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# Beach Math Activities: Boost Learning This Summer

The beach and the pool are definitely two favorite places for kids to cool off in the hot summer months. Have you ever thought of including math-related activities in these fun, wet times? Here are some beach math activities for younger kids to practice their math skills. Plus, they can easily be adapted for older kids too, simply by using more advanced math skills!

## Beach Math Activities

• Sandy Math:
• Have kids practice writing numbers or math equations in the sand. To erase it, simply wipe over it.
• Practice number recognition by writing multiple numbers in the sand. Have your child identify the number and place a shell on it as you call it out to them.
• Write numbers 1–10 in the sand. Have kids find shells and put the corresponding number of shells under each number.

• Sunscreen Numbers: After applying sunscreen all over for safety, apply extra to your child’s back (or have them apply it to yours). Write numbers on their backs as a fun brain challenge to see if they can determine which number was written. Then smear the sunscreen and apply more to continue the fun. (Tip: This could be a good motivator for kids to put on their sunscreen all over before they can play this game.).
• Build a sandcastle using shaped buckets. Turn this classic beach activity into a fun math activity! Click here for printable instructions.

• Beach Scavenger Hunt: Laminate or put the page in a sealed plastic bag to write on it with a dry-erase marker and to avoid water damage. Decide whether the activity will be for a specified amount of time or the duration of the whole beach trip. Use tally marks to count how many of each shape or item are found.
• Number Jump: Write numbers in the sand. To practice number recognition, call out various numbers in sequential and random order for kids to jump to the number.
• Practice skip-counting with older kids through hopscotch. What else says beach math activity like hopscotch in the sand? To do this, draw a hopscotch board (or multiple boards) in the sand. Write number patterns (i.e., 4, 8, 12, 16, etc.) in the blocks for kids to say aloud as they play hopscotch to complete the board. Don’t forget to practice counting backward too!
• Make a shape picture. Use shape cookie cutters to create pictures in the sand. Have kids count how many shapes they use. For example, how many squares did you combine to make the base of a house, and how many triangles were used in various directions to create the roof?

• Practice elapsed time by focusing on one area of the water. Count the seconds between the waves crashing in that area.
• Gather shells to practice math skills:
• Have the child order the shells in size from smallest to largest, or vice versa.
• Practice sorting skills and focusing on attributes by grouping shells according to color, size, and general shape characteristics (round, long, flat, curved, etc.).
• Make a pattern with shells, such as colored, white, round, or long.

## Math Activities for the Pool

After building those sandy masterpieces and exploring beach math activities, it’s time to cool off and dive into some pool-based fun!

• Number Grab: Write numbers 1–10 on sponges or foam pieces and put them in the pool to float around. Children can swim and grab the numbers to bring back to the side of the pool. Then they can practice a variety of math skills, including number recognition and ordering from least to greatest.

• Shape Scavenger Hunt: Laminate or put the page in a sealed plastic bag to write on it with a dry-erase marker and to avoid water damage. Foam shapes also work well to cover found items. Kids can use their observation skills to locate shapes around the pool area. For example, a diving board is shaped like a rectangle, and a pool skimmer cover is often a circle or square.
• Measuring with Water: Have kids practice using a set of measuring cups and spoons to measure different amounts of water in a bucket.

• The Poolside Challenge: Challenge kids to float on their backs, tread water, kick their feet, or stand on one foot while they count aloud. For older kids, have them skip-count instead of just counting by ones, or you can skip-count aloud for younger kids to become familiar with the number patterns.
• Dive into Math: As your child jumps into the water, hold up a number flashcard and have them yell out the number before splashing into the water. For older kids, call out simple math equations for them to answer as they jump. For a faster alternative, kids can start in the pool and simply dip down into the water after calling out their answer.
• Create water-related story problems. For example, compare the number of people swimming in the pool versus the number out of the pool. Kids can also use their imagination and include sea animals such as sharks, dolphins, fish, etc.

• Beach Ball Activities:
• Write various numbers on a beach ball. As the child catches the ball, have them say which numbers their thumbs have landed on or are closest to as a way of practicing number recognition.
• To practice mental math skills, have them add the two numbers, subtract the lesser number from the greater, or tell which numbers are one or ten before or after them (i.e., if their thumb lands on 27, they would say 26, 27, 28 or 17, 27, 37).

## Other water-related math activities

• Target Toss: Create a large target with numbers on it, using poster board or drawing it with sidewalk chalk. Provide kids with water balloons to throw at the target. Keep track of the numbers hit by the kids to determine the highest score.
• Squirt Bottle Math: Use sidewalk chalk to write numbers all over a concrete area. Call out the numbers for kids to spray. This could be the actual number, the answer to an equation, or perhaps one more or ten more than a number.
• Scoop the Number: Fill a kiddie pool or under-bed storage tote with water. Write the same numbers written on cards, and ping pong balls, or pieces of foam. Have kids use a large spoon, shovel, cup, or aquarium fish tank net to scoop up the numbers they read aloud on the cards. Laminate or place the cards in a sealed plastic bag to make them waterproof.

Remember, safety first! Always supervise your children and ensure they follow proper sand and water safety guidelines while enjoying these fun, beach math activities.

Need more resources to beat the summer slide? The Mathementals: Grades 1- 6: Blackline Masters and Math Games keeps math skills sharp with engaging games and activities.

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## ORIGO Education

ORIGO Education has partnered with educators for over 25 years to make math learning meaningful, enjoyable and accessible to all.