Preschool Beach Theme

See also my Under The Sea theme pages!

Book List

Barney and Baby Bop at the Beach - Mary Ann Dudko
Beach Day! - Patricia Lakin and Scott Nash
Corduroy Goes to the Beach - Don Freeman
Dear Mr. Blueberry - Simon James
Fun on the Beach - Lara Jones
I Swim an Ocean in My Sleep - Norma Farber
Ocean Day - Shelley Rotner, Ken Kreisler

Songs & Fingerplays

Five Fat Fish

5 fat fish were gliding by the shore
along came a net and then there were 4

4 fat fish were diving in the sea
along came a bigger fish and then there were 3

3 fat fish swam the ocean blue
one got stuck in seaweed and then there were 2

2 fat fish thought swimming was fun
one nibbled on a little worm and then there was 1

1 fat fish went swimming on home
it was no fun swimming all alone

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Did You Ever See A Fishy - sung to "Did You Ever See A Lassie?"

Did you ever see a fishy, a fishy, a fishy
Did you ever see a fishy, swim this way and that?
Swim this way and that way, and that way and this way?
Did you ever see a fishy, swim this way and that?

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY


Five cranky crabs were digging on the shore.
One swam into a net and then there were four.
Four cranky crabs were floating in the sea.
One got tangled up in seaweed then there were three.
Three Cranky crabs were wondering what to do.
One dug a deep, deep hole. Then there were two.
Two cranky crabs were warming in the sun.
One got scooped up in a cup.Then there was one.
One cranky crab was smarter than his friends.
He hid between the jagged rocks. That's how the story ends.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

The Seal

I could squeal
about the seal.
He's sleek and swift and wet.
He can balance a ball -
If it doesn't fall!
And sing - if he doesn't forget!

He's soft to feel
The lovely seal,
And just as black as jet.
His favorite dish
Is a wiggly fish.
Oh, what a charming pet!

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Message From the Deep

Earth's prized humpback whales you should value
Their clicks, songs and squeals, all would wow you
When they vocalize,
You think not of their size,
But what on earth are they trying to tell you?

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Down By The Shore - sung to "Down by the Bay"

Down by the shore
In the sand and the sun
I like to dive and splash and run
and as the waves roll out and in
I'll get warm in the sun
and have lots of fun
Down by the shore.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Star Fish

I am starfish in the sea
Take a closer look at me and you will see five legs on me
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

If All The Seas Were One Sea

If all the seas were one sea.
What a good sea that would be!
And if all the trees were one tree,
What a great tree that would be!
And if all the axes were one axe,
What a great axe that would be!
And if all the men were one man,
What a great man that would be!
And if that great big man took the great big axe,
And cut down that great big tree.
And let it fall into the great sea.
What a splish splash that would be!

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Have You Ever Been Fishing?

Have you ever been fishing
On a bright and sunny day?
(Pretend to cast fishing rod)

When all the little fishies
Swimmin' up and down the bay?
(Swim with hands)

With your hands in your pockets,
And your pockets in your pants,
(Put hands in pockets)

And all the little fishies do the
Hootchy Kootchy dance!

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Ocean Shell

I found a great big shell one day.
(cup hands as if holding large shell)

Upon the ocean floor.
(Pick it up from the floor)

I held it close up to my ear.
(hand cupped to ear)

I heard the ocean roar!
I found a tiny shell one day.
(pretend to roll shell between fingers)

Upon the ocean sand.
The waves had worn it nice and smooth.
It felt nice in my hand.
(Place little shell in palm of other hand)

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Let's Go To The Beach - sung to "A Hunting We Will Go"

Let's go to the beach
To swim and play and run.
Building castles in the sand
Is ever so much fun.

We'll fix a picnic lunch
And eat it when we like.
And when we all are nice and full
We'll take a nature hike.

Be sure to wear your suit
And bring along your float.
We'll ride so far out in the surf
Pretending it's a boat.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

A Seashell

One day a little shell washed up (hold shell)
Out of the waves at sea.
I held the shell up to my ear (hold shell to ear)
And I heard it sing to me.
Sh . . . sh . . . sh. . . sh. . .(children repeat)
A little shell washed up one day,
and lay upon the sand. (hold shell in hand)
It sang a song about the sea,
As I held it in my hand.
Sh . . . sh. . . sh. . .sh. . . (children repeat)

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

At the Seashore

Down at the seashore,
Isn't it grand?
Wiggling my toes (wiggle toes)
In the soft warm sand.
Building a tall sand castle (make building motions)
Where the King and Queen can stay,
But when the tide comes rushing in (one arm sweeps inwards)
They will have to move away! (Arm makes leveling motion)

Splashing in the water (hands make splashing motions)
Of the cool blue sea,
Playing wave tag - in and out, (run forward with small steps)
You can't catch me! (run quickly backwards)

Holding up a seashell
Tightly to my ear. (Hold fist tightly to ear)
Shh! It's telling me a secret (other hand holds finger to lips)
That only I can hear

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Sea Gulls

I like to watch the sea gulls, (fists up to eyes)
Playing in the sky.
Dipping and soaring (wave arm in air)
Through the clouds,
I wish that I could fly

~Submitted by Cindy in MD


I can dive (move hands flattened togther)
I can swim (swimming motion)
I can float (hands out to side with head thrown back)
I can fetch.
But dog paddle (paddle like dog)
Is the stroke
That I do best.

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Arts & Crafts

Floating Fish

Materials needed:
Tag board -cut into fish shapes
vegetable oil
tub or water table

After cutting fish shapes out of the tag board, cut a slit in the end of the tail. Use a paper punch and punch a hole at the end of the slit and put a drop of veg. oil in the hole. Place fish on surface water and watch what happens! The fish will move forward with its own power.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Fish Art

Obtain bathtub grippers that are fish shaped. I found mine at the dollar store. (You can use any shapes.) Peel off the back, and let your child decorate with glitter, or construction paper. You don't have to use glue.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Play Fish Tank

Take a card board box open on one side and have the children paint the inside blue and then give each child a precut fish (or have them design their own) have the children decorate the fish with glitter, sequins, feathers, etc. Then suspend the fish with fishing wire from the fish tank. It will look like the fish are swimming. Encourage the children to add things to the tank like rocks, plants, etc.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Jelly Fish Art

Take a white paper plate and cut it in half. Give each child one half of a white paper plate and let them color it with crayons or markers. Then give the children four or five 3 inch streamer strips (light blue works well) to glue to the cut end of the paper plate for tentacles.

~Submitted by Jamie in WV

Easy Octopus Art

Draw 7 5 1/2 in lines up from the long side of a piece of construction paper. Have the child cut along the lines to make arms, and roll the paper and tape the sides of the body together. Have your child bend the arms outwards, and stick on sticker eyes.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Pipe cleaner Octopus

Cut a toilet paper tube in half. Have your child tape eight pipe cleaners onto the tube for legs. Use a marker for the eyes.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Sand Printing

Materials: items from the beach, spray bottles of water

Collect items that chilldren might find on the beach, spray the sand with water so the children can make imprints easily. Materials to make imprints include shells, tennis shoes, aluminum cans, seaveed, bare feet, wheels, horseshoes, sanddollars, coral, strafish.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY


Paint butcher paper blue, let the kids tear colored construction paper to be the seaweed and coral and glue it on, then you can glue on your paper plate fish and other art projects or else draw fish directly on. For added effect you could cover with blue or clean cellophane when done. Another idea for sealife is to make aquariums from shoe boxes. Make the background by having the kids glue layers of tissue paper scraps (in blue and green shades) to the inside of the box. The ocean floor can be done by gluing down a piece of sand paper. then they can put in rocks and shells and springs of silk greenery to look like kelp and sea weed. A variety of sealife can be made with chenille wire, pompons, wiggle eyes and felt.

~ Here are some of my favorites:

1. Octopus-- Take a section of panty hose (toe preferably), stuff it with paper towel and secure at the bottom with a rubber band. Twist together 4 chenile stems (so there are 8 legs) and wrap them around the bottom. Draw on eyes and a happy smile. Glue into aquarium.

2. Sea Horse-- Cut one section of a bumpy chenille, bend into an "S", glue on eyes, add a parallelogram shaped piece of felt for the fin on back.

3. Fish-- Cut these out of fun foam or styrofoam trays, add eyes and a smile.

4. Crabs -- one red pompon, eight peices of red chenile stem for 3 legs and 1 swimmer on each side, 1 bumpy chenille section (cut in half) for the claws, wiggle eyes. Cut a crab shell-shaped felt piece for the shell.

5. Seastar (the politically correct version of Starfish!)-- Just bend a chenille stem into a star-shape. Some of these may be involved for little fingers so you may need to simplify them.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Fish Net Mobiles

Using a green, plastic, net bag (like what fruits are sold in) attach one end of pipecleaners to the net, and attach precut fish to the other end of pipecleaner, (by the fishes mouth - use a hole puncher for the pipe cleaner to go through. Hang several fish on the net. Close the bag, and hang from the top of the bag, with fish hanging down.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Tackle Box

Put 2 holes, approximately 3" apart, in the top of an egg carton. Put string through the holes, as a handle. Paint the egg carton. Use different sections for different fishing equiptment. Such as: paper clips, twisted open to be hooks.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Sea Weed

Attach clear contact paper (sticky side up) to two tables. Let the children toss on some pieces of paper. Vary the papers (ie. tissue, cellophane, construction) to have a nice finished affect. Lay more clear contact paper on top (sticky side down). Cut into strips and hang from the ceiling.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Star Fish

Cut out starfish shapes. Give the children glue, sand (sensory-texture) and some sequins (visual) to decorate the starfish. Hang them around the room.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY


Use egg cartons. Cut them individually. Let the children paint them. Hole punch around the bottoms. Attach pipe cleaners for legs and antennas if you wish.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Beach Wreaths

Cut wreath shapes out of heavy white paper or tagboard. Have children paint or color the wreath shape yellow. Let dry. Dribble glue all over wreath, then sprinkle on sand, let dry. Glue on shells, pebbles, seaweed, bay leaves, etc. When dry, tie yarn in a loop through a hole at the top for hanging.

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Sea Collage

Use small piece of heavy white cardboard (6x8). Have kids use damp sponges dipped in blue and green tempera powder. Have kids apply paint to cardboard in a swirling motion to create a blue-green sea wave effect. Dribble white glue onto picture and add shells, seaweed, and other decorations. Sprinkle sand over picture (it will adhere to extra glue). Let dry flat. Tape a wire loop on the back for hanging.

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

In The Kitchen

Try Tunafish

Most children have had a tuna sandwitch. Try tunafish on crackers.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Shrimp Cocktail Party

Serve cooked shrimp with various sauces for the children to try.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

High Seas Sandwiches

1 medium sized can of tuna
¼ C. pickle relish
¼ C. mayonnaise
6 Hotdog buns
3 slices of American cheese
Pretzel sticks

Mix together the 1st three ingredients. Spread the tuna mixture into hotdog buns. Cut cheese diagonally,
then fit each triangle of cheese on a pretzel stick to make a sail. Stick sails into tuna-filled bun boats. (Makes 6)

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Ocean Blue Vanilla Milkshakes

3/4 c vanilla ice cream
blue food coloring
1/4 c milk

ice cream scoop
tall plastic container for mixing
big spoon
small, clear, drinking glasses
drinking straws (this would be a good time to use fishy straws)

For each milkshake, place 2 or 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream in your tall plastic container. Let the ice cream sit in your plastic container for about 10 minutes at room temp. Next, have the children put 1 or 2 drops of blue food coloring into the ice cream and then pour in about one quarter cup of milk. Have the kids use a big spoon to gently stir all of the ingredients together. You may need to add a little more ice cream or a bit more milk, depending on the consistency of your milkshake. Pour your milkshake into a small, clear, drinking glass.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY


In a dixie cup, pour juice (orange, apple, fruit punch, etc.), put in a craft stick. Put in gummy worms hanging over the edge to look like legs. When the pop is taken out of the cup it looks like an octopus on a stick.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY


Try the different varities of the Goldfish crackers.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Under The Sea Lunch

~ Octopus: *Octopus Hot Dog*
~ Sea Shells Sprinkled with Fish Food: Shell macaroni with parmesan cheese.
~ Golden nuggets Lost from a Treasure Ship: Cut corn
~ Giant Whale: Pear half with carrot fins and a raisin eye
~ Murky Bottom Sea Water: Chocolate milk

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

Mermaid Potion

Freeze ice cubes made with water and one drop of blue food coloring per cube. Use warm water to prepare powdered lemonade drink mix and add one 12 oz. can of warm lemon lime soda pop. Add 8 drops of yellow food coloring to the lemonade/soda pop mix. Pour lemonade/soda pop mix into a clear plastic glass and drop in one or two blue ice cubes and stir.

~Submitted by Cheryl in NY

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