The Unofficial Start of Summer -- Let's Look at the Ocean

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Can you believe it is already Memorial Day Weekend? This year is going to be very different for many of us. Are you heading to the beach? I know here in Massachusetts the beaches are opening however there are very strict rules when there. Many are also only for residents. Masks are required at some and no groups over 10. Social distancing is a must. I took a walk with my father this week on the beach. I was at Cape Cod helping my parents out for a few days. It wasn't really beach weather so it wasn't very crowded. I'm glad not to be there this weekend. Instead I am going to share a book about the ocean! It is Ocean! Waves for All by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield. 

This is the fourth book in the Our Universe Series. We reviewed the first book in the series a few years ago. This book is about the ocean. It emphasizes that the ocean is one with many different names. The book shares the history of the ocean, the reasons why the ocean matter to us, the depths of the ocean and so much more. 

The illustrations are colorful and fun and the language is casual. It reminds me of a surfer which I am sure was done on purpose. The book presents facts in a fun and casual way that kids are sure to love. 

I love how these books make it fun for kids to learn science. The suggested ages are 4 to 8. I love how it goes through so much about the oceans and how there is more to explore. The facts are there but so is the fun. It is amazing how much information is packed in this picture book without having the pages loaded with words. This is a book to check out.

As I was thinking about this book I thought about crafts and activities to go with it and though I would do a round-up of some of ours. I divided them into two groups. The first is crafts to do with some of the treasures you find on the beach during a family vacation. The second is for people who cannot get to the beach and to bring the beach to you or at least some fun and learning about it. 

Souvenir Crafts

Here are crafts to use the rocks, shells and other treasures your family finds on your trips to the beach.

1) Create some shell pictures. These two are words but there are lots of other ideas on our post. 
2) Sea Star Craft as part of Coastal Crafts review and there are more crafts there to bring the beach to your house.
3) Sand Dollar & Sea Star Wreath (or use the shells and stones you find on your trip). This wreath still hangs in our dining room all year round because we love it!
4) Similar to our shell pictures but using rocks as well as some shells to create pictures. Rock Art is so fun (and sells in stores for a lot of money).
5) Here is a fun memory--use some sand and shells to make a frame. Use a photo from the trip or a piece of art drawn to remember. 
6) Here is a fun way to save a photo from a beach trip. Make a shell frame with some of your treasures.. This picture is still hanging in this frame in our house. I always loved this photo. It captured her beach joy!
7) Put your shells and rocks on a treasure box and then keep your other memoirs in the box. 
8) Here is a fun way to display those treasures--a nature weave. Use drift wood instead of the sticks, maybe seaweed (or blue or sand colored strings and ribbons) instead of the strings and ribbons then add your rocks and shells and other treasures. 
9) Shell Frames with fun art and expressions

Bring the Beach to Your Home Crafts & Activities

Now with all the social distancing I know this year will not be one for us to go to the beach and I am sure there are others out there who won't make it to the beach this summer. Here are some crafts, activities and lessons to bring the beach to your house!
1) Create the trip to the beach with an ocean themed party. Get ideas from our Mermaid Play Date Party with lots of ocean themed decorations and food.
2) Here is a yoga book about a trip to the beach. Practice the yoga moves while reading about the beach (in Australia) 
3) Dramatic Play Science Center -- after a field trip Hazel wanted to create her own science center like the one we visited. She used things we had at home and created some of her own.
4) Let your kids play with the beach and ocean by making a beach playmat
5) Create some sea life with Origami Aquarium
6) Explore jellyfish with books and crafts (or add the crafts to your beach at home)
7) There are always sea gulls when you go to the beach. Here is an easy sea gull paper plate craft to make your own. 
8) How about making some shell boats for your kids to play and have fun. 
9) Explore Dolphins, Whales and Manatees with books, crafts & music
10) Explore sharks with books and crafts

So whether you are going to the beach or want to bring the beach life to your house, I hope you will check out this book and some of our crafts. Now I have to decide what to do with our treasures from the walk with my dad this week!