2017-08-01 / Features

BEACH GAMES

1. Fill the Bucket – with water or sand or lost bikini tops, whichever is more abundant in your spot on the beach. Divide players into teams. The number of teams will depend on how many buckets you have. This is not a good game for a single player, unless the player has multiple personalities and they are extremely competitive. The rules are simple: Set the buckets up in a line and decide on what you will fill them with, set a time limit (make sure someone has a functioning time piece and resist the temptation to drag out the play time. About 4 1/3 minutes should be plenty.) and have someone yell, “Go!” as the timer is put in motion. The team whose bucket is filled to the highest level when time expires wins. Bikini tops will be judged once they are tamped down firmly into the bucket, and it is against the rules to beg, borrow, steal or purchase one that is “inhabited.”

2. Sharks and Minnows – A seaside version of tag, this game is to be played at the water’s edge, where running is possible. Chose a shark. All other players automatically become the minnows. Now, everyone into the water and SCATTER! Once the shark “attacks,” the unlucky minnow must go to shore and form a cheering squad for the other players. That person will become the next shark, once all players have been dispatched by the predator. For extra fun, have the shark don a swim ring with a fin and bring along a waterproof source of music to play the theme from “Jaws” as the game progresses. No fair pounding the shark on the nose.

3. Channel Race – Choose an area slightly uphill from the water. Divide into teams and begin to dig channels from the starting point to the water’s edge (at any given moment. This will, of course, result in cries of “Not Fair,” but nobody ever promised life would be fair. And some waves are simply wave-ier than others. Get used to it.) Gather a supply of ping pong balls – oops, sorry, should have mentioned that first. No worries, though. Send the person with the best driving skills to purchase some. Promise this person he/she can dig a trench a bit closer to the water than everyone else’s. Grab buckets (oh, dear, don’t tell me you came to the beach without buckets! What kind of beach person are you?) Position a ping pong ball at beginning of each trench and take turns pouring water from buckets into the channels created, thereby “floating” the ping pong balls down the beach troughs and into the surf. Refill buckets as often as necessary. Winner is the first person whose ball makes contact with the tide. Hint: Remember to post judges at the water’s edge to determine who actually glides in first. Also, make sure you have a ping pong ball search and rescue team in place. All ping pong balls must be rounded up and returned to an environmentally safe container. Great job for the losers?

4. On Target – Place a variety of beach-related items around the area on the sand. No living creatures, please; they tend to dodge and complain of injury or wander away if attractive beach bodies walk by. Equip players with Frisbee-like toys. (See directions above for acquiring such, if you forgot to bring them along.) Allow one person to act as director and judge. This person must number the items placed on the sand and make sure all players understand which items correspond to which number. Create a boundary line behind which players must stand. Have the director begin the game by calling players forward in order and having them sail their flying disks toward the targets, in order. Director is the final judge of whether or not a player “strikes” the objects in question. Points are awarded based on the difficulty of the contact. To keep things simple, make the difficulty go up as numbers on the items grow larger. Director should not attempt to keep score in the sand. Disgruntled players may be inclined to kick the score sheet.

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