Overview: We spent 2 weeks learning about the beach and ocean during our beach toddler theme. We even took a weekend trip to the beach.
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When I worked in preschools, my all time favorite theme to teach was the beach and ocean. There is just so much you can do with this theme. It really is never ending.
But teaching this theme to my own toddler was a bit different. It was a lot more fun. She loved exploring the different sea life, beach activities, and even a weekend trip to the beach. You can’t do that with a class of 20 preschoolers.
I chose to do a beach theme because we already had a beach girls’ (plus Kade) weekend planned. So I planned to do one week before the trip and one week after. I chose to plan it this way so she would be familiar with the beach before we left, but also could take her time to explore and build on her new knowledge after we returned.
As always, our activities came from The Toddler Experience Curriculum. Click the image below to download a sample theme.
Our Beach Toddler Theme
We started our beach theme by reading There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell. Sicily thought this story was hysterical. When I brought out our activity she was giggling so hard. She kept calling the little old lady that I had made by taping an old lady picture over a shoe box, Nanny, her great grandmother.
The next time we visited Nanny, she ran in and told her all about the activity and how she fed her all these weird things.
We choose a Tot Tray to do every week during our morning meeting time. For our beach theme, we did a seashell counting activity. We used the counting mats that come with the curriculum and some seashells we had collected last year.
She placed a shell on each circle as I helped her count. After she finished, she wanted me to help her count how many we had in all.
Halfway through our beach toddler theme, we took a weekend trip with Grammy and Nanny. Sicily has been a few times before, but flat out refused to play in the sand. I was excited when she decided to play this year, but once she found a spot to play she refused to move. Kade fell asleep two minutes after this picture and missed his whole first beach experience.
During our free play, we always play quiet music. This week, we found a YouTube video of an aquarium with quiet music that we played while we played. Sicily really enjoyed the video playing in the background. There are 2 giant whale sharks in the tan. Every time they swam by, she would yell “Big Shark!”
One of Sicily’s favorite activities was the ocean sensory bin I made for her. I went out to her sand box and filled our sensory bin with sand. I slanted it slightly just like the beach. Then I added blue colored water on the low side of the sand. Inside the bin, I add drink umbrellas on the beach and ocean animals in the water.
We ended the week with seashell painting. This was the first time Sicily had used watercolor paint.
We used both the B is for Beach and U is for Under the Sea theme from The Toddler Experience Curriculum. You can download a free sample theme from the curriculum by clicking the image below.