Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beach Themed Activities

Here are a few beach theme activities for our shelves...

Practical Life

Pouring sand
James has perfected his pouring skills, so I'm not sure how much longer I'll be preparing this kind of work. I'll put it out for as long as he has the interest and so he has the option.

Umbrella pushing
Similar to our flag pushing activity. These are those little drink umbrellas you can just about anywhere. James loved them!

Tweezing flowers
We did this a few months ago and James really enjoyed it, so I put it out again.


Sorting sea glass
This was the first activity James chose. I think it's because it looks so pretty and natural. Dr. Montessori believed children were naturally drawn to real and organic items.

Beach sensory tub
Click here to read more about it and our sandy playdough.

Sorting beach shapesI found these at the pet store in the fish section. :) I was surprised to observe that James had a hard time differentiating some of the shapes. I wonder if he was distracted by the colors?


We read a few beach themed books and these are the two I'd recommend...

Swimmy, by Leo Lionni. A sweet, yet simple story with some really cool illustrations.

On The Seashore, by Anna Milbourne. I generally like all of the books by this author. This one tells the story of a cute little hermit crab who travels a tide pool looking for a new home.

We are blessed to live so close to tons of amazing beaches, so of course we spend a lot of our time there.How is this a language activity? Well, after printing out the photo I asked James a bunch of questions about it. It was such a great way to get him to think about what he was seeing, to use his vocabulary and to learn new words, too. Here's a sample of the questions I asked:

:: What is Daddy doing with his hands?
:: What kinds of activities can you do at the beach?
:: Why is James wearing a hat?
:: Can you find anyone else in this picture?


I found the clip art on abcteach.com. Our color printer was down at the time, so I colored the images in myself. (I LOVE coloring!) :) I cut out the images, laminated them and then took photos of them in various combinations. James can use the photo strips to copy the sequences.

Counting coconutsIt's about time I got around to creating an activity in honor of my lil blog! I cut these shapes out of felt. The idea here is that James will shake a (homemade) die and add that number of coconuts to the tree. He'll then shake the other die and add that number to the tree too and then count the sum total. It's a fun introduction to addition. I used small, wooden blocks and a black marker to create the dice. Note to self: buy a wood burning tool.

Quantifying with shellsI made some number cards and gathered 55 shells to use as counters.

Measuring palm fronds
After collecting a few fronds from our yard, I cut them down to various sizes. We will use a nifty little tape measure from my sewing stash to measure each piece. I think James is really going to like this activity!

I realized we haven't done much in the way of "organized" art lately. We made these shell collages last month and James has been spending TONS of time coloring and drawing me beautiful pictures. :)

That's it! These will last us the next few weeks easily. This week my niece is coming to stay with us for a couple of weeks and I know James will be happily preoccupied with her. :)

On a personal note, I'm feeling anxious about the upcoming school year. I don't know why exactly. Maybe it's because I haven't made any real plans as to how our school schedule will run. I've made up my mind that we're moving into true homeschooling mode, which means we'll be having schooltime everyday, just as James would if he were attending a school outside of home. I'm not at all worried about our curriculum since I have 100% faith in Montessori. I guess I just need to find some time to sit down and think about it all. :)

I'm linking up to two wonderful learning spots: Montessori Monday and The Preschool Corner.

~Thank you for your comments!~


Tanya said...

These are all fabulous ideas and some that I will definitely try with my 3 yr old and 19 mth old!

Unknown said...

Very nice activities. I especially like the measuring work. The Counting Coconuts work is truly unique and creative. You go girl!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, so many great ideas! I especially love the math ones, I think my son would love those. Thanks for sharing!
Stephanie xx

Linda said...

What lovely activities:)

Leptir (NataĊĦa) said...

Mari-Ann, I bookmarked this post because you have so many FABULOUS activities here. Thanks for sharing!

tracey (aka rainbowmummy) said...

Perhaps it was the colours, or perhaps he was categorizing by "thing", eg they were all shells? Did that sentence make any sense? My goodness I am tired!!

I love all of your ideas so much and I send you wishes of strength for your homeschooling.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I love all those ideas and how pretty your materials are. I think James will have a fantastic time this school year.

Rebecca said...

LOVE these ideas! We are working on beach activities right now too.

Deb Chitwood said...

Wow! Mari-Ann – I’m in Montessori-activity heaven! What wonderful activities for the end of the summer! I tell other homeschoolers to just enjoy the experience and not worry about being perfect. You’re so close to perfect with your homeschooling already. You’re awesome – have fun! By the way, I just HAD to add this link to the Activity of the Week post at http://LivingMontessoriNow.com.

Unknown said...

This is really extensive and well done summer theme! Gonna do some of these with my toddler! Thanks for posting and had to share it on our FB page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Best-Toys-for-Toddlers/111748248841298

BTW, this Friday we are starting linky party on our blog for toys, games and activities for toddlers. You are more than welcome to stop by and add some of your posts. :)

Alyssa said...

WOW! Those are really great ideas! I am doing an Ocean life study this month with my daughter and I can see how I could use some of your ideas and transfer them to ocean. Very smart stuff had to teach lots of different things. Thanks for sharing!

Kylie said...

Fabulous ideas, as always :)

Jen said...

Love the umbrellas, love the sea glass, LOVE the counting coconuts activity!! Everything looks wonderful, as usual. :)

Don't worry about the school year, if I know you you'll get everything super organized perfectly!!

Bending Birches said...

ohhhh i love the book "swimmy"...great illustrations!
and thanks for the great links you sent me on my blog!!!

Anne said...

Your photo language activity is fabulous! I like to group photos by event or activity, then play them as a slideshow on the computer. My son and I watch it together and I use questions like yours to prompt the discussion.

Eva said...

these are such great activities :) I've been a little lax in planning activities lately, but I could definitely use these! I look forward to what you have planned in the upcoming year, I love how I can borrow a lot of your activities since our children are about the same age :)

Anonymous said...

oo very fun beach themed activities! I love the sea glass sorting!

Jen said...

I just wanted to tell you in a rare moment of motivation I set up some of these activities for my boys. Guess what???


I think they'll expect me to do this more often now. The excitement on their faces was priceless.

Thank you, Mari-Ann!!

(V.Kerr) School Time Adventures said...

Just a quick question... have you found a favorite upper and lower alphabet match activity that you love?
naturalchild (at) gmail.com

Michelle said...

You are amazing and this is all right up my alley! I'm such a theme learning girl, I love it all! PS-We made our little beach get away;-) Some of these activities paired with lots of books on the beach would be a nice follow up to our trip and wrap up summer learning around here too!!!

Montessori Bee said...

All lovely ideas. You have a very beautiful way of putting the materials together: simple, beautiful, appealing..They are attractive to the child and inspiring to me as well.
Love the wooden turtle bowl..those little details are great


Unknown said...

Seasonal and Montessori ! What a wonderful resourse you have provided here ! Thank you. I will bookmark now for our upcoming summer...

Jada Rocks said...

Wow these are so beautifully done. Thanks for sharing.

Beach Mama said...

I love your beach themed lessons! I will have to incorporate some into our day! Thanks for the ideas!

RockerMom said...

Wow! So many wonderful activities. Thanks for sharing!

Deepti Khemani Bhatia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The girl who painted trees said...

What a lot of fun activities! I know you've told me before, but where did you get that sorting tray (with handles and four parts at top)? Thanks!

Counting Coconuts said...

Hi Julie,

I purchased the tray from Alison's Montessori - http://www.alisonsmontessori.com/Four_Compartment_Sorting_Tray_p/mt03.htm


Karen said...

Hi Sweety!!! So much beautiful and great activities!!!! Lovely!!

Big Hugs!!!

Jennifer Williams said...

I love how beautiful and simple your montessori activities are... I have suscribed so I can see more!

Thanks, Jenni

claudia said...

love your ideas, and very simple to do at home!

The Sunshine Crew said...

We are just getting ready to trim our palms so wanted to let you know that we are going to do your measuring the palm fronds activities one of these days...did you have to cut off the sharp edges or did the palms you used not have sharp edges?
Thanks for the cool idea...should be fun! You know, we had done an art project where we dipped palm fromds into paint and they made some artwork with it...A little like Jackson Pollack, but not quite as splattery. We ended up using the palm frond paintings as wrapping paper...
well, have a good one:) Colleen

Every Star Is Different said...

Thank you so much for sharing your activities! I have been searching for appropriate beach themed activities for my three home schoolers for a couple of weeks now and just hadn't found much that would work. My two boys ages 4 & 5 have high functioning autism. If our home school activities are not hands on, I lose them very quickly. My daughter is 3 years old so these are perfect for her. I love your life skills section! I may add that to our schedule!


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