A day at the beach doesn't need to be stressful or expensive. With a few easy activities and basic supplies, you'll never be bored by the shore again!
Have your child collect shells, driftwood, stones, and sea glass. Once she's amassed a trove of supplies, suggest she use her finds to "draw" a picture in the sand.
Ask two kids to hold a towel stretched taut and challenge them to bounce a beach ball in the air, catching it with the towel. See how long they can keep it going.
Create an aquatic viewer from a yogurt container. Cut out the bottom with a craft knife and have kids decorate their scope with colored duct tape. Punch holes on the sides of the lip for a string handle, and use a piece of plastic wrap and a wide rubber band to cover the open end. Take it to the shallow water or a tide pool; your kids will love looking at the undersea world.
Draw concentric circles and numbers in the sand to set up a Skee Ball-like game. Toss shells, stones, or small toys into the circles to rack up points. Alternatively, hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, and hangman can all be played in the sand.
Download flash cards with images of things that might be found by the sea -- a seagull, a kite, ice pops. Print them out, laminate, punch a hole in the corner of each, then loop them on a metal ring. One child holds a card so it can't be seen by the other children, who must ask questions to guess what image she's holding.
Using driftwood and rocks, create a sundial. Every hour, get your kid to place a pile of rocks at the tip of your stick's shadow. As the day passes, the shadow will move in a circle -- just like the hands of a clock!