Thailand’s beaches provide an exhilarating opportunity for younger visitors to explore and enjoy a healthy natural tropical environment and activities to entertain little ones by the sea are plentiful on islands like Phuket and Koh Samui.
Thailand’s beaches offer a multitude of opportunities for fun and games
Thailand’s world-famous beaches offer visitors a plethora of fun, memorable experiences, ranging from a seaview foot massage to glorious long days dipping in and out of a private beachfront pool. The country’s gleaming ribbons of coastline provide an array of entertainment options for adults, and also provide an entertaining attraction for younger visitors. From beach volleyball for teens, to shell hunting and treasure hunts for little ones, there’s always a new activity to try out, with or without mum and dad.
Islands like Phuket and Koh Samui are globally celebrated beach destinations, and they are home to an eclectic selection of seaside spots to match a vast range of holiday aspirations. Phuket’s Patong Beach and Samui’s Chaweng Beach are both bustling coastal resort areas, where young visitors can try out a range of watersports, buy beach toys and cool down with an ice cream or cold drink delivered to the deckchair. Each island also boasts more than its fair share of tranquil coastal retreats, where families can spread out and organise their own activities.
We’ve rounded up a selection of the most entertaining beach activities to try out as a family whilst on holiday in the Thai islands.
On the hunt
A beach treasure hunt will become a memorable holiday moment
For young visitors, the thrill of a treasure hunt is very exciting, and the beach provides an intriguing background for adventures – particularly if kids are used to indoor hunts around the house. If you want to keep little ones entertained while you sunbathe, give each child a written list (or a piece of paper with pictures for younger kids) showing items they should collect in their beach bucket. Treasures could include pebbles, shells and driftwood, and anything else you think will keep your kids searching for a while (as long as they can actually find it). The first person to come back with all of the items on the list could be rewarded with a sweet Thai bubble tea or coconut drink at the end of the game.
For younger travellers an afternoon of shell hunting is always fun. Thailand’s seashells come in an array of shapes, sizes and colours, and little ones will be delighted when they stumble upon each new hidden treasure. You could even make their favourite trinkets into a beach-themed necklace or bracelet.
If your children are more adventurous, you could encourage them to learn more about local Thai wildlife by looking out for creatures in beach rockpools. Sightings of crabs, starfish and other tiny sea creatures and even birds will make your little ones feel like young wildlife experts and explorers.
Kids will spend hours on sand forts, complete with towers, turrets and moats
For more creative kids, the beach provides a blank canvas for an array of bold artworks and sculptures to be created. For younger visitors who fancy themselves as young architects, creating a sand castle (or even a fort!) from scratch could hold hours of entertainment. After all, no trip to the beach is complete without digging in the soft, white sand. Just remember to photograph all of your kids’ magnificent sandy edifices before the tide comes in and washes them away.
If your children like drawing, then let the sand be their paper. Sticks, rocks and even hands can be used to draw pictures within the tiny grains, and this is a fantastic chance to let children be inspired by the tropical setting surrounding them. Treasures collected on the beach, including pebbles and shells, can even be used to embellish the artwork.
Last but not least, there are sand angels. Every child loves making snow angels if they live in a cool climate, Thailand’s soft white sand beaches provide the perfect setting for the beach based version. Of course your kids will be covered in sand but it’s all part of a fun family day at the beach.
A fast-paced game of beach bowling is perfect for all the family
If you’re a fan of ball games on the beach, there’s plenty more to try out than classics like beach volleyball, which is great fun, but requires a big enough group to divide into teams. As an alternative, why not set up your own mini golf course on the beach so kids can have a go at beach putting? Of course, you’ll need the right equipment for this, including a set of plastic clubs and a few plastic balls, which you may not have packed in your suitcase, but the shopping malls on Phuket and Koh Samui include fantastic toy shops where you’ll be able to pick up what you need. Once you’ve got all your equipment sorted, set up a few targets by digging holes in the sand.
Beach bowling is also a lot of fun. If you don’t have your own set of plastic pins, line up a collection of empty bottles and use a coconut to bowl with instead. The sandy beach provides an excellent bowling alley – although you might want to let younger kids stand a little closer to the pins.
A friendly game of tug of war will certainly spark your kids’ team spirit
For kids who aren’t into ball games or creative pursuits, there’s still plenty to do at the beach. When it comes to fun family activities, beach limbo is one of our favourites. This dance originated on the beaches of Trinidad in the 1800s – and it’s been a popular party piece ever since. The best part is, you need barely any equipment – just a rope, boat oar or even a foam pool noodle. Each child (and adult) takes turns trying to duck under the bar, bending backwards and looking up at the sky. Once each child has succeeded at a certain height, lower the bar again and again, until only one person is able to shimmy beneath it – then you have your winner.
If you’re heading to the beach as part of a larger family group, an exhilarating game of tug of war can be a fantastic way to spark your kids’ sense of team spirit. Competitive games like this can turn out to be the most fun. Grab a skipping rope, or another longer piece of rope if it’s available, and head down to the water’s edge. Hand the ends of the rope to each team and show them how to pull. Be prepared for a splash!
Thailand’s beaches offer a treasure trove of trinkets
For little ones keen to remember their time at the beach with a souvenir, there are plenty of options. Shells and homemade shell jewellery are the obvious choices. Pebble jars also make a great memento; with one pebble taken from each beach you visited whilst on holiday will be a fantastic reminder of the seaside once you arrive home. You could also fill a jar with different layers of sand, each one gathered from the different seaside spots you visited.
If you’re heading to the beach with kids, don’t forget to pack the following items in your beach bag:
- Plenty of water and snacks – hungry, thirsty children are unlikely to be in the mood for any fun and games.
- If you’re planning on playing any beach games, double check whether you need any special equipment (buckets, spades, etc) before heading to the sand.
- Sun protection, including hats and sun block. No amount of fun and games is ever worth a sunburn.