Make learning fun this summer or even during the school year if you are lucky enough to live by the beach with these fun, clever ideas for using your beach as a classroom.
My family’s recent adventures have led us to the beach on a fairly regular basis. As Oklahoma natives, the beach is quite a novel place, and we have an absolute blast running through the sand and splashing in the waves. In fact, I suspect that if we lived near a beach, we would spend a good portion of our time there.
Of course, this time spent near the ocean got me wondering how I could make the beach day experience a bit more educational for our little guy. After all, we may as well make use of the learning opportunities presented to us by nature, and the ocean has a lot to offer.
Below are my five favorite ideas for schooling on the beach. I hope they help you make your beach day fun and educational so you can feel great about skipping school to hit the waves.
5 Ways to Use the Beach as Your Classroom
We’ve all heard of handwriting, but have you ever tried sandwriting? The wet beach sand presents a perfect opportunity for practicing handwriting and/or spelling words with a stick. The unusual environment will make the practice more fun for your young student, and the natural writing surface means no paper is used.
Ocean Nature Exploration
As you already know, the ocean is home to a large number of creatures. That said, your little ones may have no idea just what lives in and around the ocean. Why not use your beach day as a lesson in ocean creatures and their habitat? Catching and observing hermit crabs is a great way to learn about these little crustaceans. Meanwhile, grabbing a birdwatching guide and seeing how many you can find is an awesome chance to introduce your little one to the local bird population and pique their interest in the subject.
Sandcastle Science on the Beach
Every kid loves science. Fortunately, bringing science to the beach is easy peasy. By bringing along a measuring cup, your child can do experiments to try to find the ideal water-to-sand ratio for sandcastle building. Encourage the young scientist to make a hypothesis and explain the reasoning behind their hypothesis. Additionally, it is important that they take notes throughout the process in order to have something to refer back to during subsequent trials.
Beach Day Seashell Math
No beach day is complete without a bit of shell collecting. Unfortunately, collecting shells ultimately leads to the issue of finding a place to store them. However, this problem can be solved by choosing to leave the shells on the beach after they’ve been collected. In order to ensure the shells receive plenty of love before being left behind, use them as manipulatives for various math problems. Shells are perfect for this because they are plentiful, interesting to look at, and fun to handle.
Waterside Reading: Relaxing on the Beach
Last, but certainly not least, I recommend a bit of waterside reading. After a couple of hours of sand and water play, your kids are sure to need a break. Use their break time to eat lunch and read a bit of one of the wonderful ocean-themed books below:
- I’ll Follow the Moon
- A House for Hermit Crab
- Mermaids in the Backyard
- The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor
- Nate the Great and the Boring Beach Bag
- Magic Treehouse: Dolphins at Daybreak
- Magic Treehouse Merlin Missions: A Dark Day in the Deep Sea
- Fish Girl
- Heart of a Dolphin
- The Lighthouse Family series
- Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians series
- The Music of Dolphins
- Wish for a Fish: All About Sea Creatures
- Ultimate Oceanpedia: The Most Complete Ocean Reference Ever
- Ocean: A Visual Encyclopedia by DK
By putting these ideas to use, your next beach day can be completely guilt-free. After all, who can argue with having a bit of fun while you learn?