We just returned from a week long getaway at the beach. Baby girl had so much fun! The week consisted of many “firsts” for her, including seeing the ocean, meeting all the creatures that live around the beach, and experiencing sand (only a small amount was eaten!). Everyday she had a new experience and each experience was described to her in detail. A trip to the beach can elicit so much language. Below I have listed a few ways you can promote your child’s language while simply playing at the beach.
Seashells: Take a walk along the beach. You can take two buckets with you and have a competition to see who can fill their bucket with MORE shells. Once you have collected the shells bring them back to the house. You can sort the shells by size, shape, or color. Then describe what the shells look like and how they feel. We made a seashell sensory bottle by placing shells into a VOSS water bottle with half water and half clear liquid hand soap. This bottle entertained baby girl on the long ride home.
Go for a Walk: There is so much to see on the beach. Birds and kites flying, boats out to sea, and crabs racing at your feet. Point out all of these things in the distance to your child. See if your child can follow your point and then talk about what you see!
Build a Sandcastle: How timeless is building a sandcastle? There are so many language concepts that can be used while building your masterpiece. Use spatial concepts in/on/next to, size concepts big/little, or descriptive words, such as wet/dry/rough/soft. You can also turn this into a fun following directions activity. Give a simple direction, such as put the seashell on top of the tower, and see if your child can complete the direction. You can then flip the activity around and have your child give you verbal directions to complete.
Beachball Fun: A simple beachball from the $1 store can elicit many language opportunities during play. Take turns passing the ball back and fourth using my turn vs your turn. Use the phrase ready, set … and then pause waiting for your child to complete the phrase by saying go before passing the ball. Use up and down as you toss the ball in the air. See who can toss the ball higher.
The experiences are plentiful when you are visiting the beach. These fun language filled activities don’t require a beach on the ocean. Do some research in your area and see if there are any beaches at a lake, river, or pond nearby. If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area check out the beach at Alum Creek State Park. I have put all of these beach play ideas for you in one place. Just click on the link below, print, and take with you on your next beach adventure!