Summer days at the beach are not always possible for children. Take some time and bring beach items to your sessions. Ask families where they are originally from. Some may be from beach areas or warm climate regions where they can assist you with some special items to use during these activities.
Books about the Beach
Not all children have had the chance to go to a beach. To familiarize them with the vocabulary, books offer a wealth of information. Some popular picture books on the subject are listed below.
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell by Lucille Colandro – A familiar character takes readers along on a silly voyage to the beach and everyone can sing along.
- Curious George Goes to the Beach by H. A. Rey – A favorite childhood character, George brings us along on an adventurous day at the beach.
- Beach by Elisha Cooper – Visit the beach and see it throughout the day and year. Each picture tells a unique story on its own
- Stella, Star of the Sea by Mary Louise Gay – Stella takes her little brother Sam to the beach for the first time.
Local book stores or libraries may also have selections that are regional and about your area, so be sure to use those resources as well. In addition to that, many publishers have made dual language books.
Bring the Beach to You
If you are able to use a sand table, this will be a great resource. Shovels, pails, and other sand toys will allow the kids to experience making a sand castle or something similar. Toss in a beach ball with words around the panels for articulation practice. You can also have a sea shell hunt where words can be attached to them to practice, come up with words similar to that word, or rhyme. Share photos of popular beach locations from around the United States and the world. Talk about the sights and sounds associated with this favorite summer destination. Take time to brain storm what they would do if given the chance to plan a day at the beach. If the weather does not cooperate, they can draw their dream beach and talk share to the group how they would spend the day.
Sand Art Creations
If you are unable to create a beach, or are looking for a craft connection to the beach, sand art is a great way to accomplish this. The materials you will need are construction paper (or card stock), bowls with different colored sand, bottles of glue. Everyone can create their own scene of the sea, or anything else that they would like. Simply draw sections with the glue, drizzle the sand on top, and carefully shake off the excess sand. Ahead of time, you can create vocabulary, theme, or word created art to share with students.
When finished with these items, be sure to send home a communication sheet to families. Share what you have done and suggest ways that they can further the learning at home.