If you like using unit studies with your students, I’m sharing a fun beach unit for kids that’s a perfect way to learn about these natural wonders!
I absolutely adore the beach.
What can I say? I’m from Florida.
It turns out that beaches actually provide lots of educational opportunities.
You can learn about animals that live near or on the beach, how beach sand is formed, and weather that frequently occurs near shorelines – just to name a few.
This unit study features plenty of beach activities for kids!
Below, you’ll find beach books for kids, as well as beach crafts and activities kids can try.
You’ll also see educational videos that teach students about how beaches are formed, how waves develop, and what kinds of cool creatures live near the beach!
Read on to see the full list of beach learning ideas. And, check out a free beach scavenger hunt you can pick up too!
Want more beach-y ways to learn over the summer? Don’t miss our printable Beach Ball Counting to Ten Cards!
How to Use This Beach Unit for Kids
If you feel a little overwhelmed by all of the information in this unit, don’t worry. You can determine how many of the resources to use with your students.
Here’s a suggestion: Take this theme and break it up over a week or two. On one day, you might watch a video and answer the questions.
Then, you can choose a beach learning activity or craft to try. Repeat until you’ve covered the material you wanted from this unit.
Feel free to add any other awesome beach activities you find! I’m sure your students will love them.
Printable Beach Writing Pages
Pick up these free beach writing pages to get started on this beach unit study! They’re perfect for writing down the answers to the questions in the next section.
You can also let students use them to write a report on what they learn or to practice handwriting!
Just the click the image or the link below to have them sent directly to your inbox. You’ll also get our weekly newsletter this Sunday!
How are Beaches Formed?
It takes many, many years for beaches to form. What makes up a beach anyway?
Watch the short video below and see if your kids can answer the questions that follow.
1. What landform do beaches start from? (Answer: Mountains)
2. How do mountains lose particles? (Answer: Particles from mountains are eroded away and washed down rivers.)
3. How do particles from mountains end up on the beach? (Answer: They sink to the bottom of the river floor and are transported to the shore over time, forming beaches.)
4. Why don’t plants grow on the beach? (Answer: The salty air prevents plants from growing.)
How Do Ocean Waves Form?
Waves also contribute to the shape of beaches.
As they break onshore, waves wash particles away from the beach, eroding sand off the shore and down to the ocean floor.
Watch the following video to learn about how waves form and see if your students can answer the questions below.
1. What causes waves? (Answer: Weather events happening far away from the shore)
2. What determines how big waves are? (Answer: 1) How strong the winds offshore are blowing, 2) How long the winds have been blowing, and 3) How large an area the winds have been blowing over)
3. How do localized winds affect waves? (Answer: Localized winds are winds that blow just a few miles offshore. These winds can cause smaller waves near the beach.)
What Animals Live on the Beach?
Did you know that there are animals hiding in tide pools near the beach?
They hide under rocks when the tide goes out, but they’re there!
Watch this video to find out which animals live in ocean tide pools and challenge your kids to answer the questions that follow.
1. What is the correct name for a starfish? (Answer: Sea star)
2. How did the Leather Star get its name? (Answer: It feels like wet leather when touched.)
3. What animals are sea anemones related to? (Answer: Coral and jellyfish)
4. How long can a nereid worm grow? (Answer: Up to 2 feet in length)
5. Name three types of crabs found on the beach. (Answer: Purple Shore Crab, Striped Shore Crab, Pacific Rock Crab)
6. How are prickleback fish different from most fish? (Answer: They can breathe air.)
7. How long can prickleback fish get? (Answer: Up to 2 1/2 feet in length.)
Beach Activities and Crafts for Kids
Try some of these fun beach-y activities during your beach unit for kids!
Printable Beach Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Want to have some simple fun at the beach with the kids?
Pick up this printable beach scavenger hunt and let the kids mark off the things they find!
This is just a suggestion, but it might help: Consider laminating this scavenger hunt and using a dry-erase marker.
Then you can reuse it afterwards!
You can also use this virtually!
Let students watch videos about the beach and challenge them to spot as many of these items as they can in the background!
To get this printable beach scavenger hunt, click the image or the link below to have it sent directly to your inbox!
You’ll get even more fun learning ideas in this week’s newsletter!
I hope you enjoy using this fun beach unit!
Try some of these other beach ideas for kids!