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10 Ways To Have Fun with a Preschooler at the Beach

Taking a preschooler to the beach? Simple and easy suggestions, activities, and tips for what to do. Make art, crafts, science experiments, math activities, and games. Super fun! They'll never get bored!

We’re going to the beach for a week this summer.

I like the beach, and Grace liked it the last time we went, too. I think Grace will have fun, but I’m a little afraid of a bored tantrum where she whines, “I want to go-o-o-o!”

To keep her from getting bored, I have assembled a list of 10 things we can do together in the days leading up to and at the beach.

Ahead of time

at the beach

At the Beach

  • Let them play! Don’t have too much structured time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from No Time for Flash Cards, it’s that kids need lots of time for unstructured free play.
    Let them explore, dig, pour, pile, and enjoy themselves. Having said that, you can work in some of the following if they get bored or if you’re at the beach for an extended period of time.
  • Use a magnifying glass to look at the sand. Sand is made from tiny pieces of hundreds of different rocks. You never know what you’ll see among the particles. (It will be easier to look at if you sprinkle some sand on something dark, like a piece of dark paper.)
  • Beach in a Bottle – Go treasure hunting! Collect shells, driftwood, sea glass, and other finds. Fill a clean, clear plastic jar halfway with sand and place the treasures on top. Seal the lid tightly and take home for a permanent beach reminder.
  • Make sand art – Draw a simple outline on heavy card stock or cardboard. Smear it with glue, turn it upside down in the sand, and press the sand into the glue. Let it dry.
  • Make sand castles or sculptures – we have some cool molds, as well as a Sand Cookie Set from Melissa & Doug that is really fun.
  • Make Paper Plate Boats and sail them on the water
  • Have a treasure hunt – We did this at Grace’s birthday party, and the kids liked it more than anything else we did. All you have to do is hide something in the sand. You could use natural items like shells or rocks or things you brought along, like the 10-for-a-dollar plastic rings we hid at the party.
  • Draw in the sand – Use a stick or a finger to draw, practice writing, create a maze, or make a target. One of Grace’s favorite games is to make a target (at home we use a hula hoop) and try to throw things into it. Rocks, sea shells, a ball, or any hard object would work. As their aim gets better, make the target smaller and further away.

Of course, I’ll show you pictures of our fun once we’ve actually gone to the beach.

© 2010 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

7 thoughts on “10 Ways To Have Fun with a Preschooler at the Beach”

  1. Sounds like your all going to have fun.Can't wait for us all to go to the beach this Summer as we didn't go last year.

  2. Thanks for the great ideas. We're actually going to the beach in 2 weeks for my cousin's wedding and I'm a little worried about it. We took both of our kiddos, ages 3 and 10 months (at the time), to the beach about a month ago and I vowed to never do it again. My 3 year old was scared of the water, the seaweed, you name it. She did enjoy collecting seashells, but whined the entire time we were there. My 10 month old (now 11 months) pretty much ate all of the sand and seaweed that was within reach. I was worn out by the time we left and we'd only been there for 2 hours. I hope that some of your ideas will help my little one enjoy her time at the beach.

  3. These are some good ideas! We're headed to the beach in about a week too and I didn't even think about bringing something for them to do. But now I think I will….just in case. Have fun at your beach!

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