Summer is almost here, and that means it’s time to start thinking about beautiful days spent at the beach.
Many homeschoolers choose to take a break from schooling during the summer months to thoroughly enjoy those beach days and the other summer fun. But there’s no reason why the kids can’t keep learning. Why not incorporate some educational fun into your beach days? After all, the world is full of fantastic learning opportunities, and the beach is no exception.
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Wondering what to do to ensure your kids continue to learn while you play in the sand and surf?
Honestly, you could probably do nothing at all, and they would still learn. Kids are like sponges and considering all of the remarkable wildlife, science, and math that surrounds us on the beach; children left to their own devices are likely to discover something new.
That said, many homeschool parents prefer a bit of structured educational fun. If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got five beach day fun ideas that are sure to engage your kids and pique their curiosity.
Your visit to the beach must include some good old-fashioned sandcastle building. Not only is this a super fun and classic beach activity, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to work on math and science skills.
Younger students can establish pattern-building skills by decorating the outside of the castle using alternating shells and creating a symmetrical look. Meanwhile, slightly older kids can gain experience with measurements and planning by sketching a “blueprint” of their plan. Have them make sure the plan dimensions are accurate and mathematically possible before they set to work.
Scientists claim the perfect sand-to-water ratio for castle building is 8 parts sand to 1 part water. However, young scientists may want to run their own tests to discover how accurate this theory is. Be sure to bring measuring cups for accurate measurements, as well as a bit of scrap paper for notes.
Of course, testing the completed castle for structural integrity is another excellent learning opportunity. If a castle is not as strong as the young builder might like, encourage him to experiment with new ways of building.
Learn About Tides
The tides are fascinating. Why not dive into learning about them before your trip? YouTube has a fantastic Crash Course video on the ocean’s tides and on how tides affect gravity. You may also like reading The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons, which includes an excellent description of how and why the tides change.
When you’re finished doing a bit of at-home research on the subject, take to the field. Have your kids make occasional notes about the tide and what it may be doing at any given time. Younger children can draw pictures of what they see. At the end of the day, discuss the notes and why the young scientists observed what they did.
Check Out Tide Pools
Speaking of tides, you may also want to make a point of checking out some tide pools when you have the chance. Wait for low tide and then set out looking for small pools of water. If you peek into these pools, you’re likely to find they are absolutely teeming with life such as crabs, clams, and urchins.
Tide pools are really cool little animal homes, and a great way to introduce kids to the wonders of ocean life. Try reading one of the following books before or after your visit for a more in-depth study of what you may find in a tide pool:
- In One Tide Pool: Crabs, Snails, and Salty Tails by Anthony Frederick
- The Secrets of Tidepools: The Bright World of the Rocky Shoreline by Vickie Leon
- Tide Pool: Look Inside by Louise Spilsbury
- Seashells, Crabs, and Sea Stars: Take-Along Guide by Christiane Kump Tibbitts
Fly a Kite
Flying kites is the ideal beach day activity. However, not many people realize just how educational this timeless bit of fun can be.
Practice measuring skills by building your own kite. Learn about what makes kites fly and use this information to decide on the best size, shape, and proportions for your kite. Make a few different kites and experiment to see which one fares best when put into the air.
When flying your creations, you’ll notice that the seaside is a very windy place. This serves as an ideal opportunity to discuss how the ocean affects wind patterns, helping your children understand why the beach is so gusty.
Spend Time Reading
All of these ideas are super fun, but they are also super involved. If you’re looking for a more laid-back but still structured learning opportunity, you might consider some beachside reading. Check out a few library books or use one of these options for reading on the go. There are few places as relaxing as the beach, and that just makes reading even more enjoyable.
With so many amazing learning opportunities to take advantage of, get ready for some busy beach days in your future.
What are some of your favorite educational opportunities at the beach?