written by: Tracey Bleakley
• edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom
• updated: 1/20/2012
Here are a few fun beach theme crafts that you can do with toddlers after a visit to the beach or as part of a beach or summer theme. Also included are some great beach books to share with toddlers.
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Try these fun and easy activities centered around the beach. The crafts described below will utilize actual materials from the beach. The children will also learn about using glue - not too much or too little - and work on fine motor skills as they paint and draw.
Give each child a piece of paper and some glue. A sturdier paper like construction paper or card stock will work best. Let each child make a design on the paper with the glue. Then put the paper into a cardboard box lid or on a large cookie sheet with edges. Help him sprinkle sand over the glue and let dry. After the glue dries, shake off the excess sand to reveal the design covered in sand. You can use plain or colored sand for the activity.
Another easy craft idea for sand is to let the children paint a picture. Before it dries sprinkle sand over it. Alternatively, you can mix the sand and paint together and then paint. Either way you get a sand textured painting. This is great opportunity to talk about different textures like smooth and rough.
Before you start this activity, brainstorm a list of things you might find at the beach. Make a collage out of things you might find on the beach. Glue sand and small shells on paper. You can also let students look through old magazines and find pictures of things they might see at the beach - fish, buckets, beach towels. Cut out the pictures and add them to the collages.
Let the children make their own underwater scenes. Give each student a sheet of blue constructions paper. Have them glue shell pasta and goldfish crackers on the paper to make an underwater ocean picture. They can then use markers to draw more if they want.
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A Day at the Beach: A Seaside Counting Book from One to Ten by Sandy Seeley Walling
This beach book counts from one to ten. Toddlers will have fun counting dolphins, seagulls, sailboats and more.
Beach Day by Karen Roosa
This cute rhyming book tells about all the things you might do on a day at the beach, from sand play to splashing in the ocean.
At The Beach by Mandy Stanley
This board book is perfect for introducing toddlers to the sights and sounds of the beach. The bright, colorful pictures will really appeal to toddlers.
Over in the Ocean In a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes
This counting book will introduce toddlers to a variety of animals that live in the ocean. It's rhythmic language, based on the song "Over in the Meadow," will have toddlers singing along. At the end of the book the author also gives hand movements to go along with each animal.