Most of us never know boredom at the beach, but if you happen to be growing weary of the same old sun-drenched routine, spice it up a little bit with some of these fun alternatives that require absolutely nothing extra in your beach bag.
Rainbow scavenger hunt
Have the kids find and collect objects in every color of the rainbow. Pretty and fun! You could time them or just have them work to completion.
Make a drip castle
If you've never felt wet sand pouring from your fingertips into imperfectly puddled hills, you've been missing out. It's oddly addicting and no plastic buckets are required to make a whole kingdom.
Find cool rocks
We take along our handy field guide to identify the various rocks. Sometimes we also take a big rock and smash them up to see what's inside. You can spread out your collection, including sea glass, bird feathers and whatever else you find, and take a photo if you don't feel like carrying your treasures away.
Create a movie
If you bring your phone to the beach, you an make a short film that is sure to encapsulate summer (or whatever season it is). Time lapse, stop motion, or plain and simple -- there is something to be said for capturing those moments in action. Play around with an app or two to add fade ins, titles, music and more features.
Build a teepee
We've happened upon a couple of abandoned driftwood teepees on the beach this summer and they're so beautiful and fun to play in. Start with three large, stable logs and then add smaller ones around until you've got it just right.
Bonus: Bring a magnet
This requires one small gadget in your bag. The bigger the magnet the better. Tie it to a piece of twine if you want so the kids can swing it (carefully!) above the sand and see what they find. We brought ours to the Van Buren State Park, where there is plenty of that dark sand with iron (?) or some type of metal in it that sticks to the magnet. It's fun for all ages and a little bit of a science lesson to boot.