Everyone has a memory of going to the beach. Salty air, sand in your toes, and the sound of seagulls and waves. For many, a beach visit will expose a care-free, playful nature, happy memories of paddling, sandcastles and a potential ice-cream. Although a real beach visit may no longer be possible, this activity brings the beach to the home, with a sensory activity that aims to get lots of smiles.
Large shallow box filled with children’s play sand
A large jug of water (to wet the sand)
Buckets & spades (one set per box of sand)
White A4 card (that is suitable for a printer)
A camera (you will need to print the photos during the activity)
Sun hats, beach balls, sunglasses etc
Not essential but desirable: Seaside music
Step by Step Guide:
This activity works really well with sea-side music playing in the background to help set the scene. You can begin by asking questions about a visit to the seaside: What would you wear? What would you bring with you? What would you see, hear and smell when you get there?
Passing around the beachball, bucket & spade, sunhat and sunglasses, talk about the different textures and memories. Encourage beach poses using the props and take photos pretending to be at the beach.
Print these photos (approximately 4 per A4) and cut carefully around each person to remove the background of the picture.
Fill the shallow container with play sand and pour in the water. You will need enough to make the sand firm to touch, but not sloppy. Have fun mixing the sand together to get the right consistency for building.
Have fun playing with the sand and making sandcastles.
Add the photo cut-outs to create a temporary display of a trip to the seaside.
Ideas for Further Activities With This Idea:
You can paint a background for this scene, use blue paint on white card and paint sea and sky. This will improve the photo of the ‘trip to the seaside’.
You can also make flags to go on-top of the sandcastles.
You could print photographs to scale to fit around the sandcastle, or on-top of the towers.
Ways to adapt for less able residents:
The box can be lifted onto a lower table for less able residents to feel the sand, or, onto the floor and let the resident feel the sand between their toes.
Ways to adapt from group to individual and vice versa:
For this activity to be a group activity, you will need a few boxes of sand and multiple buckets & spades. You could have a sandcastle competition.