“Beach please!” “Keep calm and let’s go to the beach!” “The beach is the place where salt lowers your blood pressure!” Over 200,000,000 families visit the beach each year! With combinations of games to learn, snacks to bring, and things to pack, there are so many ways to make the family beach vacation more fun for everyone, especially when making the trip with younger children.
Oftentimes, good old digging in the sand can beat anything else you have planned, but sometimes it’s exciting, new, and fun to mix in a fresh game or activity into the day. One game I’ve played for years with children who cross my path is SPUD. Here’s how to play:
To set up the Spud Game, have each player count off and remember their number. After everyone is assigned a number, have all the players group together in a bunch. One person starts with the ball in the center of the bunch.
At the beginning of each round, the person with the ball (who is in the center of the bunch) throws the ball upwards to the sky while yelling a number. Everyone disperses and runs in all different directions away from the bunch except for the person whose number was called. The person whose number was called catches the ball and then yells “Spud!”
When he or she yells this, everyone must freeze. The person with the ball then is allowed to take three giant steps toward any player. He or she throws the ball and tries to hit someone.
To dodge, players are allowed to move all parts of their body, except they may not move their feet at all. If a player is hit the first time, he or she earns the letter “S”, eventually spelling the word S-P-U-D. The person who was hit becomes the new thrower; otherwise, the thrower who missed earns a letter.
The next round begins and play continues. Whoever spells the letter S-P-U-D is out of the game; alternatively, if you do not wish to eliminate players, you can set a time limit and whoever has the least amount of letters when time expires is the winner.
Another game is Squirt Ball! Simply, it’s your average relay racing to a line in the sand while squirting their beachball with a spray bottle in front of them. Bubbles are an activity that little kids never get sick of, and with the wide open space at the beach, a whole new level of excitement is added. Other good distractions while at the beach are making sand angels, going on critter hunts, looking for seashells, and burying each other in the sand.
The next time you go to the beach, play something from your new arsenal of games! Also, don't forget the food! Believe me, the kids will never forgive you. So, pack your bag correctly, hop in the car, and have a family fun day at the beach.