The Beach

Whether you are planning an actual visit to a beach or just day-dreaming you were in a sunnier place, this Theme Day will be a perfect tropical day of family fun. 

Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.



If you or your children have any flowered Hawaiian themed shirts today would be the day to pull them out and wear them!



Any song by the Beach boys would fit this Theme Day.



Instead of a rhyme, how about getting your children to try a tongue twister: “She sells sea shells by the sea shore.  The shells she sells are sea shells.”




You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Beach Coloring Page” or print out my A Day at the Beach Coloring Page or my Collecting Seashells Coloring Page.



Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook:  Where was your favourite beach vacation? What is your favourite thing about going to the beach?  What would it be like to spend a day at the beach?  Where would you like to go on a beach vacation? Complete the following sentence: If I could go to the beach today I would...

 Choose the level of your child:

¨     Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer

¨     Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.

¨     Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.

¨     Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response.  (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)

¨     Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).

¨     As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or a poem about going to the beach.


Print out a Beach Word Search:

Easy Beach Word Search or Difficult Beach Word Search.


Check here for the answer keys: Easy beach Word Search Key or Difficult Beach Word Search Key.



Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books that take place at the beach.


Go to the library with your child to find some books about going to the beach.


Go to the library on your own to find books about the beach from both fiction and nonfiction to have already on hand for your theme day.  Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject.  Reserve them if you can to save time.


Try to find some of these nonfiction/learning titles:


· Beachcombing: Exploring the Seashore, by Jim Arnosky, Dutton Children’s Books, 2004 – This illustrated book talks about beachcombing – searching for bits and pieces of nature washed up on the beach – and gives examples of shells, crabs, coral, and other things that you might find.


· Find it at the Beach, by Dee Phillips, Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2006 – This book would be perfect for beginner readers as there is very little text.


· Oceans and beaches, by Trevor Day,Raintree, 2011 – This is mostly about different ocean habitats and aquatic life but if your older kids are keen on science and biology in particular this will suit them just fine.


· On the way to the Beach, by Henry Cole, Greenwillow Books, 2003 – While this is a lift the flap picture book I’ve placed it under “learning” books because you journey through four habitats (woods, salt marsh, dunes and beach) and search for the different animals listed making it more non-fiction.  My Youngest and I sat by the computer to search the animals online to see if our guesses matched up (there is an answer key at the back but we didn’t notice that at first).

Here are some picture books:


· All You Need for a Beach, by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee, Silver Whistle/ Harcourt, Inc., 2004 What do you need for a beach…one grain of sand plus a few other essentials.


· A Beach Tale, by Karen Lynn Williams and illustrated by Floyd Cooper, Boyds Mills Press, 2010 – When Gregory and his father go to the beach his dad draws a lion in the sand and tells his son to stay by the lion and not to go in the water.  The boy keeps his promise but ventures forth by drawing a long tale on the lion.


· Beach Feet, by Kiyomi Konagaya and illustrated by Masamitsu Saito (translated from the Japanese by Yuki Kaneko), Enchanted Lion Books, 2012 – Colourful illustrations adorn this book that really shows what being near the ocean would be like especially as it focuses on what the boy feels with his feet.


· Magic Beach, by Alison Lester, Allen & Unwin, 2010 – The beauty of the beach both in nature and in how it can inspire a child’s imagination shine in this lovely book.


· Miranda’s Beach Day, by Holly Keller, Greenwilow Books, 2009 – It’s the perfect beach day when  Miranda and her mother visit the sea side and little Miranda learns that just like the sand and the sea, she and her mother belong to each other!


· The Sandcastle Contest, by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko, Scholastic Canada, ltd., Matthew makes a sandcastle house that is so believable the judges tell him to get the house off the beach!


· Scardey Squirrel at the Beach, by Melanie Watt, Kids Can Press, 2008 - This series is a family favourite of ours. In this story the nervous squirrel dares to venture to the beach in order to find some sea shells for his at home fake beach.


· Sea, Sand, Me!, by Patricia Hubbell and illustrated by Lisa Campbell, Harper Collins Publishers, 2001 – This rhyming book follows a little girl and her mom spending a day at the beach.


· Stella Star of the Sea, by Marie-Louise Gay, Greenwood Books, 2009 – Stella and her brother visit the beach.  This big sister has a lot of answers for her little brother.


· To the Beach!, by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, Harcourt, Inc., 2005 – A family tries to go on a little road trip to the beach but they keep forgetting things!


· Wave, by Suzy Lee, Chronicle Books, 2008 – There are no words in this book but the pictures tell the story of experience the beach for the first time.




Materials: Various beach themed stickers, colored paper, (optional) crayons or markers

Step 1:  Give your kids the stickers and let them choose the color of paper to use. Have them place the stickers onto the paper in either a collage form or to make a beach scene.

Step 2: Give your children the option to use crayons or markers to embellish the collage or scene by adding details or decorations.



Materials: Crayons, white paper, corrugated cardboard peeled back so that the corrugated waves are visible, access to sidewalk or cement, a piece of construction paper cut into a rectangle or tree trunk shape, a large coin, some leaves.

Step 1: Give your child the white paper and the corrugated cardboard and a blue crayon.  Place the cardboard under the paper and have your child gently rub the crayon to create a waved pattern to represent the waves of the ocean.  HINT: it helps to peel the crayon and use the side of the crayon when colouring.

Step 2: Go outside to an area that is safe and that has access to sidewalk.  Give your child a yellow crayon to rub the texture of the cement onto the paper as the beach sand!

Step 3: Place the construction paper rectangle vertically under the paper and give your child a brown crayon to rub a trunk shape onto the beach scene.

Step 4: Place the leaves under the paper near the tree trunk and give your child the green crayon so he/she can rub leave shapes onto the paper.

Step 5: Place a large coin under the paper and have your child rub a round sun shape onto the sky of the scene forming on the paper.

Step 6: Return to the sidewalk or use another texture like a wood table or tiles to rub the sky in blue.

Step 7: Display or glue the art into your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.



NOTE: For some background information on the flowered necklace known as a lei check here:

Materials: fairly wide straws (the ones from fast food restaurants work well), yarn, coloured paper, hole punch.

Step 1: Cut a long length of yarn (we chose green) to be the necklace and cut the straws into 1 cm (1/2 inch) tubes.

Step 2: Fold coloured paper and draw a simple flower over top.  Cut the flower out with the folded paper to create many flowers at once.

Step 3: Have your child hold punch the middle of each flower.

Step 4: Tie one tube of straw at the end of the yarn to serve as a barrier and then give the yarn to your child to thread the flowers and the star tubes alternating.  This is a good craft to use for hand eye coordination for younger kids and also to work on patterns (you could pattern the coloured flowers).

Step 5: Once complete tie the end of the yarn together and now the lie is ready to wear!



Materials: orange, red and yellow paint, white paper, black paper, pencil, child safe scissors, (Optional: photos of beach sunsets...we looked online);

Step 1: Show your child some photos of beach sunsets (optional) and then give your child some orange, yellow and red paint to paint his/her own sunset on the white paper.

Step 2: Let the paint dry.

Step 3: Use the black paper (that will fit on top of the painted colours) lightly outline waves and an island with a palm tree on the side.  You may have to help younger kids with this.   (My Eldest drew his own but my youngest wanted me to draw the tree and island—he didn't want waves).

Step 4: Cut out the silhouette of the island and palm tree and then have your child glue it onto the painted sheet once it is dry.



NOTE: My Eldest son created this craft!

Materials: Paper plate, construction paper, white paper, brad or paper fastener, markers, child safe scissors, blue and white paint, glue stick.

Step 1: Have your child paint the paper blue using blue and white paint to create an ocean. Cut out a strip of construction paper and have your child paint that the same colours to match the ocean.

Step 2: Have your child draw a surfer on the white paper and then colour it using markers.

Step 3: Cut out a surf board shape from the construction paper and have your child decorate that.

Step 4: Draw a tab underneath the drawing of the surfer and have your child cut the surfer out leaving the tag so you can fold it and then glue the surfer to the surf board.

Step 5: When the paper plate is dry use the brad to prick a hole in the middle and then carefully poke a hole in the strip of painted construction paper, too.  Thread the paper fastener through the strip of construction paper and the paper plate; you should now have a strip that can be pushed to turn around the paper plate like the hand of a clock. 

Step 6: Glue the little paper surf board and surfer to the strip and now he/she is ready to surf around the paper plate!



Materials: empty toilet paper roll and empty paper towel roll, green paper, colored or patterned paper, markers, glue stick, child safe scissors, tape and glue stick., markers.

Step 1: Make the palm tree first since it is very simple.  Cut out leave shapes from green paper and cut slits at the top of a paper towel roll (you can trim the roll as we did so it wasn’t so tall) and then slide the leaves in the slits so they look like they are growing from the top of the paper roll trunk.

Step 2: Wrap some coloured or patterned paper around the toilet roll leaving room at the top for the hula girls face and glue it in place (you can reinforce with tape if it pops off).

Step 3: Cut a length of green paper that will wrap around the hula girl as the grass skirt and have your child cut long slits on the paper to create a fringe effect.

Step 4: Glue the fringed paper around eh hula girl as the grass skirt, we glued it slightly lower than (we first measure to puss the slits out and make the dress look fuller).

Step 5: Have your child draw a face and hair on the hula girl using markers.

Step 6: Have your child draw a little flower to cut out and glue on the hula girls hair.

Step 7: Cut out little hands and arms and glue or tape to the side of the hula girl.



Materials: paper plate, paint, pencil, a copy of my Collecting Seashells Colouring Page, markers or crayons, child safe scissors, brown paper, brown marker, glue stick.

Step 1: Have your child paint the paper plate with paint the colour of sand either yellow or brown.

Step 2: Have your child create his/her own sandcastle picture by drawing on brown paper.  Have your child outline the picture in marker or do it yourself for younger children.

Step 3: Cut out the sandcastle leaving some paper at the bottom of the castle to be a flap that will be folded and glued to the paper plate.

Step 4: Have your child colour the seashells from the colour page and then cut them out.

Step 5: bend the castle picture in half to give it dimensions and then glue the flaps to the paper plate.  Have your child glue the seashells to the paper plate as well.



NOTE: You could turn this into a mobile instead of a garland by hanging each shell on string tied to a clothes hanger or balance on a straw.

Materials: A few copies of my Collecting Seashells Colouring page, colored paper, child safe scissors, pencil, hole punch, yarn, tape.

Step 1: You can do this craft in a few different ways.  You could have your child colour the seashells on the worksheet and just use those or you can use the outlines of the seashells on the printable as stencils and cut out seashell shapes from colouring paper.  We did a combination of both.

Step 2:  If your child has coloured some seashells cut them out but leave a tab to fold over around the yarn.

Step 3: If you use the seashell printable as a stencil cut out the shapes and trace around them over paper.  Cut out the coloured paper and leave a tab when you are cutting to fold over around the yarn.

Step 4: If you want your child can draw added details to the coloured paper shells.

Step 6: Should your child how to fold over the tab and then place the yarn between the tab and the picture.  Tape the tab down to keep the shell in place on the yarn. 

Step 7: Continue to place shells all along the yarn and then tape or pin on a window or wall as a garland.




Tropical Smoothies are easy to make and a cool, refreshing and healthy drink perfect for a beach themed day! My Eldest son is the resident smoothie expert in our house and he loves to create his own recipes.  Since I have forgotten his exact recipe for this Theme Day I will offer some possible ingredients so you and your children can create your won fruity drink.  Don’t forgot those cute paper umbrellas (found at the dollar store) to decorate!

Possible Ingredients: orange juice or pineapple juice (or any kinds of juice really), coconut milk, regular milk, plain low-fat yogurt , 1/2 a ripe banana (peeled and broken into pieces), peeled and chopped mango (fresh or frozen), chopped pineapple (fresh or canned), ice cubes, almond butter (if there are no allergies in your house) or honey to sweeten, ice cubes...

Tropical Fruit Platter:

NOTE: I have seen this Palm Tree arrangement many times on Pinterest and am not sure of the original link. My original idea just called for a fruit tray but I thought I’d use this Pinterest design for fun.  You could also hallow out a pineapple and put the fruit in that or you could use the paper umbrellas found at dollar stores to make cute little fruit kabobs.  Check out our More Goodies Photo Album on Facebook to see some Umbrella Fruit Kabobs.

Ingredients:  Banana trunk, kiwi leaves, blueberry ocean, canned peaches.

Step 1: Arrange the fruit so that the peaches are the sand on the plate, the blueberries make the ocean, the banana is the tree trunk and the kiwi fruit becomes the palm tree leaves.

Step 2: Enjoy!


NOTE: You could serve this with low-fat vanilla yogurt and toothpicks or paper umbrellas so that your kids can pick up the fruit and dip it in the yogurt.


Crabby Crabwich— Make a fun crab salad sandwich using a croissant to create this cute lunch from family Fun Magazine. You can find the basic recipe here:



Cookie Lei  - make some sugar cookies using your favourite recipe and make some flower shaped cookies.  When you roll out the dough and stamp the cutter add a hold in the middle using a skinny straw.  Bake as usual but now the cookies have a hole in them perfect for stringing.  Use bright colours to paint the flowers with icing. Use large straws (sot hey don't fit through the hole) thread alternating a cookie and a small cut piece of straw to create an edible necklace.

Ice cream sandcastle cake—I have not tried this yet but hope to soon (check our Facebook More Goodies page for a photo when we do make it).  Here is the recipe I hope to try:




Print out my A Day at the Beach Brainstorm and as a family brainstorm different things you might need to pack if you were planning a day at the beach or you could use this as an imagination activity and write down all the things you would see, hear, smell, feel or taste while at the beach.   You could use this as a planner and write down what to pack if you are actually going to the beach. 


If you go on a beach vacation you could use this printable. Print out a copy of my What I Saw at the Beach Worksheet and have your child either write about what he/she did at the beach or draw a picture.


Thank you to Tonya S. for emailing us this suggested link to “Beach Safety for the Whole Family”:

Try this site for info on beach safety, information about beaches and even some online games:

For more on beach safety check this red cross page:




Have your own beach themed party.  Make invitations using beach stickers, use the crafts above as party decorations and costumes and use our tropical menu or come up with your own.  If it is summer you could have the party at an outdoor pool or have it before a trip to the pool.  If it is winter you could have the party before a trip to an indoor pool or have no swimming at all but use the tropical theme to bring sunshine to a cold wintry weekend!


Musical Beach Towels—instead of musical chairs play musical beach towels and replace the chairs with towels. Play some beached themed music and take away one towel each time around.  Have fun!


Q: What did the ocean say to the sand?

A: just waved!



Who’s there?


Sandy who?

Sandy Lifeguard to the beach immediately.


Q:  Who is the most famous sea creature at the beach?

A:  The Sea Star!



Who’s there?


Waiter  who?

Waiter minute while I get my swimsuit.


Q:  What did the sand say to the tide?

A: Long time no sea!






Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand) to find your child’s favourite shows about going to the beach.

For young children try these titles:

· Wiggle Bay –full of sandy beach songs from the Wiggles.

The Backyardigans Surfs Up

For a beach themed movie try Here are some beach movies for kids:

· Aloha Scooby-Doo!

· Surf’s Up!



Make a sandcastle – you don’t need to live near a beach to be able to do this. Make a sandcastle at a local park.  Pack up your bucket and spades and have some fun in the sand!



If you live near a beach (ocean or lake) make it a family outing and enjoy your day at the beach!

You could visit a local pool either indoor or outdoor for this Theme Day to incorporate some swimming.

If it is a nice summer day you could use take out a small kiddie pool to compliment this Theme Day.

If it is a hot day and you have a yard pull out the sprinkler and use that for some watery beach-like fun!


Photos by: C Wright

Fun in the sand and surf!

Beach Coloring Page Printable

Journaling about the beach.

Make a beach scene using stickers!

Textured Beach Scene

A Paper Lei

Beach Sunset Paintings

Beach Sunset Paintings

Hula Girl Paper Roll Craft

3D Sandcastle Craft

Seashell Garland for a Beach Theme Day!

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CrabLunch.jpg CookieLei.JPG

Beach Themed Foods

Beach Printables

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