We’re all spending a lot more time indoors these days, and we could all use some activities to keep the kiddos occupied. While we can’t visit the beach right now, you can bring the beach to your home with these beach themed sensory play activities! The beach is a wonderful place for little ones to engage in sensory play. We can’t think of a better or more fun environment (so many new and interesting textures, sounds, colors and smells!) to explore and learn more about our environment. These activities are quick, simple and fairly inexpensive, and you probably have a lot of these items around the house already!
1. Sandy Sensory Tub
First, fill a shallow plastic bin up halfway with sand (you can find this at any hardware store or craft store). To finish it off, all you have to do is customize! Add different types of seashells, rocks, small shovels, sifters and toy rakes. You can even add sand castle molds to keep the fun going. The more there is to explore, the better!
You can also easily turn this into an “I Spy” bin too for the kiddos that are a bit older by adding more small toys and items for them to find.
Also, the next time you find yourself at the beach, don’t forget to put some sand and shells in a bottle or baggie and take it home with you to enhance your beach sensory tub!
2. Ocean Sensory Tub
First, you will of course need a tub, just like the one you used for the sandy sensory tub. Line the bottom of the tub with stones and/or sea shells (you could also use glass gems or aquarium rock too; all of these activities are easily customizable!). Next, fill the tub up ⅓-½ of the way full, and add a couple drops of food coloring for fun. Lastly, add some toy sea creatures.
Another great idea for this activity is to give your kiddo a small strainer or slotted spoon, so they can further explore individual elements of the sensory bin!
3. Ocean Themed Slime
Okay, would this really be a sensory play blog post if we didn’t include a slime recipe? We don’t think so. Kids of all ages are SO fascinated with slime. It’s squishy and stretchy and apparently, calming. There’s gotta be some science behind this.
First, you’re going to want to start with the slime essentials: clear craft glue and water. Mix a ½ cup of each into a bowl until well combined. Then add some blue food coloring and glitter (if you’re feeling up for it). Once combined add a ¼ tsp of baking soda to help firm the slime up a little more. Then, add the final, magic ingredient: saline solution. Start with roughly a tbsp, and really work with the slime. If it’s still too sticky, add more saline solution until it is the desired consistency. Feel free to personalize by mixing small sea creature toys leftover from the ocean sensory tub or shells. Now, watch your kid be occupied for hours. We're not kidding...kids LOVE slime.
While these are all great themed activities that you can do at home away from the beach, it’s important to note that the real deal is of course, the better experience. The ocean is captivating and sparks curiosity in little ones (and adults too...let’s be real).
We hope you and the kiddos enjoy these beach themed sensory play ideas! If you try any of these at home, don’t forget to snap a picture and tag us on social @thesharkoff and let us know what the family’s favorite activity was below in the comment section! Enjoy!