This week, at the latter end of August, we’ve had wind and rain and scarce opportunity to play in the sandpit let alone paddle in the sea. So instead we have been doing some fun afternoon activities on the seaside and I thought I’d share them with you:
Curious George Game – A Day at the Beach
We are massive curious George fans. I learn something new with every episode and I think in the UK this series is completely underrated. For example in the episode Metal Detective (Season 5, Episode 5) where George plays with then promptly leaves his favourite robot on the beach only to get buried in sand by the tide, George creates a metal detector out of a radio on AM frequency and a calculator. This blew my mind.
Anyway, the PBS site has some fantastic free Curious George games that encourage numeracy skills. A Day at the Beach is basically a sandcastle building game where you mix equal quantities of sand and water inside objects of different shapes and sizes (plastic cups, boxes etc.) and then use them to build structures. They replicate the pitfalls of gravity here, not allowing shapes to stack that wouldn’t on a real life sandcastle. This was great fun on a day where we couldn’t play in our own sandpit, and we could count as we filled the containers alternately with scoops of sand and water to get the consistency correct.
Helped with: Spatial Awareness, Numeracy
I’m a follower of The Imagination Tree and if you enjoy creative pursuits with your preschool aged kids I recommend you follow it too! She has some fantastic and often free to do crafts that are inspired by everyday objects and the world around us. The picture I’ve used is of our own modification but if you click on the link you can see the original post that inspired this. Painting was a lot of fun and we mixed several blues and glitter paint which was a lot of fun before we began painting the egg carton.
I cut out fish and seaweed and LO decided where they should go. The naturally fun part of this was that we could hide the fish behind the cartons peaks, the corrugated green card was easy to stick with just a glue stick to the contours of our seascape creating ample hiding places for our goldfish.
Having touched Starfish and Anemones (sea urchins) at the aquarium earlier this summer I let LO talk about them and remind me of what they did (sticking to rocks, staying pretty still, what colours they came in etc…) as we chose star stickers and pom pons to represent them. Or finishing touches were the seashell (that daddy timely presented) and the rock which LO spontaneously produced from the garden as we were presenting our masterpiece!
Footsteps in the sand
Here is the other side of our egg carton. On our twist, LO decided to make this one a beach scene and we gathered stickers, stamp pens, and glitter to create it, as well as discovering the perfect shade of orange for our sand while mixing colours. Again I let LO guide it with imagination and discussion at each stage.
Our egg boxes helped with: Imagination, Exploration, Creativity, Memory
Foam Stamps – Under the Sea
First I spread out a selection of sticker foam letters ensuring there were some S E and A’s present. Then I asked LO to find each letter and used the written word SEA to help us arrange the stickers on our paper. I picked up these cute little stamps from the supermarket this week on sale, and we had fun selecting paint and applying it with a roller/brush/ or dipping them to see what would work best. It took a bit of trial and error but we eventually worked together to do it, and took it in turns to different parts of the process once we’d tried different means of stamping. LO immediately wanted to take the roller and yellow paint to create the seabed which was really awesome as it referenced what we’d learnt from the egg box imaginative play.
Helped with: Fine Motor Skills, Literacy, Creativity, Co-operation
Busy Day by Sally Grindley
This book really inspired our week; it tells the tale of a small group of animals being driven by Tin the dog bus driver to the seaside for a day at the beach. The story is simple, with a pleasant rhyming scheme and bright pictures with plenty of recognisable daily scenes, as the bunch cruise past building sites, tractors and harvesters, to the seaside where there are windsurfers, rock pools and sandcastles. Each page also includes a speech bubble where characters remark on what they can see, so you can really spend some time exploring the many goings on in each picture.
Helps with: Language, Literacy, Reasoning
My Under the Sea Sticker Activity Book
We also dipped in an out of this fun activity book that we found from Bloomsbury. It’s bright and cheerful, really engaging for under 4’s with plenty of activities from untangling anchors and counting seahorses to finding hidden sea creatures.