A day at the beach is meant to be fun and relaxing. But faster than a wave flattens a sand castle, your “fun” can crumble into a whine-a-thon of complaints about hot sand, sticky seaweed, dropped ice cream cones, and creepy-crawly bugs. Meanwhile, all you wanted was to lie back, soak up the sun … maybe even read a book! Is that really too much to ask?!?
But in pursuit of that “holy grail” of parenthood — a peaceful, quiet afternoon — today, we tackle one of the great questions of modern parenting: How can you keep the children entertained (and alive) …without leaving your chair?* — Beach Edition!
Beach games to play with your kids …without leaving your lounge chair**
Send the kids on a hunt to find the perfect seashells to place on your toes as you lay back in the sun. The only rule? The shells must be a perfect fit. Off you go!!
Bury the Runner
Whichever child is the most likely to take off down the beach is buried by the other children.
Teaspoon Treasure Hunt
Grab some change from your dashboard and bury it — deep — somewhere within arm’s reach of your chair. Everyone gets a teaspoon for digging, and the hunt is on! Better yet, bury it around daddy’s chair.
Spray Bottle Salon
Bring some empty spray bottles and let the kids give you a spray-bottle “shampoo”. It should take quite a while to get your hair saturated, and you’ll be left with that awesome tousled beach hair without having to go in the water. Score!
Encourage a massive dig within the damp zone of the shoreline. The deeper, the better. They might even reach Australia! High entertainment value as the tide creeps in to fill the hole, and they furiously scramble to empty it back out.
*Props to Jason Good’s“Games to Play while Lying Down”in his hilarious new book: This is Ridiculous, This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists, which inspired this post.
**If you have really little ones or non-swimmers, you’re out of luck—Sorry! You’re probably gonna have to get up. More than once. Maybe even a dozen times. Hey, we’re faux scientists; not miracle workers!