Can’t Get to the Beach? Create Your Own at Home!!

Comment on this post to win a $20 School Box gift card! (2 comments will win!)

by Elizabeth Cossick, M. Ed.

Whether you’re headed to the beach soon and want to anticipate the fun–or you’ve already come home and want to recreate the experience with your little ones–I’ve got a great book for ya!

It’s called Sand and Water Play, by Sherrie West and Amy Cox. It contains easy, creative activities to do at home with a sand and water table, as well as fun ideas for creative play using household items like birdseed, shaving cream, ice cubes and rock salt. Activities include questions to ask during play, to reinforce the educational benefits of the activities. Recipes for homemade silly putty and bubbles round out the ideas and promise many afternoons of summertime fun–even without a trip to the beach.

To get you inspired, here are some questions to ask while children are playing with sand and water:

  • How does the sand feel when it’s dry?
  • What happens when we add water to the sand?
  • Now how does it feel?
  • What can you build out of the sand?
  • What tools can you use/find to move the sand around?
  • What items (rocks, small toys) can you hide in the sand?
  • What would happen if you closed your eyes and tried to locate the items in the sand?
  • What would happen if we filled a zip-top bag with water?
  • How does the bag feel?
  • Now, what would happen if we poked a small hole in the bag?
  • What if we poked several holes?
  • If we fill a bowl with water, what can we get to float in it?
  • What will sink?
  • Why do you think some things float while other sink?

Want a free copy? Comment on this post, and you could win a $20 School Box gift card. Since School Box carries the book for only $12.95, you could get a copy…and have money for some other fun gizmos and books, too!



Filed under Academic Success, Free Stuff!, Parenting, Summer Learning, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Can’t Get to the Beach? Create Your Own at Home!!

  1. Jennifer Nuss

    Great idea for younger grades! All of those good questions build on concepts that intermediate teachers cover: i.e. density, solid, liquid, gas, etc. I love this!

  2. Interesting and funny questions and i feel we can enjoy a lot with the answers that we get from children.

    Fantastic article man and loved reading it! Hope to see more hear on.

  3. Tracy Woods

    This seems like a great book. It gets younger children using their analytic side of the brain. This is a good start for learning science, cause and effect, and more. It also ties into the playskol sand and water table set. Both together would be an excellent preschool and summer camp learning station.

  4. Katelyn

    I feel this book would be a wonderful asset not only to an elementary classroom, but also to a home with children. The summer is a fun and relaxing break from school’s academics, but still should be relevant to a child’s time off. This book seems to include many ways to have fun while learning, and not feel as if you’re learning. This is a great way to show children that learning is fun and get them excited for the next school year. I love the way in incorporates simple household items that most everyone has around their house already. This makes it very convenient to just simply pull it out one day and experiment! Questioning leads to discussions and I feel this is very important in a child’s growth in many ways. Since this book gives you question ideas for each activity, I feel it would be a simple and easy, but enhancing, start to some great discussions with your child(ren). I like that it is themed for summertime and is primarily outdoors focused. This would be a fun way and great opportunity to get your children active and spend quality time together. It may even be a fun idea to allow the children to stand as the “adult” and allow them to question and instruct you. Many times, we learn more from teaching it ourselves. What could be more important than to show your children how important it is to experiment and learn as much as they can, and that they can have fun in the process?!

  5. Rachel

    This book looks really interesting! I love books that give craft ideas and fun activities that students can do while learning! The questions posed in the article are great because I have learned that it is important to watch what you say in the classroom because you can easily sculpt and change children’s thinking and responses based on your word choice. I think another great comment to say to students as they explore is, “Tell me about what you are doing. How does it make you feel? What does it make you think about?” I think it is very important to allow children to explore and discover ideas on their own before the teacher attempts to teach them.
    I do not have a copy of this book, but I have seen a creative activity with shaving cream recently. One teacher put a rectangle of shaving cream on a table, and then covered the shaving cream with saran wrap. The wrap was then taped down to the table. Students were able to write in the shaving cream without getting messy. They can practice spelling words, math problems, or just be creative! I would be interested in knowing what other activities are suggested in the book.