Five Epic Summer Beach Games For The Whole Family

For some people, chilling in the sun and doing nothing on the beach is an impossible task - they need a distraction to remain relaxed. Games solve this problem nicely though, especially if you're at a long beach that offers a bit of distance between sun worshippers and those playing - think of the sand flying everywhere. To keep everyone happy this summer, we have compiled a list of five epic beach games to suit all types of beach goers.

5. One Bounce - Donkey

All you need for a good game of 'one bounce' is a ball - just about any size will do, but the bigger the better. The rules are easy to follow (you probably know them already):

Players stand in a circle and kick it to one another, only allowing the ball to bounce once (at most). Every time you miss the ball, you get a letter. You start with 'D' and finish with 'Y' - so the loser is the DONKEY.

One Bounce - pic by Freelancing God

ET Tip: A good way of raising the stakes is to pick a chore and play for duties. Instead of 'DONKEY', play 'DISHES' or 'RUBBISH BIN'. If anything, it makes people develop new ball skills that they didn't realise they had.

4. Flags

Flags is an old game that was played by life guards, as a way to build up running speed on the sand. Today, it is an event at life saving carnivals and competitions around the world. It's fun, high paced and very competitive. Here's how you play:


  • 1. Draw a box in the sand, roughly 20 meters by 20 meters (can be more, depending on how much energy your kids have to burn).
  • 2. You will need a few small batons
  • 3. Set them up in a line on one side of the box - If there are five of you playing, make sure there are four batons set up.
  • 4. Lie down on the opposite line, on your stomach and facing the other direction, resting your chin on your hands.
  • 5. The goal is to have a foot race for the batons, with one loser falling out in each round, until there are just two people racing for the baton.

3. Beach Bat

Beach Bat

The beach is really just another name for the most relaxed tennis club in the UK. No shoes, no shirts - no problem. You can pick up a pair of wooden beach bats and a rubber ball for next to nothing at almost any super market or curio shop. Draw a line in the sand and your are ready for Beach Wimbledon.

2. Beach Boules

Beach boules is the perfect way to combine the respectable game of lawn bowls with a day at the beach in swimming trunks and flip flops. The rules are very similar to the original game:

  • Two to six players can take part
  • A circle is drawn in the sand, from where players must throw their boule
  • The goal is to place your boules as close to the 'jack' as possible, without stepping outside of the circle
  • No team scores if the jack is knocked out of play
  • First team to 13 points takes home the silverwear

Do not be mislead by first impressions: Boules is a very serious game that invokes the competitive inner-tiger in people. Many a chilled tournament ends in arguments over whose ball is closer to the jack and whether or not someone stepped out of the circle. Play responsibly and remember to have fun.

1. King Of The Beach

'King Of The Beach' is the ultimate in sea games - the whole family can play at the same time (and as many extras as you can find), and the rules are very simple:

King Of The Beach

The primary objective is to body surf a wave a far in as possible - all the way to the shore if possible. The person who is closest to the sand is deemed the winner.

All Methods of Body Surfing are welcome, including:

  • The Windmill/ Superman: Place one arm out in front of you, while using the other to keep stroking
  • The Handcuffs: Place your arms out straight in front of you and keep your wrists tightly together (like they are handcuffed together)
  • The Bullet: Ideal for those with little to no hair. Keep your arms tightly held against your side and 'steer' with your head.

A lengthy ride is the main objective, however mud prawning (ie. crawling with your hands and feet on the sand to get further up the beach) is strictly prohibited. If you are spotted cheating, you will be disqualified from the game. The first to five victories is the winner.

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Clayton Truscott

Clayton Truscott

Clayton is a comfortable traveller, having grown up in a small city that was far away from everything. He spent lots of time in the car as a child, driving up and down the coast of South Africa on surfing trips with his family. After studying abroad in the United States and spending a year working in London, he moved to Cape Town, where he completed a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. He now works as a freelance writer for various travel, surfing and action sports publications.