Guest post by Charity L. Preston
Summertime is traditionally thought of in terms of vacation, sun, and sand for most. Kids love to play at the beach by splashing in the water and creating sand castles. While the beach is a great place to just be carefree, parents can also use this time to do some creative learning while the kids don’t even realize it! Here are seven ways in in which summer learning can be brought to the beach.
Summer Learning Fun!
Picnic Letter Tiles
In your picnic basket, bring a baggy full of letter tiles. On top of your beach blanket, two or more players start by pulling out six letters and seeing what words can be made. When no more words can be made form the current choices, each person pulls another letter. This continues until all letters have been pulled. The person with the least amount of letter tiles left wins!
Have children fill a plastic sand buckets with shells and other items found in the sand along the beach and/or the water. Dump all the contents out onto a flat beach towel and each child takes a turn in sorting the items into separate piles. For example, large and small items, smooth and rough items, or various colored items. See how many different groupings can be made.
Before opening an individual sized bag of snacks, have children estimate the number of items contained in the bag. Ask for a reasoning based on size of object, weight, and possible air in packaging. See what creative ideas your child comes up with for their answer.
Have a group of people stand facing each other in a circle, and throw the Frisbee from one to another in a random order. The only catch is that before the disc is tossed, the thrower must say the next number in a number set. For example, counting by threes, or multiplying by fours. If someone incorrectly names the next number, the group must start again at the beginning.
Scientific Method Seeds
Have your child use the scientific method, a paper plate, and toothpicks to hypothesize and test how many seeds are contained in a piece of watermelon. He or she can use the steps, such as question, research (perhaps get more information from an adult or use a mobile device), hypothesize, experiment (by digging out the seeds with the toothpick), and communicate the results. The best part? Getting to eat the experiment, minus the results!
Write a Poem in the Beach Sand
First start by writing beach-related words that rhyme in the wet sand. Then, come up with a simple four-line poem, using the words you have already brainstormed. Don’t forget to take a picture to keep the memory alive!
Map-Skills Treasure Hunt
Before going to the beach, place several coins in a sealed baggie. Once there, have the kids bury the “treasure” somewhere nearby. Make sure you do not look while they are working. Hand them paper and crayons for them to create a treasure map for you to be able to find the treasure using a real-world measurement tool (such as a stick or a flip flop). When you have successfully found the treasure, share the loot with the pirates!
The beach is a great place to imagine, play, and learn. No special equipment is needed, and the kids will always remember the fun games they played while at the beach. Don’t forget your sunblock and have fun learning in the sun, sand, and surf!
What other fun learning ideas do you have for summer?
About the Author
Charity L. Preston is an author, teacher, and parent. Most importantly, she is an educator in all roles. The ability to teach someone something new is a gift that few truly appreciate. Visit her now at The Organized Classroom Blog or on Facebook! Check it out now!