The Teachers' Mousepad is excited to bring to you...

A Reading Theme Based On the Beach!


Sandcastles are being built and
so is this page! 
New ideas and activities will be washing to shore daily as we swim through the month and read our
way to sunny days. 
If you have any beach related activities to help us celebrate
March Is Reading Month, please
 me so I can add them to our resources.  Happy Reading!


Beach Ball Spelling
You will need a beach ball, a sand pail and a set of cards with the spelling words.  Place the cards in the bucket. Children can work with a partner or in small groups. Person one picks a card from the pail and reads it aloud.  The toss the ball to his/her partner or another member of the group. The person that catches it says the first letter of the word and then tosses it to another person, who says the second letter of the word. The ball keeps moving until the word has been spelled.  The person who called the word, must pay close attention as the word is being spelled.  If a player says an incorrect letter, they must look at the card and spell the whole word before sitting in the shark pond (center of circle).  The game continues until all words have been chosen from the pail.




Beach Ball Games

You will need a beach ball or any other beach type item that the kids can pass.   This game can be played with any unit you are studying or book you are reading..  To play, the children sit in a circle. They pass the ball (or other item) from one person to the next.  They chant  Pass, pass, pass the ball. Pass it very fast. Pass, pass, pass the ball. Who will have it last. You can also alternate the chant with Pass, pass, pass the ball. Pass, pass, pass it slow. Pass, pass, pass the ball. Where it will end no one knows. The person that has the ball can do whatever activity you decide. Since this is reading month, you could have the child who has the ball read the next passage in your weekly reading story or pull a task card from the sand pail and complete the task. Tasks could be to read the word wall, read the wall, locate nouns in the room, read the class poem, read the calendar, read a tongue twister, read the lunch menu. The ideas are endless!

Beach Ball Reading
Write your vocabulary words on a beach ball with permanent marker.  Toss the ball out to a member of your class. The child who catches  the ball looks to see what words their hands are on. They can either give a definition for each word or use the words in a sentence. 

Beach Pail Centers

Create and store your literacy centers in beach pails. Have parents donate them or pick up inexpensive ones at the Dollar Store.  Kids will love to grab a pail and head to a towel to practice reading!



Beach Bag- An easy to make craft from Kids Domain.  Idea- make the bag and fill with books to create a Beach Book Bag!  Beach Bingo-from Kids Domain- printable bingo cards and directions.

Beach Theme Unit from EduHelper- Comprehension Packets for grades 2-8; writing prompts, and more. Printables!

Book Lists-
Check out these beach related book lists
Everything Preschool

Beach Theme Book Ideas-
lesson plans, crafts, beach internet resources, hands-on activities, and many  other resources

"We are Having a Ball
Reading This Month

Paper beach balls can be made and decorated with different books the kids have read. I had my students fill in the beach ball's sections with title, author, author's purpose, setting, character, problem and solution.  They had fun making their ball report.

"Make A Splash With A GOOD Book!"
"Make A Splash in Reading"


Create a large wave. Have your students create themselves on surfboard shaped like books.

In large water droplets have the students write a book summary of their favorite book.  Place the water drops above your wave.

"Surfing Summaries"
On surfboard cutouts, have the students
 write a book summary. 


"Dive Into A Good Book!"

"Get Caught Up In A GOOD Book"
Decorate with a fishing net and some good books.  Take pictures of your students reading and attach under the net.

"We are digging reading!" or
"We Dig Reading"

Using sand pails and shovels as your decorations.

"We are building great readers!"
Sandcastles kick off this theme.
Ask the children to create different sections of a sandcastle. As they read to meet individual or class goals, assemble the castle. The more they read the bigger their sandcastle will be!

Painted Beach Shells:
Take large pasta shells and allow the children to paint them Once dry they create an eye-catching addition to any beach scene.

In the past, I have  made a set with math problems written inside. One shell had the problem. Another the answer. The kids laid them out to create a memory type game.  They turned over two shells hoping to find the matches.  To color your shells add a few drops rubbing alcohol and a few drops of your favorite food coloring into a Ziploc plastic bag.  Roll the pasta shells in the make to coat them with the color. Lay out on thickly stacked newspaper to dry overnight. With a permanent marker, write your problems inside. 

Share your ideas, internet resources, crafts, snacks, pictures or whatever you have. I would love to add it to my site for others to to see!

Jan Brett's site has some "beachy" things- such as coloring pages with Hedgie, sea shell math games and more! Check it out! is a great place to create theme related word searches and other word puzzles.

Rainbow Fish
Children love this story!  There are many ways to integrate Rainbow Fish into your beach reading theme. Read the story and have the children create their own rainbow fish.

Recording Your Readings

Ask the children to create different sections of a sandcastle. As they read to meet individual or class goals, assemble the castle. The more they read the bigger their sandcastle will be!
If they meet their goals, celebrate with a sandy treat

My class is keeping track on paper beach balls when they meet their weekly goals. Each week they meet their goal, they get to color in a section of their beach ball. Once the ball is complete, my students will be given a small reward (a book, a classroom dollar, pencil, homework pass...).

Sand Table Story Fun
On heavy cardboard, create characters from favorite story books that your class is familiar with. Laminate for durability.  Add them to your sand table with a collection of sand toys/tools.  Challenge your students to uncover characters from one story. Use a sand sifter to sift out characters.  If  the child gets a character not from the day's story, they dig a whole and bury it in the sand. Once all the characters (or enough) have been uncovered, the child use them to retell the story. Have a pocket chart handy is a great way for the children to collect and then store their characters..

Sand Table Sand Castle Fun
Provide water and sand at your table and ask the kids to create sandcastles.  In their journals, the children can draw their sand castle and then write a story about it.  Allow the to share their stories with each other.

If you do cross-grade buddies, older buddies could write the story as the younger kids dictate it to them.

Older buddies can read the stories to other groups of kids.

More Sand Table Fun- write and read in the sand.  Provide a list of words you are working on with your students.  Wet the sand table down and ask the children to write the words on the list in the sand. When they have as many as they can fit, they read the list to a friend or parent helper.  Using sandbox toys, clear the sand and continue. 



Scholastic's Book Fair Site- letterhead printable, coloring sheets and more! Great reading shark pictures! 

Coming Soon- pictures of my beach theme corner!


Shell Frames
Have the students decorate inexpensive frames with sea shells.  Set up a beach themed reading corner. Capture your students reading and take their picture.  Add to the frame for a lasting memory of a fun reading event.

Songs for the Beach

Everything Preschool

Preschool Educations
has a cute interactive book called, Surfer Girl. 
How fun!


Sunglass Fun
Invite your children to bring in their beach towels and sunglasses.  Then invite them to lay out their towels, put on their shades and enjoy some reading in the sun!



pictureBeach Party Cups-visit Kids Domain to get the directions on how to create these fun treat cups! Fun Cupcakes- Allow the children to decorate cupcakes with blue frosting and add small gummy fish or frost with sandy colored frosting, sprinkle with crushed vanilla wafers and top with a little paper umbrella.
Hawaiian Beach Cake- Family Fun offers up a great cake design!



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Last Updated on 04/15/2007