Are you heading to the beach for vacation this year? Are you lucky enough to live near the beach? The beach is my happy place. It is my favorite spot for a family vacation.
Like any good homeschool mom, if you are heading to the beach (or anywhere) for vacation, you are looking for ways to turn it into an educational experience. From fun learning experiences in the sand to ocean animal studies, there are so many ways to turn vacation into a beach science class —and still have lots of fun!!!
Here are some activities, experiments, resources and ideas I gathered that will set you up for some pre-trip unit studies or on-the-spot beach science activities. Enjoy!
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Beach Science Activities And Resources
- In this The Lab Report, sponsored by Apologia Science, learn how waves affect the shape and appearance of sandy beaches and then try the activity yourself!
- Did you know that Sand Dollars are echinoderms, just like star fish? Learn more about Sand Dollars with these resources.
- I love collecting shells! Learn more about them with these Sea Shell Identification resources.
- Ocean Science Pinterest board
- Did you know that not all sand is the same? The composition of beach sand differs beach to beach. Learn more here—> Comparing Beach Sand Under A Microscope
- It doesn’t have to be Shark Week to study sharks. Not exactly what you want on your beach, but fascinating none-the-less. Shark Unit Study Resources
- Use this great Ocean Animals Unit Study to get them excited about what animals call the ocean home.
- If your kids are really interested in ocean life, I highly recommend the Marine Biology High School Curriculum! Written by a marine biologist who is absolutely passionate about science and education.
- We studied sea turtles before leaving for our very first beach vacation, because we read that they nested on the beaches were we stayed. We never saw turtles, but we did see some nests! The kids were so excited!
- You and your kids can follow NOAA’s ocean explorations and track their discoveries. Amazing!
- Did you know that NOAA has an ocean study site just for kids?
- While you probably won’t see one on the beach, my kids thought this Blue Whale Unit Study was fascinating. They loved learning about the largest living animal on earth!
- Sand learning experiences your kids will love!
- Chemical reactions with sea shells experiment
- Salt water density experiment
- Learn more about jelly fish with these links and a jelly fish craft!
- Explore tide pools! These are usually teeming with life! Take pictures or sketch things that catch your kids eye and then research them later!
- Fly a kite. Seriously. The winds coming off the ocean are the perfect places to fly a kite and the perfect way to teach about the wind and currents.
- Sea shells unit study from UnitStudy.com
- Oceans Unit Study set from UnitStudy.com
- Crab hunting! Our favorite vacation spot is in Gulf Shores, Alabama in the Fort Morgan area. We love to grab our buckets and flashlights to hunt ghost crabs on the beach at night. It’s fun and hilarious. Go do it and you will know what I mean.
Beach Field Guides
Do NOT forget the field guides!!! I didn’t take any on our first trip and I was so sad. We kept seeing birds, fish, and other creatures we had never seen before and had no way to identify them.
Here’s a tip: Do your research before hand and try an find nature guides specific to the area you are traveling. That will really save you time and frustration while trying to identify something on the spot. Here are some field guides you might want to have on hand.