Young toddler kid drawing in the sand at the beach in winter, wearing her kids waterproof suit

8 Fun-Filled Activities to do at the Beach when the Sun isn't Sunny

When you think of beach days, you see stretches of warm, golden sand, sparkling turquoise water, happy kids chasing waves up and down the sand…

But beach days often dawn windy and overcast when it’s not peak summer. Instead of disappointment, hit the beach and try out some of these ideas that are guaranteed to be a hit with kids big and small.  


1 - The Classic: Sandcastles

 When it’s too chilly to swim, hang out on the sand and build sandcastles! Castles, moats, and drippy towers are not only amazing fun, but they’re also great for imaginative play, as well as fine and gross motor skills. Try digging some tunnels and drawbridges for extra credit! If it’s a cold or windy day, pop your little grubs into a kids’ waterproof suit and head out anyway!


young girl in sage green puddle suit building the start of a sandcastle


2 – Scavenger Hunts

 Going on a beach scavenger hunt is another great way to build early literacy, numeracy and do some cognitive development – all while having fun! Create a list of items, picture squares to match, or even colour squares to match. Then head to the beach and go exploring! Tailor the difficulty of the game to match your little ones’ skill level – you’ll know them best. There are so many incredible things to find at the beach! Beautifully coloured flowers for colour matching, empty mollusc shells, double pippi shells, sea glass, driftwood etc.


3 - Treasure Hunting

 There are always treasures to be found along the beach. Shells, rocks, driftwood, feathers, sea glass and sometimes even hermit crabs! Treasures found at the beach make beautiful displays at home, but they also make perfect decorations for those sandcastles you’ve just finished building! You can also make them into a fun educational experience, too. Use the shells you’ve collected to practice maths (how many shells are in this pile? What happens if we add these rocks to this shell pile?) or use the shells to create the shape of letters/words to read. Water play clothes are a big hit in these kinds of activities, as they will help keep your kiddies cosy and warm while they explore.


girl in a sunshine yellow waterproof puddle suit plays in the waves at the beach, treasure hunting for shells


4 - Beach Cricket

 Hands down one of the best parts of beach days in crappy weather is having the WHOLE beach to yourself. And what better way to use up some of that rainy day pent-up energy than in a game of beach cricket? Pull on some nature play clothes and let them loose in the sand! No one else nearby to worry about the happy yelling, or the wayward 6’s that they hit, it’s all yours for the playing.

Beach cricket can also be easily transformed into (or replaced by!) beach frisbee, touch footy or soccer.


5 - Beach Picnic Days

 Even when the sun is not sunny, there is always a good reason to have a picnic. As the saying goes, if the kids are bouncing off the walls – take the walls away. Grab some snacks from the pantry (or throw together a feast, whichever is more your style!), a blanket and you’re good to go. Handy hint: Grubbybub’s puddle suits all wipe clean – perfect for toddlers’ and kids eating on the go!
The best part of picnicking at the beach in dull weather? All the best picnic spots are yours for the choosing!


family unpacking a picnic at the beach and going fishing



6 – Flying Kites

 Cold and windy weather makes perfect beach kite flying days! If you’ve got a kite ready to go, what are you waiting for? Grab your nature play suit or kids wet weather gear and off you go! Use the whole expanse of the beach and launch those kites way up high!

Now, if you don’t have a kite already, Louise from Chaotically Yours has you covered here. We’ve built the classic diamond kite following her guide and can vouch for its flight capabilities!


 7 – Wildlife Spotting

 Cold days at the beach often bring out the more reclusive residents. Less foot traffic means more natural environment, which means more chances to spot the locals. Bring some real or hand-crafted binoculars, pop on your best puddle suit and sneak down to the tide pools to see what you can see. Seals, seagulls, sea eagles, pelicans, penguins, star fish, puffer fish, molluscs, octopi and more. Many, many opportunities for curious little minds to do some learning and development.


two young girls in waterproof nature play clothes exploring rockpools


8 – Arts and Crafts by the Shore

 Take to the beach for some coastal inspired creativity. Bring some pencils, eco-friendly paints (the last thing our beaches need is heavy-metal filled paints being dripped around, so water-based paints are best) and your sketch pads and let the little ones imaginations spark.
Our favourite hints to help that spark begin to glow are seaweed or leaf rubbings, shell tracing, sand yarning, shell chimes, rock paintings and driftwood sculptures. Older ones might like to try their hand at seascapes, or doing some real life copy art.
Bonus points for making your own paints, using natural pigments that you can scavenge! Hint * if your beach is particularly rocky, you might find some ochre to paint with! Or maybe you could see how well seaweed colours paper?


A beach day is always a fantastic idea, regardless of the weather. Thanks to Grubbybub’s waterproof nature play suits, kids of all sizes can still be out and enjoying our world. Don’t miss out on opportunities for quality time together just because it’s grey out. Pick one – or a few – of our beach play day ideas and go exploring.

See you out there,


Sally @ Grubbybub

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