Monday, July 13, 2015

Beach Week (Simple Summer Theme 2)

It's been a couple of weeks now, but we greatly enjoyed our second Simple Summer theme: Beach Week.

Ocean related activities are always some of our favorites! We had a lot of fun earlier this year with Big Brother's Ocean birthday party, so we were able to build off of that with even more fun activities. And even though it will be a while until we see the real ocean, this made us feel like we could almost be there. 

1. Play with Homemade Ocean Playdough
One of our favorite ocean activities, ocean playdough with shells and plastic sea life creatures. Great for quiet play, and each kiddo plays in their own way. Among some ideas I've seen kids create homes for animals and seashells patterns.

2. Paint Sea Shells
This was a simple project, but one we returned to a couple of times during Beach Week. The kiddos chose sea shells from our collection and painted them with craft acrylic paint. After they dried we used hot glue guns to attach small magnets. 

3. Create A Sandbox Beach
We used a collection of household materials to create a small world beach scene. Our playmobile people enjoyed relaxing on beach towels while the animals filled the ocean. You can read more about it here

4. Enjoy A Beach Themed Snack
One of our mornings we were in the mood for something tropical. We put together a yummy tropical smoothie in the blender: 2 cups fresh pineapple, one large banana, 1/2 cup apple juice, and 5 ice cubes blended until smooth. We added fun umbrellas, stirrers, and smoothie straws to make it seem even more tropical!

5. Sea Foam Play
Soap foam is always a great sensory play experience. I first learned about soap foam play from Fun at Home with Kids (you can find easy directions here.) For our play we called it "Sea Foam" and colored a few different batches different shades of blue. We also added our sea creatures into the foam. The kiddos loved squishing around and hiding the animals in the foam. 

6. Simple Shells & Sand Table Play
We added seashells and flat marbles into our sand and water table play. Combined with a few shovels, water and buckets, the play continued for several weeks. Just like being at the real beach!

7. Beach & Ocean Sticky Collage
The kiddos received a tray with several different materials: green crépe paper, fabric scraps, beach umbrellas, sequins, stickers, glitter craft foam, and different ribbons. I also set out a basket of blue, green, and brown paper scraps. Together they worked to create a beach and ocean collage. I loved how this project worked out with the multi-ages working on it. 

8. Enjoy a Special Beach Treat
Beach pudding cups are fun and easy enough for kids to help put together. When we made them for this Beach Week, each kiddo got to have a specific job as we put them together. You can find our original recipe here

9. Create Under the Sea Tinfoil Art
I wrapped pieces of scrap cardboard with tinfoil and had the kiddos draw under the sea scenes on the tinfoil with permanent markers. The tinfoil gave off a great, shiny water look while the permanent markers provided a wide range of colors. Even Little Brother made one as he worked to color in a fish. 

10. Go to the Beach
When in doubt, get to the closest thing to a real beach as you can. For us, this meant ending our week at the local "town beach" on a nearby lake. Although it may not officially be ocean water, the chance to get our feet in the sand and jump into the water still feels pretty good! (And even better, being at the lake is on our Summer Bucket List!) 

Of course, the ideas for Beach Week were endless, it was hard to settle on just a few. Want more ideas? Check out our All Things Ocean board on Pinterest

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