Print a variety of posters and use them to decorate the walls of your daycare. (Open thematic poster-Sandcastles)
(Open educa-decorate-Sandcastles) Print, laminate, and cut out the illustrations. Use them to decorate your walls and set the mood for the theme.
(Open educa-theme-Sandcastles) Print and laminate the different elements representing the theme. Use them to present the theme to your group (and their parents) while decorating your daycare.
(Open stickers-Sandcastles) Print on adhesive paper and use the stickers for various projects throughout the theme.
(Open transition games-Sandcastles) Print and let children decorate the items. Cut them out and use them to create a garland that can be hung within your daycare or near your daycare entrance.
At the beach
Cut four brown paper grocery bags open. Apply glue all over and sprinkle the bags with sand to represent a beach. Let dry. Hang them on a wall, at children’s level. Throughout the theme, let children add the crafts they make to your beach-themed mural.
Display pictures representing different types of “sandy” sculptures (sand, dirt, clay, porcelain, cement, etc.) on the walls of your daycare to spark children’s curiosity.
(Open picture game-Sandcastles) Print and laminate the pictures in the format you prefer. Use them to spark a conversation with your group. Ask children questions about sandcastles.
(Open picture game-Sandcastles) Print and laminate the pictures in the format you prefer. Use a hole-punch to make a hole in the upper right and upper left corners of each picture. Stack the pictures and insert a ring through each set of holes. The flipogram is easy to manipulate. Simply show children how they can lift a picture and flip it under the stack. Name each item with your group. Use the flipogram to encourage children to talk during circle time and to ask them questions about the theme.
Illustrated circle time board
(Open picture game-Sandcastles) Print several pictures related to the theme. Stick them on a large piece of cardboard and laminate it. During circle time, use your illustrated board to present different items associated with your theme to your group. Give each child a dry-erase marker. Every time a child identifies an item on your board, have him circle it with his marker. This will help younger children visualize what you are talking about.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game-Sandcastles) Print, laminate, and store in a “Ziploc” bag or in your thematic bins.
(Open picture game-Sandcastles) Print the pictures twice and use them for a memory game.
One picture, two pictures-Sandcastles
(Open picture game-Sandcastles) Print and laminate each picture twice. Hide one copy of each picture within your daycare or in your backyard. Consider the ages of the children in your group to determine whether you should hide the pictures completely or leave part of each picture showing. Distribute the copies and invite children to search for the matching pictures.
ACTIVITY SHEETS AND WRITING ACTIVITIES
(Open activity sheets-Sandcastles) Print and follow instructions.
(Open writing activities-S like sandcastle) Print for each child or laminate for use with a dry-erase marker.
(Open educa-spots-Sandcastles) Print for each child. Use bingo markers to add a touch of color inside each circle. If you don’t have bingo markers, simply ask children to set Cheerios or press a sticker inside each circle.
(Open word flashcards-Sandcastles) (Open giant word flashcards-Sandcastles) Print several word flashcards. Glue them on pieces of paper, laminate them, and arrange them in a binder. Show children how they can trace the words using dry-erase markers. If you wish, leave room under each word so children can try to write the words without tracing the letters. Print several word flashcards.
Tracing words in the sand
(Open word flashcards-Sandcastles) (Open giant word flashcards-Sandcastles) Print several word flashcards. Stick each one on a piece of paper and laminate them. Pour enough sand in a plastic bin to completely cover the bottom. Show children how they can use their finger to trace the laminated words in the sand.
(Open educa-nuudles-Sandcastles) Print for each child. Have children color the sheet and use Magic Nuudles to give it a three-dimensional look. Variation: You don’t have Magic Nuudles? Have children fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers. To order Magic Nuudles.
(Open stationery-Sandcastles) Print. Use the stationery to communicate with parents, in your writing area, or to identify your thematic bins.
The flashcards may be used during circle time to spark a conversation with the group or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Sandcastles) (Open giant word flashcards-Sandcastles) shovel, sand, bucket, mold, water, castle, sculpture, beach, trowel, rake, sieve, desert
Words in the sand
Print the theme’s word flashcards and glue each one on the end of a Popsicle stick. Prick each stick in the ground, in your yard. Invite children to stand on a line, at one end of your yard. When you give the signal, children must pick a word and run to the sandbox to “trace” the letters that make up the word using the tip of the Popsicle stick or their finger. Read the words for the children in your group. You may also encourage children to use the sand to sculpt the corresponding items. The goal is for children to notice the different words. When they are done, simply rake the surface of your sandbox and repeat! As much as possible, encourage children to choose a different word for each round.
(Open scene-Sandcastles) Print, laminate, and cut out the pieces. Invite children to use the pieces to decorate the scene.
(Open sequential story-Sandcastles) Print the story. Laminate the illustrations and cut them out. Have children place them in the correct order.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
(Open transition games-Sandcastles) Print, laminate, and use the illustrations to create a path leading to various areas within your daycare. The path can lead to areas children regularly visit each day such as the bathroom, the cloakroom, etc. If you prefer, the illustrations can also be used to delimit workshops.
This is my spot-Sandcastles
(Open transition games-Sandcastles) Print two copies of each illustration. Stick one copy of each illustration on the table using adhesive paper. Set the copies in an opaque bag and have children take turns picking an illustration out of the bag to determine their spot at the table for the day. You may also use these illustrations to determine children’s naptime spots or for the task train.
A treasure chest
Fill a chest with a variety of simple items (toy cars, figurines, small chalkboards, tiny dolls, etc.). Children who are quick to get dressed may play with the contents of the treasure chest as they wait for others.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Use empty tissue boxes, paper bags filled with crumpled newspaper or any other recycled items you have on hand to represent sandcastles.
Divide your group into teams of two. One child from each team becomes a sculptor who sculpts his partner by setting his arms, legs, fingers, hands, head, etc. as he wishes. After a while, the sculptors become the sculpted.
(Open word flashcards-Sandcastles) (Open giant word flashcards-Sandcastles) Print several word flashcards. Insert five word flashcards in an envelope for each child. If you wish, you could also divide your group into teams and give each team an envelope. When you give the signal, children must hunt for the items represented by their word flashcards. They can stick the word flashcards on the corresponding items within your daycare or yard. The first child (or team) who empties his envelope wins. Let the other children complete their treasure hunt. Once everyone has succeeded, walk around the daycare with your group and “read” the word flashcards.
My three-dimensional castle
Prior to presenting this activity, wrap several cylindrical containers with brown paper (to represent sand). Add towers, windows, doors, etc. Encourage children to use the containers to build sandcastles. Store the material in a bin that you can leave in your construction area.
Pour sand in a Ziploc bag until it is ¾ full. Add plastic gems to the bag. Invite children to manipulate the bag to find the precious stones.
Playing card castles
Provide several decks of playing cards. Sit on the floor with your group and have fun building castles.
Castle-themed obstacle course
Create an original obstacle course for children to enjoy. Set up a variety of obstacles. For example, hang a rope between two chairs and invite children to crawl under it or, if you prefer, have them jump over it. Set a bucket filled with water on a chair and have children slither under it. Incorporate items you already have on hand. For example, you could have a crown that children must wear to complete the obstacle course. Encourage children to help you build your obstacle course and aim for them to have to move about in a variety of different ways (crawling, hopping, spinning, etc.). Use your imagination!
Set old bedsheets over your garden furniture to represent a giant sandcastle. Add a variety of accessories normally used to build sandcastles such as trowels, buckets, shovels, molds, etc. Let children spend time in their sandcastle throughout the day. They could even eat their snack or sleep inside it.
(Open word flashcards-Sandcastles) (Open giant word flashcards-Sandcastles) Set hula hoops on the ground in one corner of your yard. Set a laminated word flashcard in the centre of each one. Encourage children to throw a ball towards the hula hoops. Every time a ball lands inside a hula hoop, read the corresponding word flashcard.
Mandala in our sandbox
Create a mandala in your sandbox as you explore various textures and shapes with your group. Draw a large circle in the sand (children must be able to walk around the circle). Divide the large circle into several smaller sections. Children take turns drawing a design (zigzag, vertical or horizontal lines, waves, dots, etc.) inside one section.
Building sandcastles represents a popular summertime activity. Why not create other kinds of sculptures? For example, encourage children to create sand animals or popular characters.
Frozen sand sculptures
Fill several empty milk cartons with water and sand before setting them in the freezer. Once frozen, peel the cardboard off your homemade blocks and let children stack them to create different sculptures.
Fill empty individual yogurt and applesauce containers with water and add a few drops of food coloring to each one. Set them in the freezer overnight. Press the small ice blocks out of the containers and let children use them to make original constructions in your sandbox. Think ahead to ensure you have enough blocks for everyone.
Angels in the sand
Encourage children to lie on their back in your sandbox and move their arms and legs up and down several times. Help them get up so they don’t step on the sand angels they made. They will enjoy admiring their creations.
The sandbox should not be reserved for older children. Babies are sure to enjoy exploring the texture of the sand too. Provide small shovels, spoons, and empty yogurt containers they can have fun filling and emptying repeatedly.
Variation: Why not use your hose to create mud to provide children with the opportunity to explore yet another interesting texture?
Go play in your sandbox with your group. Explain how a beach is like a giant sandbox near a large body of water. Have fun building various sand structures together. Provide large trucks children can roll around and plastic animal figurines. Variation: If you wish, set your hose in your sandbox to turn the sand into mud. Children will love playing in the mud. This is a great Friday afternoon activity. Your sandbox will have all weekend to dry out.
This is my castle
Spray several empty margarine containers with PAM and fill them with water. Add a few drops of food coloring to each one before setting them in the freezer overnight. The next day, empty the colorful ice blocks in your sandbox and encourage children to use them to build colorful castles.
Sandy treasure hunt
Select an object with your group and designate a child who will hide it in your sandbox. The other children will have fun searching for it. The child who finds the item can hide it for the next round. Variation: With your group, paint several rocks with gold paint. Set them aside to dry before hiding them in your sandbox. Invite children to hunt for gold. You could provide sieves. They will enjoy filling the sieves with sand and shaking them to find gold pieces.
(Open educa-symmetry-Sandcastles) Print. Children must color the bottom picture using the same colors as in the top picture.
Color by number-Castle
(Open colorful castle) Print for each child. Have children complete the picture per the color code.
Educ-same and different-Castles
(Open educ-same and different-Castles) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must circle the item that is different in each row.
Educ-big and small-Sandcastles
(Open educ-big and small-Sandcastles) Print and laminate. Children must arrange the illustrations from smallest to biggest.
(Open educ-colors-Sandcastles) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. If you prefer, print a copy for each child. Children must associate the items to the matching color by drawing a line using a marker of the same color (or another marker).
(Open educ-pairs-Sandcastles) Print. Children must draw a line between identical illustrations or color them using the same color. For durable, eco-friendly use, laminate and use with a dry-erase marker.
Hidden pictures to identify
Hide pictures related to the theme in your outdoor sandbox or in a manipulation bin filled with rice or cereal. Provide tiny brushes children can use to delicately uncover the pictures. Encourage children to try to guess what is in each picture once they uncover a small portion. After guessing, they can continue to brush the sand, rice, or cereal off to see if they guessed correctly.
My cutting castle
(Open educa-cut-Castles) Print different models and have children cut out the pieces. They can glue the pieces together to reconstruct each model.
Association game-My castle
(Open association game-My castle) Print and cut out. Laminate the pieces and stick a piece of Velcro behind each shape and on the models to prepare your association game. Give each child a castle. Set the shapes upside down in front of your group. Children take turns picking a shape. Have them name the shape and color before associating it to the correct castle. The first child who completes his castle wins.
(Open stencils-Sandcastles) Print for each child. Tear tissue paper into small pieces and crumple them to form tiny balls. Use the balls of paper to fill the castle outline.
(Open die-castle) Print one die and assemble it. Print a picture for each child. Children take turns rolling the die and coloring the corresponding part. The first child who finishes coloring his castle wins.
(Open counting cards-Summer) Print and laminate. Prepare a series of wooden clothespins on which you have written or painted numbers 1-9. Children must count the items on each card and place the corresponding clothespin on the correct number.
Give children the opportunity to manipulate Magic Sand, colorful sand, or some other type of granular texture. Adapt the activity per the ages of the children in your group.
Fill a bin with Moon Sand and let children use it to build original castles. They can use empty plastic containers to mold a variety of shapes.
Give each child a bowl containing instant potato flakes. Let children add a small quantity of water to their bowl to create a somewhat thick mixture that is fun to manipulate. This activity is perfect for young children since it is non-toxic.
Use large and miniature marshmallows to build a medieval castle with your group. Use toothpicks to hold the marshmallows together. Dip toothpicks in melted chocolate to draw details on your castle. If you prefer, you could also purchase edible color markers. Children will enjoy drawing on the marshmallows with them.
ARTS & CRAFTS
(Open models-Sandcastles) Print the models and use them for various crafts and activities throughout the theme.
(Open puppets-Sandcastles) Print the various models on cardboard. Ask children to cut them out and decorate them with arts & crafts materials. Glue a Popsicle stick behind each one to complete the puppets.
(Open stencils-Sandcastles) Print for each child. Have them trace the outline of a castle with white glue and sprinkle sand all over. Shake any excess sand off over a garbage can.
Invite children to draw something on a piece of cardboard using white glue. When they are done, have them sprinkle their drawing with sand and shake any excess sand off over a garbage can. Variation: You could use colorful sand. Simply mix light sand with powdered paint.
Have children mix sand and powdered paint together. Prepare several different colors and pour each one in an empty dishwashing liquid bottle. Children will enjoy drawing designs on paper with white glue and then sprinkling sand over the lines. If you prefer, purchase colorful sand at any big-box store.
Give each child a piece of sandpaper. Have them draw on it using chalk to provide them with the opportunity to explore a new texture.
(Open stencils-Sandcastles) Print and cut out the stencils. Children can use them to trace or paint items related to the theme. You could also glue the stencils on a large white paper banner and spray them with colorful water, dab them with paint-covered sponges, or splash them with toothbrushes that have previously been dipped in paint.
Wrap a variety of recycled containers in brown paper bags and use them to create “sand” sculptures.
Have each child draw a desert on black construction paper. When they are done, they can sprinkle sand on the paper and shake it to represent a sand storm.
Our group’s castle
You will need a large appliance box. Invite children to transform it to represent a castle. They will have fun creating it and when they are done, they will play in it for hours!
Colorful sand mandalas
(Open colourful sand mandalas) Print on heavy cardboard. Encourage children to fill the mandala sections with glue, one by one. They can delicately sprinkle the mandala with colorful sand. Use this activity to explain how, in many countries, mandalas are made with sand.
(Open coloring pages theme-Sandcastles) Print for each child.
Color and associate
Identical coloring pages-Sandcastles
Print the same coloring page for each child and an additional copy for your model. Color only certain parts of your picture. Present the model to your group and ask them to color their picture to make it look exactly like yours.
Play musical drawing with your group. Give each child a coloring page. Have children sit around a table. When the music starts, they must pass the coloring pages around the table. Every time the music stops, they must color the picture in front of them until the music starts again.
Use white glue to trace the contour of certain parts of a coloring page. Sprinkle it with sand and remove any excess sand over a garbage can.
Homemade color by number activities
Use the coloring pages to create original color by number activity sheets. Simply add a legend at the bottom of each page (ex. 1=red, 2=blue, etc.).
Group coloring activity
Cut a coloring page into pieces so that you have one piece per child. Have each child color his part of the picture. When they are done, assemble the pieces.
SONGS & RHYMES
(Open songs & rhymes-Sandcastles)
By: Patricia Morrison - Sung to: Hot Cross Buns
At the beach or in my sandbox
I add towers, windows
Doors and a drawbridge
At the beach or in my sandbox
The Educatall team