If we had to rank the top 10 beach activities, sunbathing or just relaxing on the seashore would always take the top spot. However, when you have children, you absolutely need a list of beach activities to keep them entertained while you soak up the sun.

If you can only think of building sandcastles – best of luck if you think that’ll keep them busy for four hours – rest assured that these 10 other beach activities will keep the kids happy while you get on with doing the most important thing of all: relaxing.

1. Build a sandman

Once they’re done building exquisite triumphs of architecture out of sand, have the kids create the mascot of the northern hemisphere’s tropical sibling: the sandman.

2. Fly a kite

If you’re looking for something that will really keep the little ones busy for a while, invest in a kite. They’ll have to master the art of getting it into the air first, and once they’ve done that, you’ll have to convince them to get it down again when it’s time to pack up.

3. Look for shapes in the clouds

Having the kids lie down and look for shapes in the clouds is perhaps the easiest way to get them to settle down if they get too rowdy. What animals and objects are floating above their heads?

4. Treasure hunt!

Take along a few objects and hide them for the kids to find. Draw a map and have them follow it to find the many little treasures hidden beneath the sand. Remember to make sure they’ve found everything to prevent litter on the beach.

5. Bring along a small inflatable pool

If your children aren’t big enough to wade into the waves by themselves yet, bringing along an inflatable pool means they’ll be able to enjoy the cool, salty water right next to you.

6. Play some beach volleyball

Balls and the beach go together like fish and water. Bring along a volleyball and a net, and have the kids challenge each other to a beach volleyball tournament.

7. Bring along a Frisbee

Frisbees can lead to hours of fun, and they don’t take up much space in your beach bag.

8. Collect seashells

Collecting seashells that have washed onto the shore is a traditional beach activity that will have your kids looking back on your trip fondly every time they look at their shells.

9. Play hopscotch

Draw hopscotch in the sand and have the kids use a seashell as their marker.

10. Have a picnic

Prepare the food before you head to the beach, and enjoy an afternoon picnic lunch with the family.