At the end of every school year, I like to do an ocean unit. I include ocean animals and the beach. I found this cute beach idea on one of the teacher sites I visit and modified it to meet my needs.
Above is the example of my art project. I also had the children write a story about their trip to the beach including the beginning (characters with names, and setting), middle (details + a problem) and the ending (solution and a satisfying ending). They did really well.
The children enjoyed this project so much that I brought a baggie of sand and some people templates home. I let my boys create one of these super cute projects too. This was fun for the whole family.
First, we drew a line where the beach and ocean would meet. Then, the boys colored the beach brown with a bit of yellow over it.
Next, they colored the ocean blue and green. Once this was done glue was smeared all over the beach part of the picture. The boys really enjoyed sprinkling sand over the glue and then dusting off the excess by gently tapping it on the table. You can barely see the sand in the above picture.
After the background was complete, it was time to make our self portraits. I gave each kiddo a body outline and manila paper. I cut out a pair of swim trunks for Little J, but T Man cut and designed his own. You will have to decide if you need to cut out the body and add detail to the face or if your child will be able to it.
T Man liked this so much that he created 2 people and used them like paper dolls. He played with them for quite a while.
After the self portraits are glued to the background, you can create extra items for the background. I drew and cut out an umbrella for Little J. He colored it before I cut it out. I was amazed at how well he colors for a 3 year old (especially a boy). I have kinder kids that do not color that well coming in at the beginning of the year.
Anyways, your child can draw and cut out anything they want from construction paper to add to the scene. Some suggestions are a sandcastle, umbrella, beach ball, horse, car, boat, fish, frisbee, etc. T Man had a water car and a real car racing in his. You can see one of the people got ran over. Look at the face. Boys can be so morbid.
If you want to tie this project to reading and writing, consider reading the book, The Sand Castle Contest by Robert Munsch before making this project. Children love his fun use of words to create sounds. After reading the book, have your children dictate to you a list of things they might see or find at a beach.
As a writing extension, have your family work on writing a story together. each member adds to the story as you write it down. You can hang the story up with the pictures and reread t to your children often.