Monday, August 2, 2010

Beach Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

In the summer, my mind drifts to the beach. I can't help but integrate a beach theme into our preschool time. Logan and I have been enjoying some beach books this week as we learn about the beach. As we've read about the beach, I've extended our reading with activities. These activities could be nicely woven into a preschool beach unit. We've used beach objects to do concept sorts, learn about big and little, build vocabulary, and create open ended art projects. The only thing that would make this theme better would be  if we could actually BE at the beach! Ah well! We'll just have fun pretending to be at the beach. If you are near a beach,  take some of these books with you. Most of these activities could be done right at the beach.

Beach Activities for Preschool

Free play: Beach Activities

For the most part, Logan was only interested in digging in the sand today. We had fun and got very messy! One of his favorite things was for me to "hide" shells in his sand table and have him dig them out. Allowing your child free time to play in sand and water is great for your beach unit. Children discover so much through their play time.

Open-ended art projects

Logan enjoyed making his own beach sand pail I gave him a collection of beach stickers and let him go crazy decorating.
preschool beach unit, beach pail craft

We also made collages out of sand and shells. We chose a sea turtle. Logan wanted to destroy the animals as soon as we made them. He also wasn't interested in making many sea creatures. He was more into cats and cows! I think this was a little too hard for him actually, but he had fun watching me. It would be great for older preschoolers or school age children.

preschool beach unit, shell collage

I  found this neat project at Counting Coconuts. (yes, they actually did this AT THE BEACH, so don't look if you don't want to be jealous... ok, DO look because their collages are adorable!)
Shell Collages

Sorting beach objects to earn vocabulary and math concepts

We sorted objects we take to the beach and objects we do not take to the beach. We put the objects we take to the beach into a beach bag.   Since he is 2, He just wanted to WEAR his snow boots.
preschool beach unit, concept sort

We sorted big shells and little shells. You could also sort shapes of shells.

These activities were inspired by our preschool beach unit  from  Joyful Learning Curriculum:

Snack for beach unit

I found a great snack idea for today from Katie's Nesting Spot. I gave Logan a blob of peanut butter and a pretzel rod. He had  to "bait" his rod with peanut butter, and then dip it into a bowl of goldfish crackers, and try to catch the fish. Logan loved it! (There is also a peanut free variation so go check it out!)
Fishing Snack

Tomorrow: Beach books and activities for BABIES!


  1. what great ideas!!!! Thank you, i really want to do that beach pail and sticker one!!!!!

  2. I love the peanut butter fishing rod idea - what fun! I wondered if you have a play post you would share with our Play Academy on Wednesdays? Love to have you come and link with us.

  3. If I could, I would study the beach all year long! In May we did three weeks worth of posts on the beach. We have a free printable book that would be great for your boys. Oh and a couple of song adaptations too.

    Look for Senses at the Seashore. It was one of our giveaways while study the beach. It's great!!!:)

    In September we hope to take a family trip to the beach. That's one of the great things about homeschool. You can read and do math at the beach!