Beach Play for Kids

Today, I’ve got a fun list of beach play ideas. These are beach activities for preschoolers…or any age! When you’re looking for a beach theme for therapy or home skill-building, these are the must-do beach ideas for kids! Let’s Imagine we are at the Beach and build skills!

beach play and ocean activities for therapy

beach activities for preschoolers

Mermaid & Sandcastle Activity– This free Google slide deck is a fun interactive activity where kiddos can move the mermaid’s accessories. Have them write the words, recall the items they added, all while working on sequencing, motor planning, fine motor work & more. Then, use the interactive sandcastle slides to decorate a sandcastle. There’s also a writing prompt slide to address more handwriting or typing skills.

Add to the beach theme:

Sand activities

If a beach theme in therapy or at home, then sand is a must! Use these sand activities to work on sensory experiences, fine motor play, and motor skill building.

  1. Make kinetic sand for sand sensory play! This easy 3 ingredient kinetic sand recipe inspires sensory play with a beach and sand theme. It’s a great fine motor workout too.
  2. Sandpaper writing– Stretch the sand theme to work with sandpaper and address handwriting skills.
  3. Make your own colored sand in a sensory and fine motor play activity. The, use the colored sand in sensory play or a sensory writing tray.
  4. This sand, stones, and sticks sensory bin was fun for fine motor skills, but with a few adaptations, it would be a great pretend beach activity, too!

Seashell Activities

Use these seashell activities to work on sensory experiences, fine motor work, motor planning, eye-hand coordination, and more.

  1. Seashell Sensory Bottle– If you have seashells from a beach trip (or the dollar store), then add them to a bottle to make a sensory discovery bottle. Sensory bottles are great tools for self-regulation and are calming heavy work to hold and look for all of the items. They are a fine motor challenge to make, too. Kids can then strengthen visual processing skills to track and work on visual attention and visual memory to find a specific number of shells too. Read more about making sensory bottles and all of the benefits of this sensory tool.
  2. Use seashells in a sensory bin for tactile experiences. This seashell and luau sensory water bin was fun for building fine motor skills, tactile sensory play, and fun one summer day!

Beach Crafts

These beach crafts are great for an ocean or beach theme therapy at home. Use these beach and ocean crafts for building skills like:

  • Scissor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Oral motor skills
  • Visual motor skills
  • Fine motor strength
  • Coordination
  • Motor planning
  • Direction-following
  • Creative expression

This Crab Craft from Preschool Powol Packets helps with scissor skills and cutting simple and complex shapes.

This Shark Craft from Inspired by Montessori uses a celery stalk to stamp fish scales. Work on eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, motor planning, fine motor precision, and more.

narwhal craft

This Narwhal craft is great for scissor skills and challenges graded scissor skills in cutting simple and complex shapes.

lighthouse craft

Make this lighthouse craft as a simple cutting activity that builds fine motor skills like folding, manipulating textures, and cutting different thicknesses of paper.

jellyfish crafts

Work on a variety of skills like coordination, hand strength, bilateral coordination, scissor skills, and more with these jellyfish crafts.

This Beach Mat by Crafty Moms Share is a sensory play mat that can be used for fine motor work and tactile sensory play.

This Beach Sensory Play and Small World Play by Fantastic Fun and Learning is a great use of those seashells you collect at the beach!

Summer fine motor kit
Summer Fine Motor Kit

Or, grab the Summer Fine Motor Kit for tons of summer, beach, and ocean themed fine motor activities to build hand strength, scissor skills, coloring, coordination, and more.

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

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beach play and ocean activities