Beach Theme – Summer Literacy Centers

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

This set will give your sand writing tray a fun summer twist with these beach letters! You can use the sight word and letters cards to practice spelling, letter recognition, and even handwriting when used with a salt tray. Included are all lower and upper case letters, as well as numbers!

Summer Literacy Centers

Age: approximately between the ages of 3-6.

Why sand trays?

The beach theme cards in this set of printables is a fun way to practice matching upper and lower case letters, sight words, and proper letter formation. You can use the number cards to practice number order or number quantity.

You can use our summer cards along with a sand (or salt) tray to combine a letter recognition activity with a writing one!

Sand trays are a fantastic way for children to practice writing before they are ready to actually use a pen and paper. You can use them with our printables.

Because children will be forming letters in the sand using their fingers, their brains will remember how to form them. This process will stimulate the muscle memory of letter formation. Additionally, forming the letters in the sand will give children a chance to build confidence in their writing. They can practice forming letters in a way that stimulates the senses.

Match Upper and Lower Case Letters

One of the ways you can use this set of cards is to match upper and lower case letters.

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

Please note – I would not present all of the cards of the alphabet at one time. Especially for younger children, consider presenting 3-5 letters at a time (or the quantity you think your students can manage). Little ones can become overwhelmed when the work seems too big.

Beach Letter Cards with Sand Tray

Children can use a manipulative or their fingers to create the letters in the sand. You can use a paint brush or pom pom for writing for children who do not like how the sand feels on their hands. Some children are very sensitive to how things feel and different sensory input.

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

You could offer a sea shell as a writing tool for the child to use instead of their fingers.

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!
Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

Number Cards

You can use the provided number cards to practice many different skills.

  • number order
  • number quantity
  • proper number formation

Here, I would not introduce all of these steps at the same time on one tray.

Choose one target skill that you want the child to work on and isolate this skill with the chosen work.

Number Order

If your child is struggling with number order, you can present several cards on a tray without any manipulatives. Ask the child to place the cards in order from smallest to largest.

Number Quantity

If the focus of your work is on number quantity (how much a number is), then you can present the number cards alongside a manipulative. For a classic Montessori material, I would use Montessori number beads.

For a summer or beach theme, you could use seashells or small pearl balls. Choose something simple that will not distract the child, especially if this is the first time that you are presenting this work.

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!
Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

Number Formation

For example, if you want the child to focus on writing numbers, then you can present the number cards along side a sand tray. You do not need the child to count out that quantity because we want to isolate the area of writing.

No sand tray? No problem!

If you do not want to use the sand tray, there are multiple alternatives that you can use in order to provide the sensorial component of using these cards.

  • Form the letter with play dough
  • Place manipulatives on the letter
  • Paint the letter
  • Glue something to the letter (ie- leaves, grass, rice, sand, paper)

Lastly, to practice hand-writing, you could offer these cards as an exercise in rainbow writing! To do this, all you need to do is laminate the cards.

Next, offer multiple colored dry-erase markers. The child should form the letter repeatedly with different colors. Eventually, we can see a rainbow of colors within the letter!

Summer Sight Words

For children who are reading, you can use these cards to practice forming sight words.

What are sight words?

Sight words are common words that are used the most frequently. However, these words do not tend to follow rules of phonics that one would typically use, or have exceptions to spelling rules.

Because of this, children are sometimes encouraged to learn sight words by memorizing them. You can use materials like these beach literacy centers to help children remember and practice reading sight words.

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

Learning sight words is not intuitive – you cannot sound them out like you can other simple words or CVC words. Sometimes, an extra activity to practice reading (or writing) these difficult words can really help children.

Use a sensory Bin

For a fun twist, I put the beach themed cards into a sensory bin. I used blue stones to represent water, and added some seashells. My son had to select the sight words cards and then replicate the same word with the individual letter cards.

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

You can also choose a simple presentation with the cards on a tray.

Adaptation for Toddlers

If you are homeschooling and have a younger child that is also interested in the work of their older siblings, you can present a toddler version of the sand tray. This has helped my daughter to stay happily engaged while her older brother tackles the hard sight words!

I present the same tray filled with sand and seashells to her, as well. Children who enjoy sorting can remove the shells from the tray and sort them by type.

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

She may have a spoon for an additional sensory experience. She can scoop and pour the sand. She watches it fall and hears the sound it makes.

Please note how I present the sand tray to her with a larger plastic tray underneath. This prevents too much sand from spilling onto the floor and I am able to contain the mess a bit better.

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

Get the printables

Please note: If you are a member of the Hands-on Kids Activities Club, this resource is available in your June seasonal resources.

More Resources to Check Out

Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!
Use these beach themed cards to create fun, summer literacy centers or use them in your classroom! You can use these fun letter printables to create hands-on learning activities your preschool students or kindergartners will love!

DISCOVER THE HOKA COMMUNITY

The full collection of summer resources available in the HOKA community, including our guide that will help to break down the month is available to HOKA Club members. Our guide also has several tutorials showing you how to add hands-on activities to this unit study. You can learn more about the HOKA programme here.

For now, you can download some of the materials included in this article by visiting the link above.

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