Teacher.co.in : A blog for Teachers.

Teachers Blog

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • RSS Feeds

Make a Sandcastle You Can Keep!

June 28, 2016

What You Need:

  • Sand (about 4 cups)
  • Cornstarch (about 2 cups)
  • Water (about 2 cups)
  • Old pot
  • Stir stick
  • Shells (for decorating)
  • Piece of square flat cardboard
  • Bowl of water

What You Do:

  1. Mix the sand and cornstarch in an old pot.  Make sure it’s one that you won’t use anymore to cook your family’s meals, because the sand and cornstarch can really scratch up a good pot. (And you don’t want your next chicken dish to taste like the beach!)
  2. Pour the 2 cups of water into the sand and cornstarch mixture and heat on the stove over low heat. (This step may be best for grown-ups only.)
  3. Keep stirring until the sand is close to the consistency of very thick mud.
  4. Cool the mixture in another bowl.  Lay some newspaper down in an area outside where your child will work with the sand.  Keep the piece of cardboard handy for when she is ready to build her castle.
  5. Once the mixture has cooled, dump it onto the newspaper outside.  Make sure the mixture is completely cooled before letting your child dig in.
  6. Explain to your child that she should knead the mixture in her hands until it feels like Play-doh.  If the sand starts to dry out, wet her hands and let her continue to work with the mixture. (Keep a bowl of water handy for this purpose.)
  7. And now the real fun begins: have your child free-form a castle onto her piece of cardboard. Talk to her about creating different forms – a square castle perhaps, or a tall and pointy one. Encourage her to use her imagination when building.  And don’t be afraid to make your own sand castle along with her!
  8. Before the sand dries, apply shells around the castle to give it an extra, beachy touch.

Make Sand Candles! Activity

June 27, 2016

What You Need:

  • Chunk of wax, approximately 1 pound (Note: large chunks of wax, along with wax dyes, are available at craft stores, or you can take the thrifty route and melt down your old candle stubs. Just be sure that you remove any charred areas or pieces of old wick before using.)
  • Clean, empty tin can (24 ounce size works well)
  • Old saucepan that you don’t mind messing up (Note: wax is incredibly difficult to clean off completely)
  • Bucket of damp sand at least 4” deep (you can work outdoors, or you can fill a pail and bring it indoors)
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Short votive wicks, with a metal clip on the bottom (available in craft stores)
  • Optional: small seashells

What You Do:

  1. Start by helping your child prepare a “mold.” Have your child fill a bucket with some damp sand. He can use sand from the beach or he can use sand from a sandbox. Either way, you and your child will need to do this activity at home, as you will need the use of the stove top. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do this project indoors. You can definitely do most of this activity with your child outside.
  2. Have your child pat the top of the sand smooth and flat, and then dig a hole about 3” deep, in whatever shape he likes. This will be his candle mold.
  3. Check the sides of the mold—they should be smooth and firm. If the sides begin to crumble, use a spray bottle filled with water to spray the sides so that they hold steady.
  4. Have your child place the wick in the mold so that the metal piece is on the bottom with the wick standing straight up out of the mold, pointing toward the sky.
  5. Melt your wax (this is definitely a step where the grown-ups can take the reins). Place it in a clean, empty tin can, and then place the can in a water bath in your old saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, and melt the wax until it is completely liquid.
  6. Pour the wax into the sand mold your child has prepared. Fill the mold almost to the top, leaving at least an inch of the wick exposed. Note: try to leave a little bit of wax in the can, to use for later. As the candle cools, you’ll notice that a “well” or depression in the wax forms near the wick. When that happens, melt some of the leftover wax, and pour just a little bit of it into the well to make the top surface even.
  7. Depending on the weather, your candle will be hard enough to remove from the sand mold in about two hours (maybe sooner!). Help your child to gently lift it out, revealing the light coating of sand on the outside of the candle. He can place his homemade candle on the dinner table, or beside his bed. He can display his homemade candle anywhere, and he’ll always be reminded of those fun summer days spent at the beach.

Make Sand Dough Activity

June 24, 2016

What You Need:

  • 4 cups sifted sand
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 3 cups hot water
  • Old pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Wax paper

What You Do:

  1. Mix the sifted sand, water, cornstarch and water in an old pot over low heat.
  2. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to pull away from the sides of the pot and then pour onto the wax paper.
  3. Knead well and store in air tight containers.

Make a Mini Beach-in-a-Box Activity

June 23, 2016

What You Need:

  • Shoebox
  • Blue, white, and yellow paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sand (about 2 cups)
  • Seashells (or seashell shapes cut out of cardboard)
  • Small plastic spoon (like the disposable tasting spoons at ice cream shops)
  • Beach-themed stickers

What You Do:

  1. Divide the inside of the bottom of the shoebox into two parts. They don’t have to be equal, but one section will be for the “water” and one side will be for the sand. Paint one section blue and the other yellow, and paint the sides white. Set it aside to dry.
  2. Hand your child the stickers and let her paste them onto the sides of the box. A beach ball here and a seagull there will help get you in the mood for some beach time!
  3. Invite your child to pour the sand into the shoebox and add the seashells. Use the little spoon to comb through the sand. This also makes a great prop for dolls and action figures!
  4. Now lay out some towels and break out that beach ball! You’re ready for a day at the beach without even having to leave home!

Create an Ocean in a Bottle Activity

June 21, 2016

What You Need:

  • Glass bottle or jar
  • Hot glue gun
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Blue food coloring
  • Sand
  • Seashells

What You Do:

  1. Make sure your jar is washed out and clean. Help your child spoon some sand into the jar.
  2. Add water until ½ full. Add 1 drop of blue food coloring or more until you get a color you like.
  3. Have your child add a few shells to your “ocean.”
  4. Add vegetable oil until almost full. Leave a small space for air at the top.
  5. Taking over duties, use the hot glue gun and put glue around the lid and then place the lid on the bottle.

Seascape Art Activity

June 20, 2016

What You Need:

  • Sand in different colors
  • Clear-drying non-toxic school glue
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Paint brush

What You Do:

  1. Take a look at an ocean scene. This is a great activity for vacations! Allow your child to take a photo if possible. If you do not have access to the beach, this activity can be easily done by using ocean memories or by looking at pictures. Try reading some non-fiction ocean and beach books with your child. Make sure that the books chosen are packed with illustrations or photographs.
  2. Ask your child to sketch a seascape – a picture of an ocean scene – on the cardboard. Reuse a cereal or cracker box instead of buying special cardboard sheets. Her scene may include water, the sky, a beach, seagulls or rocks. Whatever she likes!  It may be easiest for your child to start by drawing a horizon line that divides the earth or water from the sky. As she sketches, encourage her to create different layers of perspective to give the scene depth. This will create a beautiful effect when she uses different colored sand for each layer.
  3. Have your child paint the glue over the cardboard. The sand will be placed on top of the glue, so make sure that the cardboard is painted in sections to avoid quick drying. The glue may be thinned with a small amount of water for easier spreading.
  4. Sprinkle sand over the glue in sections. Encourage your child to try different colors for different parts. For example, use a blue and green sand mixture for the water, a yellow and orange mix for the beach, and a light blue for the sky.
  5. After each section is completed ask your child to gently tap and shake any excess sand off onto newspaper or any other surface. This sand can be reused later.

After your child’s sand seascape has dried, display it in a prominent place. 

Face-Off! An Integer Card Game

June 18, 2016

What You Need:

  • 50 flashcards
  • Pen

What You Do:

  1. Write an integer on each flashcard from -20 to 20.
  2. Divide the flashcards in half and give one pile to each player. Place the cards face down in front of each person on a table.
  3. To start, each player will pick up and flip over the top two cards so the number is showing and place it on the table.
  4. Each player should add the numbers on their two cards together. For example, if player 1 gets a 7 and a 3, the total would be 10.
  5. Compare the totals. The player whose total is greater keeps all 4 cards.
  6. Keep going until all the cards have been used. The player who has the highest number of cards is the winner.

Exercise…with Dice! Activity

June 17, 2016

What You Need:

  • 2 Styrofoam blocks, large
  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Tape
  • Clear adhesive film (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Measure and cut down pieces of paper to fit each side of both styrofoam boxes. This will require 12 sheets, one for each side of each dice.
  2. Have your child come up with six different ways to move around. Examples could be: run, crab walk, tip-toe, tumble, skip, etc.
  3. Using a marker, encourage your child to write one action on each piece of paper. Have her accompany the action word with a drawing depicting the action.
  4. Have her adhere the action words to a cube, one on each of the 6 sides.
  5. Now, have her print numbers 1-6 on the other cut pieces of paper. Make sure that there is one number per sheet of paper.
  6. Then, draw dots under the numbers to represent the each number.
  7. Ask her to adhere the number sheets to the six sides of the other die.
  8. Go outside to a nice open area where she can move around without rocks or hard surfaces.
  9. Create an imaginary boundary in the form of a circle.
  10. Encourage your child to roll both of the dice and have her physically do the action word as many times around the imaginary circle as listed on the number die. For example, if the action die lands on “Skip” and the number die lands on “2″, she would skip twice around the imaginary circle.

Make an ALL ABOUT ME! Book Activity

June 16, 2016

What You Need:

  • Construction paper
  • Pencil
  • Crayons, markers, or other art supplies

What You Do:

  1. Most great artists have attempted at least one self-portrait. Let your child take up the torch! On construction paper or any paper he’d like, have him illustrate a picture of himself.  Let him know it should be as detailed as he can make it.
  2. Discuss the completed picture, asking questions related to the five senses. For example, “What color are your eyes?” or “How many ears do you have?” or “What part of your body do you smell with?” 
  3. Now have your child tell you about himself.  Remind him to include details from the picture and use his five senses in the description.  For each of the five senses, ask him to write down a few phrases. He can use the following sentences as a guide and fill in the blanks (if he’s a more beginner writer), or create his own sentences from scratch. Each sense should get its own page so that you’ll have 6 total pages in the end.


I love to look at _____.

____ smells delicious to me. ____ does not. 

If I could listen to anything in the world, it would be _____.

Touching _____ makes me feel _____.

The best tastes on the planet are _____, ______, and ______.

Play Punctuation Red Light, Green Light Activity

June 15, 2016

What You Need:

  • 4 pieces of construction paper, each one with one giant punctuation mark on it: a period, a comma, a question mark, and an exclamation point (you and your child can draw these or cut them out and put them onto the construction paper)
  • Flat, open field space
  • Some energetic first graders

What You Do:

  1. Set it up: Explain to your child and her friends that because they are such "old pros" at Red Light, Green Light, you’re going to add a twist. First, briefly review key first grade reading and writing skills in punctuation: periods, commas, question marks, and exclamation points.
  2. Line the children up across one side of your big, open space (this activity works best outside in a backyard or a park. Then you will go to the other end of the space.  Make sure to leave enough space between you and those energetic first graders to give them plenty of room to run around. When you shout “green light, readers!” they can start running forward. But when you shout, “yellow light, readers!” they need to look at you right away to see what sign you will hold up. Hold up a sign, and they must immediately obey it or go back to the beginning. The winner is the first one to make it across the finish line by following all the punctuation mark traffic commands.
    • Comma means: slow down and WALK.
    • Exclamation point means: Hop and wave your hands!
    • Question mark means: Stop, tilt your head, and put your hands on your hips.
    • Period means: STOP right now!

Privacy Policy & Terms of Use