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At The Beach

What better way to celebrate summer than a beach theme!

Or if winter is getting too long, take a break and go to the beach!


Language & Literacy



Just Grandma and Me, by  Mercer Mayer 

Don't Eat the Teacher by Nick Ward

Curious George Goes to the Beach

Spot Goes to the Beach (Spot Lift-the-Flap Board Books) 

Just Grandma and Me (Pictureback(R))

A House for Hermit Crab, by  Eric Carle



  • Talk about what kinds of things you can do at the beach.

List children's answers on a large sheet of chart paper that has a beach scene drawn around the outside like a border.

  • "I Went To the Beach and I Brought a..."  - in a group have the children take turns saying what they would bring to the beach, after one child says what he or she might bring the next child would repeat what the person ahead of them said adding their item too, then the next person repeats all the items adding their item, and so on.  I brought a blanket...  I brought a blanket, and a ball... I brought a blanket, a ball, and a towel.... etc.

List children's answers on a large sheet of chart paper that has a beach scene drawn around the outside like a border.

  • Let children explore a discover table filled with sand, ask the kids to describe how the sand feels, add water to the sand and ask open ended questions such as "How has the sand changed?" "How is it the same?"  "What do you like better?" "Why?" record their observations.


  • Alphabet Beach Treasure Hunt- Gather together a bunch of beach items and ask the kids to find the beach thing that starts with the letter "?"  i.e.- "b"-blanket, beach ball, "t"-towel, "p"-pail, "g"-goggles, etc.  for added fun give each child a METALLIC PLATED PLASTIC BRIGHT PAIL to put the items in that they correctly identify.



  • Make a Fishing Game- program JUMBO FANTASTIC FOAM FISH  shapes with the alphabet, attach a paper clip to the end, tie strings to short dowels with a magnet attached to one end. Have the children identify the letter on the fish they catch!



Songs, Poems, & Fingerplays

The Sand Castle 
Sand castle on the beach, 
I built you big and strong. 
A wave washed in upon the sand. 
Whoops! You were gone! 

Saundra Winnette


Write out the words to the poem on chart paper and have the children read along as you point to the words. Include pictures of a sand caste and wave to make it a kind of rebus story.

Math & Number Concepts

Fish Counting- Make a fish counting game with JUMBO FANTASTIC FOAM FISH   and METALLIC PLATED PLASTIC BRIGHT PAILS   you can purchase from Oriental Trader. Use a permanent Marker to program each plastic pail with numbers from one to ten, then show the kids how they can count out the fish and place them in the correct numbered pail.  They also have all kinds of other great fishy stuff for your beach theme like the FUN SQUEEZE FISH SQUIRTS that would be great in your water table!  

Beach Ball Bounce- Give each child a beach ball. Roll a large dice and ask the children to name the number and to bounce their beach ball that many times. 



Sand Art- After reading The Sand Castle Poem, have the children make sand pictures by squirting glue on pieces of construction paper then covering the entire piece of paper with sand, pour off the excess sand and the glue should pick up the sand for a beautiful sand picture.  Encourage the children to try to draw their own sand castle. You can also find fun sand art kits from Oriental Trader. Click on the picture to learn more.



Beach Finger Painting- Finger Paint with blue finger paint. WASHABLE FINGER PAINT SET OF 10 

Ocean Easel Painting- Cut large shell shapes from construction paper or other paper to use at the easel, let children paint with watercolors.

Underwater Relief- Have children draw an under water picture with crayons on white construction paper, then paint over the top with blue, purple, and aqua colored watercolor paints for a fabulous underwater picture.

Craft Activities:

Beach Sun Visors

Supplies: Foam Sheets , paint  (fabric paints or poster paints), Fish Foam Stamps or FOAM BEACH FUN CRAFT SHAPES , and pipe cleaners. (SUPER MEGA WIGGLY EYE ASSORTMENT - optional, for fish) You can also purchase pre-made NEON VISORS W/COIL BANDS from Oriental Trader.

Directions:  Cut a visor shape ( kind of like a big "U") out of one sheet of foam, one per child, have kids stamp sea creatures on it with the stamps and paint or glue on the foam beach shapes, glue wiggly eyes on the fish, finish by poking a hole in each end and inserting the pipe cleaner to each end (twist end to form a knot) to act as the tie, it is then adjustable. 

Crazy Beach Glasses

Make crazy sunglasses by hot gluing shells, wiggly eyes, or other items to METALLIC SUNGLASSES.

Stenciled Beach Bags

Supplies: Under the Sea Stencils CANVAS BAGS Fabric Paint  

Directions: Let the children paint different sea pictures on their canvas bags using the stencils and fabric paint. Print their names on them.


Dramatic Play

Fill a child plastic pool full of blue shredded paper for the children to pretend is their beach. Have brightly colored beach towels, child sized lawn chairs, beach balls, buckets, life jackets, sunglasses, radio, empty sunscreen containers, sand and water toys, flip flops, coolers, picnic baskets, and other beach paraphernalia available for the children to use.


Music & Movement

Dance to the Wiggles watching their Beach Party Video

 The Wiggles - Wiggle Bay

Disney has one too!

Disney's Sing Along Songs - Beach Party at Walt Disney World


Sing and do actions to the song:

    Let's Go To the Beach Today, Because it is so Sunny!
    (Sung to: Here We Go Round the Mullberry Bush) 

    Let's go to the beach to day, beach today, beach today
    Let's go to the beach to day, because it is so sunny!

    This is the way we pack a picnic, pack a picnic, pack a picnic
    This is the way we pack a picnic to take to the beach.
    (repeat chorus)

    This is the way we slip on our swim suit, slip on our swim suit, slip on our swim suit.
    This is the way we slip on our swim suit when we go to the beach.

    This is the way we spread on the sun block, spread on the sun block, spread on the sun block
    This is the way we spread on the sun block when we go to the beach.

    This is the way we lay in the sun, lay in the sun, lay in the sun
    This is the way we lay in the sun, when we go to the beach.

    This is the way we jump in the water, jump in the water, jump in the water
    This is the way we jump in the water when we get to hot!

    This is the way we swim to shore, swim to shore, swim to shore
    This is the way we swim to shore, when we go to the beach.

    Make up more of your own verses too! 



Science & Discovery

Sea Shell Investigation-  Set out a variety of Sea Shells for the children to look at under magnifying glasses.  Find some books that tell about the different kind of animals that live in the shells.  Add a Hermit Crab to your science area of possible.

Literacy: Give the children observation books to write in.


Start a Class Aquarium- or bring in a Beta Fish for the children to observe for a few days.  Betas are easy to care for and quite inexpensive.


Sand Discovery- Fill a discovery table with Sand! If you have the means fill one with water too and let the kids use both together or separate.  Talk about what happens to the sand when it is wet, the water when sand is added, etc. Add plastic fish or other OCEAN SEA LIFE ASSORTMENT  to your sand table and encourage the children to sift through the sand to find the sea creatures. Other items to add to a sand table:  Sifters, small shovels and pails, a water wheel, shells.


Blocks & Building

Set out a big blue rug or large piece of blue tag board for children to use as a lake or ocean.

Add boats and other beach items to this area.


Puzzles, Games & Manipulatives

Crab Volley Ball-  Have the children take a crab position on the ground, with arms behind them and legs bent out front, let them try to kick a beach ball between two cones.  You can have teams that try to keep the ball from crossing their set of cones, or just let them practice kicking the ball through the cones.

Beach Towel Tug O War!





Beach Ball Crackers- Ritz crackers with different stripes of cheese spread on them.

Sand Sunday Cups-  Crush Vanilla Wafers and fill a short clear plastic cup 1/4 full with the crushed cookies, top with a big scoop of ice cream, top with chocolate or caramel and sprinkle a little more crushed cookie on top.  Whip cream & a cherry would be great additions too!

Go Fish-  give each child a cup of goldfish crackers, a bunch of pretzel sticks, and a scoop of peanut butter.  Let then dip their sticks into PNB and try to "catch a fish" on the end by sticking it to the goldfish crackers.  The peanut butter should keep the crackers stuck to the pretzel long enough to get it in their mouths!

Beach Water Buckets-  Use miniature plastic pails to make individual Jell-O cup for the kids.  Add gummy worms or fish to the Jell-O for added fun!   Oriental Trader sells the mini pails online!


Bulletin Boards

Hang a STRAW BEACH MAT  on the bulletin board with the words "Hangin' at the Beach" on it. Use it to display the children's art work or their pictures. Hang small beach ball decorated circles or pails cut from card stock next to each picture with the children's names on them.

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