canvas to make a wall hanging
  • make a treasure box
  • add your items to a net tied at the top

Metal Detecting

Most beaches have hordes of people visiting all summer long which makes for great treasure hunting with metal detectors. Older children who have the patience will be the best suited for this type of activity.

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Making Sand Castles

Bring buckets, molds, and shovels to create the ultimate sand castles. You can even invite other children to work with your child to build a large community of castles with trenches, moats, and towers. The kids will love it and your child may make some new friends too.

A day at the beach with the family can include more than swimming and sunbathing. With a little creativity, you can turn your beach trip into an exciting adventure – and even add a few “teachable moments” to your weekend.

Learn how to master the cheap family beach vacation and read more parenting articles on the blog

Best US Beaches for Families and Kids

Beach Reading for Mommas

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About Erin Cotter

Mommy and lifestyle blogger. I write fiction and non-fiction articles and review products. I am an advocate for childhood literacy. I love a good cup of coffee and an interesting book.

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