Skee-ball in the sand
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No boardwalk arcade at your beach? This sandy version is just as fun. Start by creating a sand ramp about 13 feet long and 3 feet wide. Draw a circle at one end (this will be your target) and use a beach bucket to move extra sand into it. Sculpt a few holes into your target mound and decide how many points each hole will be worth. Take turns rolling a ball up the ramp and toward the target. For a less building-intensive target practice, draw a giant dartboard in the sand and take turns trying to toss a beanbag into the center.
Water cup relay
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This game can be played as a relay race or as a two-person game. For the relay, ask each team to stand in a straight line, with each player facing the back of the person in front of them. Hand the first player in line a plastic cup filled to the brim with water. Each player behind him or her gets their own empty cup. To start the game, the first player lifts their cup over their head and into the cup of the player behind them. Continue down the line. The team with the most water still in their cup at the end of the line wins. To play with just two people, alternate between being in the front and the back and see how far you can move until the cup goes empty.
Flicks and sticks
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For this game, you'll need four sticks, four cups, one Frisbee, and a 4-foot by 10-foot rectangular playing space. Set one stick at each corner of your space and place a cup on top of each. Players split into two teams and use a Frisbee to try to knock the cups off the sticks on the other team's side. If the cup is hit and falls to the ground, the team throwing the Frisbee gets a point. If the cup is hit and the team catches the cup before it hits the floor, no points are awarded. Did you know Frisbees started out as pie plates?
Race to the water
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If you're on a beach with a slight slope to the water, try this channel-race game— you can have as many teams as you have players! Each team gets one ping-pong ball and digs a channel from the starting point to the water (about 15 feet long is perfect), dumping buckets of water into the channel to move the ball toward the water. The first team to get the ball into the water wins. Be sure to have a catcher at the end of each channel to avoid any rogue ping-pong balls!
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Set up for your game in the wet sand by the shoreline. Put a spin on this classic by using beachy words like firework, crab, and watermelon, suggests Redtri.com.
Fill up buckets
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For this racing game, you'll need two cups, two buckets, and at least four players (two players per team). One player puts a bucket on their head, while the other takes the cup and runs back and forth between the ocean and their teammate, filling the bucket as they go. The first team to fill the bucket wins. For more summer fun, check out these Fourth of July party games.