The beach and ocean are wonderful for the senses. Kids love to the play at the beach and much of that play involves exploring and discovering. Why not mix in some playful learning on your next beach trip. These simple beach learning activities don’t require anything more than a trip to the beach {maybe a pail and shovel}. Find more science for summer here.


Beach Learning Activities for Kids

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What do you pack for a trip to the beach? A pail, a shovel, and your desire to play and explore of course! There are so many natural opportunities to engage in simple beach learning activities.

I am not teaching. I am not instructing. There are no lesson plans or worksheets. I may have a fun beach book or two packed for nighttime though!

We keep it light and fun. His natural curiosity is all we need for fun beach learning activities. It’s a wonderful opportunity to explore the 5 senses. Ask questions! What do you see, smell, hear, taste, feel?

Beach Vacation Filled With Playful Learning Opportunities


We have two favorite beaches to check out at low tide which is our very favorite time to go to the beach. One beach just goes out for miles with this beautiful ripped sand and the other is filled with little tidal pool and masses of shells. Either way, you can get a totally new experience at each level of the day’s tides.

Make sure to check out a tide chart for the area and show your kids how low tides and high tides work. You can read more about what tides are all about here.

Ask questions while you are exploring! What are the differences between high tide and low tide? What do you hear, see, feel, smell? You can even taste the salty air in your mouth!

Beach Learning Activities Exploring Low Tide

We love the feel of the sand at low tide and the warmth of the water. We spied tiny hermit crabs scurrying about and examined the remaining shell of a crab. This particular beach you can walk over a mile out during it’s lowest tide. This is a great opportunity to allow kids to explore!

Beach Learning Activities Low Tide Digging for Oysters Measuring Oysters


At the same beach on the same day as above, we had some wonderful beach learning opportunities presented to us! We met up with a family digging for clams. This is a by permit only activity, but they included us in the process. Here we have quahogs!

The grandparents went into great detail about how the clam was formed.  They also helped our son use a rake to dig up some. We also had to make sure the clam was the right size to be able to keep it, so they showed us how to measure them. Clams that are to small are put back carefully to continue to grow.

Beach Learning Activities What Lives Inside A Shell

The beach by our house presents a fun opportunity to guess who lives in a shell! These simple beach learning activities just come naturally when you find these awesome shells. Most were still connected together so you could get a real sense that it was some thing’s house at one time!

Beach Learning Activities Finding Fiddler Crabs

On another day, we met up with a family digging for fiddler crabs! The young boys told our son all about fiddler crabs and how you know it’s a fiddler crab. We helped look for some too. Their appendage really does strike you as a fiddle.

Beach Learning Activities Counting and Sorting Shells

Our beach is also filled with tons of shells. We collected so many. We sorted and counted and we also sized the shells. Our plan was to see if we could find the tiniest scallop shell all the way up to the biggest scallop shell. A simple child led activity like this makes beach learning activities so great! The beach is your classroom.

Check out our math with measuring seashells post for a simple learning activity.

Beach Learning Activities Small World Beach

Make an ocean or beach small world. We have wonderful large rocks that a hold a bit of the ocean when the tide goes out. Create a simple small world with your beach collection!


Beach Learning Activities Writing in Sand

The simplest of all beach learning activities is writing in wet sand! Draw, make letters, or simple marks! Make or learn about tally marks while counting crabs! Grab a stick or shell or use your finger. We practiced name writing! The beach is an amazing place for curious kids. So much to discover and explore.


Try these fun beach and ocean themed ideas at home. Click on photos for details

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