Are you looking for fun activities to do at the beach, lake, or river this summer? Then, try these educational sand activities!
As a teacher, I have learned that there are always opportunities to learn while playing in the sand. So bring out the scientist, artist, or mathematician in your child by encouraging them to investigate and experiment with sand.
They will be amazed at what they discover! These fun beach activities are sure to delight kids of all ages.
What Fun Educational Sand Activities Can You Do With Your Child at the Beach?
Your family can do so many fun activities at the beach this summer. Of course, you could swim, play volleyball, build sandcastles or even take a walk along the shoreline collecting shells. But if you’re looking for an educational and interesting way to spend your time at the beach, then try one of these activities!
Science Sand Activities
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– Create a Beach Safety Poster
Try doing this activity before going to the beach. Then you can review it when you arrive. Teach kids about some of the dangers of the beach, including:
- The Sun
- Jellyfish stings
- Trash and pollution
- Harmful Algal blooms
- Shore breaks
- Swimming out too far
Helping them design their poster will also help them learn how to follow directions and give precise details. You can get ideas for creating a beach safety poster along with other safety activities here.
– Learn About Ocean Tides
This is one of my favorite beach activities because it teaches kids about how tides work. They can learn about high and low tides and how they affect different parts of our world, including our coastlines. Here are two fantastic resources to use to teach your kids about tides:
– Comparing and Contrasting
There are a variety of things you can explore similarities and differences at the beach.
- Saltwater and freshwater (Take some of each back home and try this experiment)
- Animals and their habitats at the beach vs. the lake
- The sand at saltwater vs. freshwater
- Different types of shells
- Boats in the water (sailing, cruise, barge, etc.)
– More Fun Science Sand Activities Your Kids Will Love
- Making sand slime
- Sand Volcano
- Look at the sand with a magnifying glass and look for the different colors, shapes, and sizes.
Math Concepts You Can Learn at the Beach
– Counting and Estimating
- Count the seconds between when waves crash. This will help your child understand time better.
- Line up shells from smallest to largest to compare their size.
- Have your child guess how many people are sitting near you and then count to see if they were right.
- Collect shells and count them or put them into groups to count by fives or tens.
– Math Fact Practice
- There are many ways to review math facts on the beach. For example, you can draw and do addition and subtraction problems in the sand using a stick.
- Another option is to try and pick up shells and rocks to sort into groups and add or subtract them.
- You can also make a number grid in the sand, cover it up with a bucket, and have your child uncover the numbers by counting aloud.
– Learn About Shapes
In preschool and kindergarten, shapes help teach students their colors or how many sides are in that shape. As students get older, they are learning about the angles and the measurements of shapes.
In the sand, drawing shapes is super easy and a fun way to learn and review them. You can easily find a stick or piece of a shell and draw shapes to review with your child.
– More Fun Math Beach Activities
- Beach ball math
- Take a measuring tape and measure everything
Artsy Sand Activities
– Collect Shells and Make a Mosaic
Make a fun puzzle out of colorful seashells by putting them together to create pictures in the sand. Then, if you want, give your child some shells or other objects that wash off easily so they can use these things to put into their works of art. The sky is the limit with this one!
– Sand Painting
Kids love playing with paint, especially on the beach! So if you have some extra oil pastels or other colored items on hand (many of them wash off easily during a swim), let your kids use these things to make colorful pictures in the sand. They can create anything they want, and the clean-up is easy.
– Build a Sand Castle
Your child can learn many different things while building sandcastles on the beach. For example, you can create different types of castles from other countries and their history.
They will be getting physical activity, running back and forth to get water. This activity also helps them use math skills by measuring different amounts of sand vs. water.
– More Fun Artsy Sand Activities Your Kids Will Love
More Fun Learning Activities to Do at the Beach
– Sensory Fun
Sand is such a great way to experience sensory play at the beach. As a teacher, I love having sensory play. Different textures and feelings can help children discover what they do and don’t enjoy. For example, some kids may like wet sand, and some may not. Some kids may find sand at the beaches nice, but sand at the lake not so much.
– Practicing Gross Motor Skills
This is a great way to learn to spell their name.
Kids always love scavenger hunts.
– Alphabet Recognition
The alphabet is super crucial for students to learn. It’s the foundation for sounds and reading. They can practice the alphabet by using a stick and tracing their letters in the sand.
Another way is to bring magnetic or block letters and practice putting them in order in the sand.
– Try some of these Minion Beach Activity Sheets days leading up to your beach trip.
Is Your Family Going to the Beach this Summer?
Comment below to tell us what you think of these sand activities! Has your family tried any of them? What other educational sand activities have worked for you or your family in the past?
Additional Resources for Summer Learning Activities
- 5 Fun Summer Activities Your Family Will Love
- How to Plan the Best Summer Schedule for Special Needs Kids
- Easy Summer Learning Activities Your Child Will Love
- What are the Benefits of Summer School For Special Education Students?
- The Ultimate Guide to ESY – Extended School Year For Special Education
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