Check back often!

Arbor Day
Back 2 School
Butterflies & Caterpillars
Canada Day
Chinese New Year
Cinco de Mayo
Community Helpers
Dental Hygiene
Dr. Seuss
Earth Day
End of the Year
Father's Day
Fifties Week
Fire Safety
Five Senses














































































































































Beach Fine Motor Ideas


Sand/Water Table Fun

One of my kids favorite things to do with the beach theme is to put enough
 sand in the water table to cover the bottom, add water on top and then some
 Easter grass (just a little to be the seaweed) and then underwater animals, but this
 past year they extended it to sand on the edge of the water small scraps of cut up towels
 to be the beach towels.  They then took the people from the block area and had them visit
 the beach, some of the kids made blocks be radios, some used blocks as beach chairs too!


Basic Sand Table Props

baking pans
cardboard tubes
craft sticks
gelatin molds
measuring cups
plastic containers
plastic tubing



Cut plastic dishwashing liquid bottles or plastic bleach bottles in half.  Show your children
 how to turn the top halves of the bottles upside down and use them as funnels in the sand
 table.  Save the bottoms of the bottles to use for building sand castles and sand towers.


Hanging Funnel

Screw four eye hooks into the ceiling above the sand table at the corner points of a square
 shape.  Poke four evenly spaced holes around the rim of a large plastic funnel.  Attach
 a thin rope to each hole.  Tie each rope to one of the eye hooks.  Adjust the ropes so
 that the tip of the funnel is 4 to 6 inches above the sand in the sand table.  Let
 your children fill the funnel with sand and swing it around to make sand designs.


Sand Sieves

Make any of the following sieves for your children to use for sifting sand at the sand table.

Aluminum Pie Pans:  Use a nail to poke holes in the
 bottom of aluminum pie pans.  Smooth out any rough edges.

Plastic Containers: Use a nail to poke several holes in the bottoms of margarine tubs,
 yogurt cups, or whipped topping containers.  Vary the size and number of holes as desired.

Plastic Tennis Ball Containers:  Use a nail to punch holes
 in the bottoms or sides of empty, plastic tennis ball containers.


Sand Pails

Collect several cardboard ice cream buckets.  On each bucket, poke two holes opposite
 each other  near the top.  Tie a piece of rope or thick yarn to the holes to make a handle.
  Cover the containers with colorful self stick paper.  Use the sand pails to hold props for
 the sand table.  If desired, label each pail with the names of the items stored inside.


Sand Combs

Cut rectangles out of heavy cardboard.  One one side of each piece of cardboard,
 cut a set of notches.  Vary the kinds of notches made on each piece.
  Let your children use the cardboard rectangles to "comb" patterns in the sand.

Show the children how to drag the sand comb across the
 surface of the sand to make interesting patterns and designs.

Have one child hide his eyes or turn his back. Use one of the
sand combs to make a design. Then have the child look at the
 pattern and guess which of several different sand combs made
 the pattern. Then have him test his guess.

Have the child search for other things that make a pattern when they
are dragged across the surface of the sand-feathers, forks, a real
comb, sticks, a rake or a broom.

Encourage the child to make different pictures and designs,
 turning the surfaces and moving his arm in different ways.

What They Can Learn
One to one correspondence. The child sees the relationship between
the design or pattern in the sand and the cut shapes in the sand comb.


Spray Bottles

Fill several spray bottles with water.  Let your children spray water
 on the sand as desired to make the sand damp and easy to mold.
  To dry the sand, leave the cover off the sand table for a few days.



Fill an old athletic sock with 1 1/2 cups of sand.  Tie the top of the sock into
 a knot or tie a piece of twine around the top.  Let the children drag the
 sock in the sand to make ditches and designs.


Measuring Can

Rinse and dry out an empty Parmesan Cheese container.  Let your children use it to
 experiment with the concepts more and less by rotating the top for different pouring


Sand Towers

Collect tin cans of all sizes.  Smooth out any roughness around the edges of the cans.
  Show your children how to fill a can with damp sand, pat the sand until it is firm,
 turn the can upside down and slip it off to make a sand tower.  Ask them to try
 to stack a small tower on top of a big tower.  Can they stack a big on a small tower?
  How many towers can they stack on top of each other before they all fall down?


Sandy, Bubbly Fingerpainting

Mix a small amount of play sand with different colors of fingerpaint.
  Then invite each child to use the mixture to fingerpaint directly on a sheet
 of bubble wrap.  Be sure to have plenty of bubble wrap and paint on hand. 


Feet Only Digging

Make arrangements to move your sand table to floor level for a designated time.
  Make this time for feet only digging.  Have your children take off their shoes
 and socks. Then let them dig, design and build with their bare feet.


Play dough Exploration

Place a small ball of play dough in a baggie with various shaped shells
 (sea stars & sea horses are especially exciting!) for each child. Allow
 exploration of imprinting their shells onto the play dough to take place.
  Lots of vocabulary words can be built on during the activity,
 as well as spatial relations explored.

~ or ~

Make light brown play dough and add sand to it for texture.


Large Sand Tables

Set up any of the following sand tables for sand play by two or three children at a time.

Bathtub: Find an old bathtub that is no longer being used.
  Place it in a corner of the room and fill it with wet sand or dry sand.

Inflatable Wading Pool:  Set up an inflatable wading pool
 and put several inches of wet sand or dry sand in the bottom of it.

Plastic Wading Pool:  Recycle an old, plastic wading pool that can no longer hold
 water.  Patch cracks or holes with duct tape.  Fill the pool with wet or dry sand.


Individual Sand Tables

Prepare any of the following sand tables for your children to play in one at a time.

Cardboard Box:  Cut down the sides of a sturdy cardboard box so
 that they are about 5 inches high.  Fill the box half full with dry sand.

Dishpan: Pour several inches of wet sand or dry sand in an old dishpan.

Infant Plastic Bathtub:  Use an infants old plastic
 bathtub and pour in several inches of wet or dry sand.


Sculpture by Hand

Show your children how to use their hands like funnels to make columns of sand.
  Let them experiment with creating all different kinds and sizes of columns together
 to make sculptures, castles or buildings.  Place a wooden board widthwise
 across the sand table to make a solid base for building sand castles.


Mud Bog

They love digging a hole and filling it with water and
 having  a mud bog they call it, or getting out the boats. 


Footprints In The Sand

Many times birds and other animals walk around the night before. 
They love checking out the foot prints and seeing where they lead to.
  They like to figure out who made the foot prints from who's sandals or shoes too.



Build Sand Castles

Get a tall, narrow, unbreakable container, like a plastic glass,
 hollow block, or pitcher.  Fill the container with sand, pack it down
 and dump it over in the sand to form a castle.  Do this over and over
 again.  The children love to come along and slowly smash the castles down.


Sand and Shell Play

Set out a tub of dry sand. Select several distinctive-looking shells and bury
 them in the tub. Then invite your children to search for them.
Add water to the sand in a plastic tub. Let your children make designs
or patterns in the damp sand by pressing on different kinds of shells


Creative Sand Play Props

Fill a large container  with props from the following list.  Place the container
 next to the sand table and let your children choose items from the
 container as desired for creative sand play.

birthday candles
cookie cutters
large buttons
pine cones
sea shells
toy animals
toy cars
toy people
walnut shells


Convertible Sand Table

Convert your classroom sand table for other creative uses.  By simply placing
 a sheet on top of the sand, you can fill your sand table with another interesting
 material such as rice, beans, popcorn kernals, or cereal.  Using this method,
 the sand is undisturbed and the children will love the variety.


Mini Beach

Using a small wading pool, put in a small layer of sand.  Mix in some sea shells,
 hide some in the sand and have others showing.  Add some water and some
 fake fish and you have a mini beach, and the kids can even look for shells!


Beach Sensory Bottle

Materials Needed:
empty clear water/soda bottles with lids,
sand, water, small seashells, small ocean creatures
(I used sea theme beads purchased  from
 tiny pebbles, , glue gun and glue sticks, funnel, scoops

Invite the children to place a funnel into their clear bottle and take a scoop of sand
 and pour it into the bottle. Have them add some small shells, small ocean creatures
 and tiny pebbles, then add just enough water to dampen the sand. Then the teacher
 or childcare provider can hot glue the lid onto the clear bottle. Have the children play
 "I Spy With My Little Eye" once they have completed their sensory bottle.


Beach In A Bag

We put sand in the bottom of a ziploc bag, added some shells then added
 shaving cream and blue food coloring i taped the bags closed and let the kids
 swish around the cream to add the color, now we had a beach in a bag.


Starfish/Sea Shell Lacing Cards

Make a lacing cards out of clip art of a star fish and sea shells.


Block Center

Put in scrap pieces of wood and sand paper in
 your block area for the children to work with.


Sensory Ideas

Sensory...wet sand and molds - Sand and sea shells -
Blue water with fish and sea shells or use floaties.


Hidden Treasure

Get a small bucket (or sensory table) and fill it partially with water, fill the
 bucket with seaweed or other sea vegetation. Hide small treasures on
the bottom of the bucket and let your children search for these items.


Beach Ball Puzzles

Mount wallpaper to poster board and cut out large circles. Cut each circle into several
 puzzle pieces.  Base the number of pieces on the developmental level of your child.


Sand Tower Toy

Invite your children to mix sand and water to make wet sand.  Give him/her
 a set of plastic stacking cups - the kind sold in toy stores for young children
 or use a set of empty containers that fit one inside the other. Help the child
 to fill each cup to the top with wet sand and pack it down hard.  Encourage
 him/her to experiment with tower building by unmolding the largest cup first,
 the next largest cup second, and so forth, down to the smallest cup.  How
 many cups of sand can he/she stack?  Ask what happens if he/she
 starts with the smallest cup of sand? With dry sand?




Pre-K Fun Theme Pages are for educational reference only! 
No copyright infringement is intended.
I do not claim any of these as my own ideas.  
They are shared from friends and fellow group members.  
Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!


Site designed and maintained by Shelly Boone. Copyright 2002-2012 - All rights reserved
Graphics by M1Knight and Thistle Girl Designs   Anti-copy scripting from