5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) Activities Birth-36 months (infant/toddler)

Beach Fun at Home

Some of my favorite summertime memories include spending time with my family at the beach.  However, when it’s not possible to get to the beach, we have some ideas for creating a “Beach Staycation” to bring the beach to you!

Craft: Sand Art

With just paper, a glue bottle, and a little sand, you can make some beautiful sand art.  Start by having your kids draw designs with the glue on a piece of paper. Once the design is done, pour sand over the glue and paper. Make sure the sand covers all the glued areas.  Next, dump the excess sand off the paper (you may want to do this outside or over a plastic container or newspaper to minimize the mess. In addition, if there is a lot of glue, you may want to wait until it has dried a little to avoid the glue dripping). When the excess sand is removed, you have a beautiful sand picture.  See this easy to follow youtube video by Shezcraft for a visual demonstration.  For older kids, you could have them use different colored sand for a more detailed design.

Activity: Sand and Water Sensory Bin

Summertime calls for play with sand and water. Making an ocean themed sensory bin is a great way to bring the ocean to you.  The Fun for Learning website has a gorgeous, easy to make, sand and water sensory box that allows kids to play in both sand and water at the same time.  All you need is a large plastic container, sand, blue dye, a few shells (rocks will also work), and some small ocean themed toys.  Take a look at their website for instructions and pictures of their beautiful end product. When you see the pictures of the possible creations, you will want to join in the play!

Snacks:  Sand Pudding & Ocean Jello Cups

My kids love making sand pudding.  It’s a simple and fun snack that definitely makes you feel like you are at the beach.  All you need is a sand bucket & shovel, vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers, and some ocean themed candy.  The Three Snackateers have a great easy to follow Sand Pudding recipe with some creative ocean themed toppings. My girls have decorated the top with Sweedish Fish, Gummy Sharks, or Teddy Grahams swimming in lifesaver “floaties” or lounging on towels made of fruit roll-up-by-the-yard. 

Ocean Jello Cups are another big hit in our house and are also easy to make with just a few simple ingredients including blue jello, whipped cream, and Swedish fish. The Tip Toe Fairy has a fun “fishing” design that I’m sure kids will love.

If you are doing a staycation at home or just looking for some summer fun, we hope you enjoy these ideas!

Grade Levels: Preschool-Elementary School 

Age Levels: Choose from this list. Delete those that do NOT apply. 

  • Birth-36 months (infant/toddler)
  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)


Art, Culinary, Food, Parent-Led, Sensory Learning


Karena Rush


Creative Commons License


Credit: on 08/04/2021

By Karena Rush

Hi Everyone! Welcome to our site! My name is Karena and I am a child clinical psychologist with a background in school psychology, education, and early childhood risk and prevention. I have worked in schools, hospitals, and community outreach settings with kids with all levels of abilities devoting most of my time to children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. One of my passions is helping parents and teachers identify fun activities that can help build developmental and academic skills (aka- learning while playing!!). In fact, I have had the opportunity to work with toy developers and companies from around the world in developing and identifying toys that enhance learning. Outside of work, I love to travel and spend time outdoors with my two daughters and husband. I am so excited that you are visiting our site and hope you find our activities as fun as we do!

- A.B. Psychology, Bryn Mawr College
- M.Ed. Early Childhood Risk and Prevention, Harvard University
- M.S. Psychology, Louisiana State University
- Ph.D. Psychology: Child Clinical, Louisiana State University
- Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Kennedy Krieger Institute

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