Beach Theme for Preschool

This Preschool Beach Theme has over 20 activities and preschool lesson plans to enjoy the beach in your preschool classroom!  

It has activities for all your interest learning centers!  

Please click here to Contact Me if you have preschool lesson plans or activities to add to this theme!  

You'll find more themes to help you with your planning on my preschool themes page.

Preschool Beach Theme

Let the Beach Theme Planning Begin!

Whether you live near a beach or not, there is just something fun and relaxing about a beach theme in the classroom and outside in your play area!  Bring your preschool activities outside if the weather allows!

Or, take a break from the cold winter months and have a Beach Theme for a day or week in January!

You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your beach theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.

Beach Theme Art

Sand Art

Materials Needed: colored sand (or the salt sand you made in the math center....see the Math and Manipulatives section below!), tag board

There are 2 ways to do this!  

  1. The children squeeze glue all over their paper and then sprinkle the different colors of glue over it (use a shallow tray to catch the extra sand!)
  2. The children brush their entire paper with clue and then use a spoon to sprinkle the colors to make a beach scene!
Sandpaper Rubbing Activity for Preschool Beach Theme

Sandpaper Rubbings

Materials needed:  variety of different "grit" or roughness's of sandpaper cut into different sizes, paper, peeled crayons.

The children place pieces of sandpaper under their paper.  

They rub crayons over their papers to reveal the texture (using the sides of the crayons, not the tips).

VARIATION:  Let the children color ON the sandpaper!

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Beach Theme Block Center Ideas

Beach Theme Sand Tube Builders

Use the tubes made in the Sensory Table (see that section below for instructions) or make them yourself!

Place the tubes in the block area for some fun building.

When your theme is over, make a large sand city by stapling or gluing the tubes together!

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Beach Theme Circle Time

Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!

Beach Theme What's Missing Game

Using the items above, place them all out in the open.

Cover all the items with a blanket.  

Remove one item without the children seeing what it is.

Can they remember what items is missing?

5 Little Sand Castles

This is a fun poem to act out and use flannel pieces with!

Have a child remove one flannel sandcastle at the end of each verse.

5 little sandcastles sitting on a beach.

Watching the boats go by.   (hand over eyes as though watching boats)

5 little sandcastles sitting on a beach 

Watching the seagulls fly  (flap arms like a seagull and make the gull noises, too!).

5 little sandcastles sitting on a beach 

Watching the clouds so high (look up and point)

When along came a wave  (roll hands or make large wave movements with arms)

and washed one away  (hold up 1 finger).   (Remove one sand castle from flannel board)

Now this is what the other ones say:

Now we are 4 little sandcastles sitting on the beach....... 

Repeat the poem and movements down to the last one.

After the last one is washed away:

...When along came a wave

and washed it away.

Now there is nothing to say.

Hermit Crab! Hermit Crab! Where are you?

For this game, make a set of cards about 3" X 3" all with a seashell on it.

Make a hermit crab body that will fit under the cards without being seen.

Laminate the cards.

Using a dry erase marker, program the cards with letters or numbers.

Place the hermit crab under one of the cards without the children seeing.

Say, "Hermit Crab!  Hermit Crab!  Where are you?"

Invite ONE child to take a turn guessing (they choose a shell and before lifting it up, they say the letter or number.  If they don't know what it is, ask the rest of the children to help their friend identify the number or letter).

The child lifts up the card.

Is the hermit crab there?  If yes, "Hooray!  You found it!"  If no, "Not here today!"  Place the card back on the floor.

Repeat until every child has had a turn.

This type of game is always a favorite!  You might want to place it at your math or library area for use during center time!

VARIATION:  If you are working on colors, print off the seashell cards on colored paper!

Here Hermit Crab!

Bring real hermit crabs to circle.  

Tell the children they need to be very quiet so the crabs don't feel afraid and will come out and walk.

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Beach Theme Cooking Ideas

Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation!

Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!

Fish Shaped Toast

Needed:  bread;  toaster; fish cookie cutter; plastic knife; butter, cinnamon and sugar OR tuna salad and olives! 

Toast the bread.  The children use the cookie cutter to make a fish shape.

They spread butter and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.


They spread tuna salad and use a black olive or olive slice for the eye!

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Beach Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area

At The Bay

Have a lazy boat day!  Place an inflatable raft in your dramatic play area.

Include beach toys, beach balls, towel, water bottles, etc.

Add a wading pool.  Place laminated paper fish in the pool with paper clips on the noses.  Add a dowel stick for a fishing rod.  Add string and a magnet for the children to fish for!

Or, place water, rocks, seaweed and real goldfish in the pool!

Extension:  For the fishing game, you could program the fish with colors, letters or numbers for the children to attempt to catch.

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Beach Theme Ideas for your Easel--

More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)

Beach Towels

Materials needed:  paint, brushes, large white construction paper, scissors, pen/marker.

The children print their name on one side of the paper.

Flip paper over and the children design their own beach towel with paint.  Encourage the use of mixing colors, patterns, dots, etc.

When dry, the children use scissors to "fringe" the shorter edges!

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Beach Theme Large Group Games 

that help build their muscles while they have fun together

Sea Shell Cup Game

Really!  Provide hard plastic drinking cups and a seashell.

The children place a shell under one cup and move the cups around.

Another child tries to guess which cup it is under!

Barefoot Beach Volley Ball

Use a beach ball to play volley ball!

Don't have a net?  It's okay.... make a line in the grass or sand using wooden blocks!

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Beach Theme Ideas for Your Library

Beach Theme Book Suggestions for the Library

Many of these books are available at your local library of you can click the title links below to find them on Amazon.

(I LOVE Amazon, and some of the links below will take you to the Amazon website.  If you do choose to purchase yours through Amazon, they do send me a few cents--which supports my coffee habit! )

At the Beach by Anne Rockwell

It's Beach Day! (Dinofours) by Steve Metzger

A House for Hermit Crab (The World of Eric Carle) by Eric Carle

On the Beach (Usborne Lift-the-Flap Book) by Usborne Books

On the Way to the Beach by Henry Cole

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfiester

Sea, Sand, Me! by Patricia Hubbell

Spot Goes to the Beach (Fun with Spot) by Eric Hill

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Beach Theme Math and Manipulatives Activities

to help your Preschoolers develop their math skills and those small muscles in their hands!

Shell Sorting

Provide a sand pail full of seashells for the children to investigate.  

Provide plates or bowls for them to sort by size, color, type, etc.

VARIATION:  If you don't have seashells, make a matching game with pictures of seashells!

Pail and Shovel Match

Create pail and shovel shapes.

Laminate them.

Program them using dry erase markers.  Program with letters (match the letter A pail with the letter A shovel); numbers (match the number 1 pail with the shovel that has 1 dot on it) or by color.

VARIATION:  Use real pails and shovels for this!  Tape numbers or letters on each!

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Beach Theme Music and Movement Activities and Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

Baby Beluga by Raffi

I enjoy anything by Raffi but this one is a classic favorite!  Here is the link to Raffi's CD that has over 50 of his best and our preschoolers' favorites! Here is where to find the book.

Sing this song with the kids!  Perfect for a Beach Theme! Add body motions to the lines....encourage the children to make up the movements.

Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea

Swim so wild and swim so free

The heaven above and the sea below

See the little white whale on the go

Oh baby Beluga, oh baby Beluga, is the water warm?

Is your mama home with you so happy?

Way down under where the dolphins play

Where you swim and splash all day

Waves roll in and the waves roll out

See the water squirting out of your spout

Baby Beluga, oh, baby Beluga, sing your little song

Sing for all your friends, we'll like to hear you

When it's dark you're home and fed

Curl up snug in your water bed

Moon is shining and the stars are out

Good night, little whale, goodnight

Baby Beluga, oh, baby Beluga, with tomorrow's sun

Another day's begun, you'll soon be waking

Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea

Swim so wild and swim so free

The heaven above and the sea below

And a little white whale on the go

You're just a little white whale on the go

Down By The Bay    by Raffi

Again, another of my favorites for a Beach Theme and ANY time throughout the year!  You can purchase the book here.

Down by the bay

Where the watermelons grow

Back to my home

I dare not go

For if I do

My mother will say

"Have you ever seen a bear

Combing his hair?"

Down by the bay?

Down by the bay

Where the watermelons grow

Back to my home

I dare not go

For if I do

My mother will say

"Have you ever seen a goose

Kissing a moose"

Down by the bay?

Down by the bay

Where the watermelons grow

Back to my home

I dare not go

For if I do

My mother will say

"Have you ever seen a whale

With a polka dot tail?"

Down by the bay

Down by the bay

Where the watermelons grow

Back to my home

I dare not go

For if I do

My mother will say

"Have you ever seen a fly

Wearing a tie?"

Down by the bay

Down by the bay

Where the watermelons grow

Back to my home

I dare not go

For if I do

My mother will say

"Have you ever seen a snake

Baking a cake?"

Down by the bay

Down by the bay

Where the watermelons grow

Back to my home

I dare not go

For if I do

My mother will say

"Have you ever seen an orange

Eating a blouse?

Have you ever have a time

When you couldn't make a rhyme?"

Down by the bay

Again, add the book and flannel board pieces to your library!

EXTENSION:  Have this book in your library.  You might also make a flannel board set to go with it.  This is a favorite all year long!

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Beach Theme Sand & Water Table Activities for the Senses!

Sand Castles

Provide sand and spray bottles in your sand table.

Add sand pails and sand molds for the children to build with.

Another great option is Sand Dough by Brookstone. Click the picture to the right to read more about it.

Sandcastle Fun for Preschool Beach Theme

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Beach Theme Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!

Jellyfish In A Jar

These are pretty amazing!  

The materials you need are listed below.  

Click on the picture to check out how to make them!

Materials needed:  clear plastic bags (like produce bags), thread, scissors, water, a jar, food coloring...

You have got to check these out!  

Click the Picture link to the right to see them!

Hermit Crabs

Yes, real ones!  They are easy to take care of!

You just need:  fish tank, food, sponge, water, variety of sized shells, sand, shallow tray for water sponge, extra shells.

The shells to the right are ones my daughter purchased for me for my birthday with my first Hermit Crab years ago (See the "I Love You Mom" shell?!

You can purchase them in most pet or fish stores.  My daughter purchased ours at the local mall where they had a kiosk of awesome hermit crabs!

There is a great starter habitat kit on Amazon. It does NOT include the crabs though.

Hermit Crab Habitat- No Crabs

Here's a great starter kit for your hermit crabs. It does not include the crabs (you can get them at your local pet or aquarium store).

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Writing Activity Ideas for Your Beach Theme!

Beach Shell Names Activity for Preschool Beach Theme

Beach Shell Names

Print letters inside seashells with a permanent marker.

Place the shells in a sand bin.

The children search the "beach" for the letters in their name.

They then print the letters of their name on beach themes paper.

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Other Themes You Might Like:

Go to the main THEMES PAGE for more theme ideas!

Go to Preschool Plan It's Home Page

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