Best Make-Shift Beach Games for the Family

The sun is out, the beaches are pumping with families, friends and visitors all sharing the saltwater and surf - for most Kiwis it's the best time of year. If you're wondering how to keep the kids entertained while you're enjoying a beach day, we've got a few of the best (and super cheap!) game ideas out there.

Here are some of our favourite games to take to the beach and enjoy an active day out! Let us know what you think.

1. Dig your own Spa Pool

This one is an absolute classic for the kids. Remember as a child dreaming of digging your very own swimming pool in the sand and letting the tide fill your freshly-dug hole for you? Well, a full swimming pool may be a little ambitious but a spa pool is definitely doable.

If you need a little inspiration, check this one out! It was dug by a family at New Zealand's very own Hot Water Beach in the Coramandel.



We'd recommend bringing along a few of your own digging tools if you're going to attempt a fully-blown spa pool excavation on your beach day out.

2. Fly a Kite


Another family favourite, kite flying is a beloved activity that's perfect for the beach when the wind tends to pick up a little. There are two ways to go about this; either buy a cheap kite from a local 2 Dollar Store, or if you don't want to spend any money and want to turn it into a bit of a craft activity, you can make your own.

All you need is some tape, string, newspaper, and a few nearby sticks (Toi Toi bush branches are perfectly light for this and located at NZ beaches). Cut your newspaper into a diamond shape, and tape the corners to the ends of your cross made of sticks. Tie your string (quite long, 5-10m) to the bottom of the kite and off you go! You'll be surprised at how well it flies.

3. Beach Games: Beach Survivor

This one is particularly fun if you have a large group of friends or family and a little bit of a competitive streak. The concept is simple; divide your group into two teams and write down a list of beach-based competitions. Each team must race against one another and complete each task. The team who wins the most tasks takes out the Beach Survivor title!

If you're stuck for ideas on what kind of competitions you can include, here are a few.

  • Race to save a teammate buried in the sand
  • Last sand castle remaining (build a castle that beats the tide)
  • Hot sand relay races
  • Drift wood raft making competition
  • Tug of war (if you don't have a rope, use a wet beach towel)


4. Beach Games: Beach Darts

If you consider yourself a hotshot and think you've got a good sense of aim, this is a great one to test your skills. Draw a giant dartboard in the sand (complete with scoring if you want to have a competition) and collect a bunch of pointed sticks. Then, draw a line in the sand about five metres away from your sand dart board and aim as close as you can for the bulls eye.

If you find the sticks aren't heavy enough to make it to the bulls-eye, either move a little closer to the dart board or consider switching to pebbles - either work.

5. Sand Art

Who ever said you need a canvas to create beautiful artwork? This is an awesome one to get the creativity flowing and they can actually turn out looking pretty awesome by the end of it! The kids might not be quite up to the 3D version below (amazing, right?) but it should definitely spark the imagination!



If you want to get fancy, you could turn your art piece into a 3D sculpture too. There are a bunch of sea-creature examples online that the kids will absolutely love.

What to do when the beach comes indoors

If you end up bringing a little too much sand home with you after a big day out playing with the kids, don't fret! We've got the perfect guide to help you get rid of any summer stains. You can download your copy for FREE below.

Get the Ultimate Stain Guide CTA


Find a stockist

Looking to hire a Rug Doctor machine? Use our store locator to find your nearest Rug Doctor Stockist.

Cost Calculator

Use our free cost calculator to find out how much hiring a Rug Doctor can save you money! See for yourself now.

Calculate the cost