Summer camp can be a formative experience for children where they build self-confidence and learn new and exciting things. But having a summer camp experience doesn’t have to be away from home. And since not all children go away to a camp, we put together this amazing Beach Theme Summer camp at home.
Summer Camp Activities
Beach Theme Summer Camp
Hosting a Summer camp at home is an excellent way to avoid the infamous “I’m bored!” exclamations and engage your children in fun learning experiences all Summer long. In this article, let’s explore Summer camp at home with a fun Beach theme.
You’ll get fun, engaging, and educational printable activities, crafts, hands-on activities, science experiments, themed movement activities and gross motor ideas, sensory play, themed snacks, and so much more!
Check out these super fun ways you can explore the beach in your backyard this Summer:
Make your own DIY tide pool.
One of the best ways to learn about life in the sea is by exploring tide pools. A tide pool is an isolated pocket of seawater found on the beach, often during low tide. These pools are home to lots of fascinating ocean animals like starfish, sea urchins, and anemones. Sometimes you can even find a small octopus in the tide pools along the Pacific!
To explore tide pools at home, you can create your very own tide pool experience. It’s perfect for sensory play and scientific exploration! Here’s how to make your very own DIY tide pool:
- Choose a large container for water. We used a plastic baby pool, but a large plastic bin or even a large, shallow bowl would work just as well.
- Add sand and small rocks to the bottom. We found craft sand and decorative aquarium rocks at the local craft store for this step.
- Add seashells to your tide pool. Decorative shells can be found at the craft store, or you can use shells found during a family vacation to the beach.
- Put in some sea animals that live in the intertidal zone where tide pools are found. These include starfish, anemones, sea cucumbers, pacific octopus, sea urchins, and even sea turtles. We used the Ocean Bound Tide Pool Toy Set from Green Toys.
- Don’t forget to add the water! (You can decide whether it’s high tide or low tide.)
Exploring this fun backyard tide pool together is a fun way to teach children about the animals that live in this part of the ocean. It’s also a great way for toddlers and preschoolers to explore their sense of touch as they feel a variety of textures like water, sand, seashells, and even the plastic and rubber of the toys.
Ocean and Beach Books for Kids
Under the Sea Story Time
Reading books together is a great way to travel without leaving home. You can explore the world through books, and even meet fish from every zone in the ocean! Reading aloud to children ignites their imagination, helps them develop a love for reading, and a desire to learn more.
Check out these books we love all about fish from deep in the ocean:
- The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
- Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale
- The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
- The Sea Knows by Alice B. McGinty
- Looking for Orca by Shelly Rollins
If you’re looking for a longer story to share over several days or read with older children, check out these inspiring tales:
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
- Dolphin Adventure by Wayne Grover
- The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen
Swimming lessons and activities for kids
Learning how to swim at Summer camp is almost a rite of passage! It’s the perfect way to help your child build self-confidence, have fun getting great exercise, and learn a life-saving skill.
If you’re a strong swimmer, you can teach your children to swim in your own pool or at the local beach area. Otherwise, you might want to look for classes at a local aquatics center, community pool, or YMCA (just not this year).
The American Acadamy of Pediatrics recommends children begin learning to swim at age 4. You might want to start by helping your child to feel comfortable in the water. Children who are nervous in the water might not be able to focus on learning to swim during lessons.
One way to help children get used to the water is by spending time playing in the water together in shallow water.
You can do this by setting up fun outdoor water areas around your yard.
- Splash Pads
- Slip and Slides
- Kiddie Pool
- Splash Bomb Sponges
- Water Balloons
- Water Tables
You will find lots of fabulous water ideas in the beach summer camp guide.
Check out these fun ways to explore the ocean through art this Summer
Ocean Art Activities
Another fun way to explore the ocean at home is through art. Arts and crafts are an important part of any summer camp.
You can create so many fun ocean art and crafts projects with only a few simple colors and supplies.
Calming Wave Jar for Toddlers
Calming jars or bottles are a great tool for kids of all ages. Even I enjoy watching ours from time to time. The slowly moving particles suspended in the bottle encourage you to slow your thoughts, calm your breathing, and quiet your mind. It’s an excellent tool for kids that need a few minutes to calm themselves and re-center.
Here’s how to make your own:
- Fill a bottle halfway with water.
- Add clear glue or glitter glue, blue food coloring, and loose glitter. You can also add small plastic fish or seashells.
- Seal the bottle and shake vigorously until the glitter and glue are evenly dispersed.
- Relax while watching the “waves” of glittery ocean water move slowly around the container before settling.
Preschool Play Clay Activity
This play clay building activity is a great way for preschoolers to practice their fine motor skills and build strong finger muscles for handwriting while creating their very own sea urchin friends. Sea urchins come in a variety of colors like purple, red, green, and brown. You can help your little campers learn all about sea urchins by making their own sea creatures.
First, have your preschooler form a mound with any color clay. Then, let your Summer campers stick toothpicks into the clay. The toothpicks will serve as the sea urchin’s spines.
For added fun, listen to The Sea Urchin Song by Creation Connection while you build your own little sea urchin friends together. It’s a great way to learn about these amazing ocean animals while having fun.
You’ll get a super cute movement activity cube if you grab this beach theme guide.
Beach and Ocean STEM Activities
A beach themed Summer camp at home just wouldn’t be complete without sandcastles. You don’t have to go to the beach to build sandcastles. Host a sandcastle building competition in your backyard. Kids of all ages can use recycled containers and play sand to build their own amazing castles.
Building sandcastles is the perfect way to practice engineering skills with your little campers. First, talk about what kind of sandcastles you will build. Kids might enjoy drawing their castle plans on paper.
You can make your contest as competitive or relaxed as you prefer. You could set a timer for older children to complete their castles within a set time or spend as long as you like building at your leisure. When everyone is finished, admire one another’s castles. If you want, you can assign judges to vote anonymously on the best castle.
Award the winner or winners of your sandcastle building competition at the Summer camp finale. Then, enjoy a cold treat together just like you would at the beach. It’s the perfect time for popsicles or ice cream together.
A week full of learning (over 25 activities and ideas), hands-on activities, fun crafts, printable activities, movement activities, snacks, and more!
- Learn all about it
- Learning Stations
- Arts & Crafts
- Hands on Activities
- STEM & Science
- Get Active Activities
- Music Activities
Plus, themed snacks and lunch ideas for each day.
Make this summer fun and make it memorable.
I hope this guide gives you creative ideas for a fabulous SUMMER CAMP AT HOME for the whole week or the whole summer.
I can’t wait to read about your favorite ocean themed Summer memories in the comments.
If you want to explore more Summer camp at home themes together, check out our Summer bug camp or patriotic camp at home for more fun.