Nursery Teaching Ideas for the Seaside

Updated June 26, 2018

Many day care nursery programs include themed units that include a variety of stimulating activities for the babies. A seaside theme introduces babies in a nursery program to new sights and sensations. Hands-on activities related to the ocean help the youngsters learn about the seaside world even if they've never been to the beach.

Sand Bottles

Creating a sand bottle provides a safe way for youngsters to explore seaside materials. Fill a plastic bottle about half full with sand. You can use regular play sand or coloured sand from a craft store. Add a few small shells to the sand to create interest. The shells encourage youngsters to turn the bottle and search for them. You can also add water tinted blue with food colouring to make an ocean in a bottle. Hot glue the lid closed for either option, so the kids don't unscrew the lid.


Seashells always interest small children and work well in a nursery program. Choose your seashells carefully. Small seashells present a choking hazard as young kids are likely to place them in their mouths. Seashells with sharp edges or points are also a potential hazard, so choose large seashells with smooth edges. Supervise children closely as they explore the seashells. You can also paint seashells so children can learn about different colours and develop their imagination.

Ocean Corner

Creating an ocean corner in a nursery room gives children a place to explore the seaside theme. Cut out waves from blue paper and hang them on the wall. Place a tan area rug on the floor to represent sand. Add pictures of sea animals on the walls and place stuffed animals, puppets and plastic toys that resemble sea animals in the corner. Board books about the seaside complete the classroom ocean environment.

Water Play

Water play is entertaining and educational for small children. This activity is best for older infants and toddlers who can control their bodies and sit or stand. If the weather is nice, take the kids outside with shallow tubs of water. Give them cups, measuring utensils and other containers they can use to play with the water. Always supervise small children closely when they play with water.

Pudding Paint Ocean Scene

Because it is edible, pudding paint is an ideal finger painting material for the nursery school level. Mix up a batch of vanilla pudding and use blue food colouring to make it resemble water. Have the kids apply the blue pudding onto a piece of paper to create the sea. You can also use chocolate pudding to make a beach on the paper. Children might also add some ocean-related stickers to create a seaside scene.

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About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.