Whether it is the heart of winter or a rainy summer day, the children are showing signs of cabin fever and you looking for a way to break those bad weather doldrums. Maybe it is time for an indoor beach party in your preschool!
Regardless of how cold and dismal it is outside, you can bring a little bit of summertime fun and sun to your preschool.
Set the Stage
There are many ways to set the stage for your beach party. You can decorate the room with beach towels, umbrellas, sand, seashells or anything else one could see at the beach. Everyone can wear beach attire, sandals, and even funky sunglasses. A good choice of background music will add to the mood; maybe steel drums or a Beach Boys tape.
Indoor Beach Party Songs and Fingerplays
5 Little Seagulls
5 little seagulls sitting on the beach.
One walked along the shore,
then there were four.
4 little seagulls sitting on the beach.
One hid behind a tree,
then there were three.
3 little seagulls sitting on the beach.
One got up and flew,
then there were two.
2 little seagulls sitting on the beach.
One went to have some fun,
then there was one.
1 little seagull sitting on the beach.
she went to chase the sun,
then there were none.
We are Going to the Beach (Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)
We are going to the beach, to the beach, to the beach.
We are going to the beach, we're gonna have some fun.
I shall like to swim all day, swim all day, swim all day.
I shall like to swim all day, then lay out in the sun.
I will build a castle here, castle here, castle here.
I will build a castle here, I'll have the tallest one.
Indoor Beach Party Art Activities
This is a simple project children of all ages can do. Drip, drizzle and swirl white craft glue on heavy construction paper or cardboard. Then sprinkle sand over the top, shake off the excess and let dry.
Paper Bag Jellyfish
Provide a paperback and a variety of paints that children can mix together. Paint the paper bags. Add glitter if wanted. When dry, have each child cut strips in the bag (for tentacles). Glue on googly eyes.
Ocean in a bottle
In a small jar, combine vegetable oil with a drop of blue food coloring. Children can then add various materials such as plastic fish and shells.
Indoor Beach Party Math and Science
Beach Towel Comparison
Have each child bring in a beach towel. Hold two beach towels up at a time and have children tell what is the same about each towel and what is different about each towel.
Have a jar of seashells and ask children to write down how many shells they think are in the jar. Count the shells and compare their answers. Did they guess more than or less than the number of actual shells?
Sort shells by size, color, shape, etc.
Sand and Water Sensory Tables
Have a sand and water table set up. For the water table, use: blue food coloring, seashells, plastic fish, boats, etc. For the sand table, include: seashells, buckets, shovels, container with lids, plastic crabs, small rocks, etc.
Indoor Beach Party Motor Skills and Movement
"Lifeguard, Lifeguard, Where's Your Whistle?"
This is a simple variation of the old favorite, "Doggy, Doggy, Where's Your Bone?"
The standard beach game can be brought indoors by using an inflatable beach ball. For younger children or small rooms, have everyone sit and volley the ball within the circle.
Encourage children to use their creativity and move the way you suggest. Pretend you are swimming in the ocean waves. Pretend you are walking barefoot over the hot sand. Pretend you are surfing. Pretend you a crab and do the crab walk (to do the crab walk you need to sit on the floor and rise up and walk backwards on your hands and feet).
Seashell Scavenger Hunt
Have a scavenger hunt for seashells. Use paper shapes if you can't get real ones.
Indoor Beach Party Snacks
Spread peanut butter on round crackers. Sprinkle "sand" (Parmesan cheese and wheat germ) on top.
Using a see-through plastic cups, fill half of the cup with a layer of vanilla pudding (add few drops of blue food coloring). Mix in some gummy fish. Next, add a layer of "sand", made of crushed Nilla wafers. Top off with an umbrella stick.