Travel and Places
Group and Family Vacation Games and Activities
Updated on September 5, 2012 Karen Lackey moreContact Author Nine Activites for the Beach Family Olympics
Most unique wildlife
Beach relay activities
Secret thoughtful deed
Fun Family Activities for the Beach
Do you vacation with a large group or with your family? Do you have trouble finding activities to keep all the kids engaged and interacting? I am the youngest of nine children and as a result, our generations overlap a bit. The ages for the grand kids on this year vacation ranged from twenty-five to two. How do you create activities to engage such a group? This year a couple of my sisters came up with the each Family Olympics?
Prior to arriving on vacation, the Olympic teams were assigned. There were eighteen grand kids, so we ended up with nine groups of two. Most teams comprised of one younger child and one older child. Each team was assigned a Men’s Print A Guiding Light Short Sleeve Tee Shirt color. The older member of each team made a t-shirt or a bandana using the team color. The younger kids were so excited to wear their team shirts during the week.
The first night of vacation, we gathered in the beach house media room. Teams sat together. Most little kids sat on their partner laps. All were eager to hear what the “Beach Olympics” were all about. The rules were revealed. It was explained that the competitions could be done throughout the week. The nine categories were explained.
A group exclamation exploded from the room. “Let the games begin!”
The Council of Elders
It was critical to establish an official judging and ruling process so that winners could be fairly determined. About twenty years ago, the Council of Elders was established. The Council of Elders is a top secret group only including the male heads of household. Legend has it that a group of the men were sitting around a campfire partaking in a few beverages and the Council of Elders resulted.
Basically, the only members are my brother, brothers-in-law and my husband. No one knows what they discuss in their secret meetings. We do know this, the Council of Elders was holding a very official role in the Beach Olympics this year. Their jobs were to evaluate ‘best of’ categories and witness any wildlife that was captured or spotted. Apparently no bribery could be used to influence these highly qualified judges.
The Council of Elders was exactly what these Olympics needed!
Most Unique Wildlife
Each year wildlife is identified and captured. This year, the Council of Elders were evaluating the most unique wildlife. Sand fleas and crabs are expected. Teams scurried to find a unique specimen!
The award went to the team that saw a turtle.
Those who weren’t sure they could win most unique wildlife focused instead on quantity. They captured hundreds of sand fleas and placed them in buckets to compete for the Most Wildlife award. Other days, they caught and counted crabs, only to later release them. The kids had fun working in teams to locate and capture wildlife
The winning team found exactly 195 sand fleas over the duration of the week.
A popular annual family activity is digging giant beach holes. The little kids love to jump in them, slide down or just play. Don’t worry. We fill them in each night for safety reasons. This year, the Olympics were going to take the hole digging up a notch. We were looking for the deepest hole!
The deepest hole award went to the team that dug and connected three holes with a tunnel system.
A Beach Favorite: Building Sand Castles
Click thumbnail to view full-size Do You Need Sand Castle Tools?
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Sand castles or sculptures are popular beach activities. This year the teams were busy creating their masterpieces of sand. When their creations were complete, it is important to have a picture taken in case a council member was not present.
While the jellyfish was amazing, the winning sand sculpture was a mermaid.
Family Beach Activities: Collecting the Best Seashell
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Sandbridge is not known for its beautiful, intact shells. Shells are plentiful, but most are broken. This was going to be a challenge for the groups to find the best shell!
Best shell was awarded to the team with the most whole shell. One entry was noted as most creative. A team submitted a burrito shell for best shell! Next year, we will need to be more specific.
Creating Art to Decorate the Beach House on Vacation
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The media room was transformed into the art gallery. The kids worked on art work throughout the week. As their creations were completed, they could ask a Council member if was worthy of the art gallery. If it was approved, the kids could grab a piece of tape and take their work on the wall for the group to enjoy.
Multiple teams received awards including most entries as well as most interactive display involving the use of balloons.
Our Beach Relay Activities
Click thumbnail to view full-size We Had Tons of Fun With Water Balloons
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Tuesday afternoon meant it was time for the beach events. No. We did not throw javelins or hurl a shot put into the sand. We had nine activities that were completed as a group and as small teams. This was a blast to watch. You can tell from the pictures, the kids were having fun, too!
At the end of the beach events, individual and group event winners were crowned.
Beach Olympics Events
Crab walk: A classic relay race involving the crab walk.
Human Knot: The group grabs hands of other team members with in the circle, but not next to them. The group needed to work together to unwind themselves back into a circle.
Water bucket fill up: Making trips to the ocean using a small blue cup, the teams took turns filling up a beach bucket as quickly as possible.
Three legged race: Another classic favorite involving two team mates using only ‘three legs’. We used team bandanas to tie legs together.
Water balloon on a spoon walk: Instead of an egg on a spoon, our group used a water balloon.
Telephone game: A sentence was given to the first person in the group and the message went around the group via a whisper. It was fun to see which group could accurately pass the message!
Water balloon bucket toss: Teams competed to see which group could toss ten water balloons in a bucket on top of one teammates’ head.
Balloon stomp: All team members tied an air filled balloon around their ankle. Boundaries are established so that competitors were not taking off down the beach! We laughed watching which competitor would be the last to survive stomping balloons without getting theirs stomped out!
Water balloon toss: Another classic where balloons were tossed back in forth. The partner stepped back one step after each successful turn. The winner is the last person with an intact balloon.
Get Ready for the Talent Show
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Friday morning of our vacation week was show time. Each team had been preparing and practicing talents and it was time for their talents to be presented to the group.
There was a vast range of events and talent show awards including:
Best use of food
Best use of water
Secret Thoughtful Deed
The teams had their brain storming immediately. They were told that each team would complete a “Secret Thoughtful Deed”. Their mission was to do something special, thoughtful and most of all, top secret during the week. After the thoughtful deed was completed, they could not announce or tell anyone what they did. It was not until Friday night that the “Secret Thoughtful Deeds” were revealed.
One at a time, the teams came forward revealing their deeds.
Top deeds included:
Helping with kitchen and garbage duty
Saving the lives of crabs by scaring them away from the group catching them
Saving shells for family members back home
Click thumbnail to view full-size Beach Event Success
My kids wore their team shirts with pride all week. One of my sons even slept in his shirt! We were on vacation and the kids were having fun. All the grand-kids, regardless of age, were hanging out, playing, digging holes or drawing pictures. They were excited to hang their work in the art gallery. They practiced their performances for the talent show. They dug holes and made sand castles. They were proud to reveal their “Secret Thoughtful Deed”.
The cousins are at different stages in their lives. Some are married. A couple are potty training. Others are eager to start Kindergarten in the fall. Life has everyone busy. We don’t all live in the same city or the same part of town. However, each year, my brothers and sisters decide that all of our kids are going to spend our week vacation at the beach.
What we didn’t realize was that the kids were going to spend the week turning cousins into friends.
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sendingAuthorKaren Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio
Thanks for the comments. This was so much fun to do and it was ever cooler that I was able to ‘document’ it so that we can enjoy the experience again. I hope you have a blast if you do this on vacation,t oo!
Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA
Wow! What an amazing list of creative ideas for family activities. I am bookmarking this one for our next vacation! voted up and across.
Savingkathy, the kids had too much fun. We have such a diverse age range on vacation, but they are all good kids. The older kids never commented about the games being silly. They each took on their partner and had a blast. It was fun to watch and was very memorable! My kids are all in the young group so they had an absolute blast and couldn’t stop talking about the Olympics. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada
I loved reading this hub! What a fun way to spend a summer vacation with family. I can imagine that it must be very difficult to keep that many kids of all ages busy and engaged, but it sounds like the week was a huge success. Pairing the younger children with their older cousins sounds like a great idea, and I’m sure some strong bonds and happy memories were made in the process!
Ooohh…I would love to see pictures from your Olympics, too! How fun. We should consider themed meals over the summer. Great idea!
Great ideas. In the winter every year we do winter olympics in our house to keep everyone from getting bored. We also do a themed dinner every night from a different country. We do opening and closing ceremonies as well. I will have to definitely try out some of these ideas when we go to the beach:)
Thanks, Lisa! We hope you have an amazing vacation with your family!
lisa betts 5 years ago
Karen – you have a beautiful family have a great time and nice job on the hub.
AuthorKaren Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio
Thanks, anusujith! We enjoyed the activities, too! This will become a tradition for sure!
Anoop Aravind A 5 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India