No matter where you go on vacation, no matter how much there is to do, somebody is going to get bored at some point. It’s a fact of life! Your little ones may be the hardest to entertain, since you can’t just give them five bucks and send them up the boardwalk to the arcade.
Artsy-Crafty activities will give the kids a chance to be creative and inventive – and maybe give you some peace and quiet for a while!
- Have them collect pebbles – the kids can make pictures with the pebbles in the sand. If you choose to bring the stones home with you, you can surround a pillar candle with the pebbles in a glass bowl for a lovely centerpiece. It will be an everyday reminder of your Jersey shore vacation!
- Have them collect shells — there are lots of things to do with shells! Paint large, whole clamshells and glue on a ribbon for a nifty holiday ornament. Lots of craft stores sell hollow lamp bases; you can fill your base with small shells and add a shade. Bore a hole at the top of a shell using a Phillips head screwdriver and string them on fishing line. They’ll make an interesting wind chime that way, and another great reminder of your New Jersey visit!
- Make sand castles, sand mansions, or any kind of sand architecture.
- Collect driftwood and seaweed and try to make a raft or a boat using only what the ocean has provided. Let it go on the waves and see how far it travels! (But be careful chasing it – don’t let young kids go in too deep without a parent or older sibling.)
- Look for pictures in the clouds. (But don’t look directly at the sun; it could hurt your eyes!)
- Bring a sketchpad and markers to draw with!
- Take turns drawing a picture — each person gets one color, or each person gets a certain amount of time. See what kind of picture you can make as a family!
- Use the tin foil from lunch to make little dolls and put on a play.
- Use the paper bags from lunch to make hand puppets.
The beach itself can be hours of entertainment for little kids.
- Dig a hole deep enough to hide in.
- Dig a hole deep enough to find water.
- Dig a hole without using your shovel — just your hands.
- Dig a hole without using your hands — just your feet!
- Fill in all the holes you dug by the end of the day so nobody falls in them at night!
- Wade in the shallows and see how long it takes the sand to cover your feet.
- Dig for buried treasure — did you know that famous pirates like Blackbeard and Captain Kidd visited the Jersey shore in their travels?
Mental and physical (and environmental!) exercises…
- Help clean up the beach by picking up paper. (Don’t let your little ones pick up glass or metal garbage, if you happen to find it. You don’t want them to get cut!)
- Count seagulls.
- Take turns telling a story — each person adds one sentence at a time.
- Swim! (With supervision, please!)
- Count the boats out in the ocean.
- Practice writing in the wet sand. Try to finish your name or a sentence before the waves wash the letters away!
Last but not least… When all else fails, let the kids figure it out for themselves. Don’t give them too many suggestions to turn down. Boredom can lead to all sorts of creative play!
All these things are great if the kids are bored on a sunny day down the shore. Whether you’re on the beach or at the pool, you’ll find something to occupy them on this list… at least for a few minutes!
A rainy day… that can be a different story.