I am so excited to be a part of Disney/Babble's Virtual Summer Camp!  Today is my day to be the virtual camp counselor, and I'd love to show you all how to make your very own Giant Ocean and Beach World.  When S was much younger than she is now, we lived super close to the beach.  We spent so many lazy afternoons playing in the sand, scoping out tidepools, or getting our feet wet in the ocean waves.  But now that we've moved to our awesome house in the forest, the beach is quite a trek.  And little X?  Well, he's not so much a fan of treks.  So I thought, why not bring the beach to us?  (And look how happy he is to have not trekked!)

We'd recently made our Giant Pond World, so I thought I would use the tarp and a few of the components again to set up our Ocean and Beach World.  To begin, you'll need a flat area.  We used our driveway because our backyard is too sloped.  Lay out your tarp and gather the corners.  I used packing tape to create an edge.  If you have a super long side (our tarp was a rectangle), you can reinforce the edges with rocks, scrap wood, rolled towels, or the like.  Once you have the basic shape, you can fill 'er up with a hose!

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Adding a sand beach is pretty easy!  Any sort of home construction store (Home Depot or Lowes for those of you in the US) should carry bags of Play Sand.  At our local stores it is $3.99 for a 50 lb bag.  We made our beach with one bag of sand.  To keep the sand dry, I placed a piece of scrap wood under the tarp to make a barrier.  A branch or rolled up towel would also work if you don't happen to have wood handy.  Once I had the ocean and beach created, I added some rocks and 

The kids dove right into exploring.  Little X was fascinated by our red crab.

He spent a good deal of time exploring the crab, and then spent the next several minutes splashing with his new friend.

There were also plenty of large shells - something we found out X adores when we made our Baby/Toddler Beach Sensory Bin with Edible Sand a few weeks back.

When you're a baby, it's always helpful to have a big sister who can teach you the names of all the sea creatures and how to correctly handle them all.  :)

While little X moved from creature to creature and shell to shell, sporadically pausing for some elated splashing, sis was hard at work on the beach.  Buried within the beach were several chunks of sea glass I'd picked up for a dollar at a local craft store.

After sifting through the sand and gathering all her "treasures", S announced that it was time to build an island home for the green crab.

Using some of the various rocks and shells, she slowly started building an intricate island home for green crab.

It got larger and more adorned, and soon all the creatures made their way over to the lovely island oasis.  (Can you blame them?  It's so pretty!)

When S was done, she'd created a masterpiece, no?  Complete with a rock trail from the island to the sandy beach - should any of the little animals wish to play.

The kiddos so loved the Giant Ocean and Beach.  We played for hours the first day and covered it with a tarp overnight to come back and play for several hours more the following day.  They both had so much fun - it was just like having the ocean in our backyard!!!

Looking for more summer inspiration?  Be sure to check out all the other awesome ideas for summer fun shared by the other virtual camp counselors by clicking on their names/blogs below!

And don't forget!  There's still time to link up your summer projects/activities for a chance to be featured by Disney/Babble!  Click on the smiling frog to link up!  :)

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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.


  1. What a great idea! I love the idea of making a pretend ocean setting. My 6 year old son would love this. I am thinking of adding a blow up pool with some boats to mine! Thanks for a great idea.

    1. Oh, so fun with boats! I love it, Kristen!!!!


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