Unit 1. The Seaside & Rockpools – Round Up

Unit 1 Seaside and Rockpools Tot School Round Up

We have come to the end of Unit 1, The Seaside and Rockpools, and we have had a great time over this two week theme!
(Squirrel is 18 months old.)

Here is a round up of all of our activities, exercises and day trips within our unit theme, complete with links to those which have their own posts and guides.

We focused on the letter S, practicing S sounds and familiarising Squirrel with the letter itself.


We introduced the words and signs for ‘crab’, ‘beach’ and ‘boat’ among others.
Upon our second beach trip, Squirrel saw and instantly identified this crab outside a cafe on the seafront, excitedly signing and telling us “Cah-b! Cah-b!”


We enjoyed regularly stomping around the kitchen or clapping along in the car singing “I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside”!


We enjoyed these wonderful books; Leo enjoyed pointing out, identifying and practising words for the objects within the theme he was learning, such as ball, crab, shell, wave and bucket.


We complimented our learning with working on a few minutes of Reading Bear. Currently we are on the first ‘short a’ series.

Beach Combing Adventures

We started with our trip to Goodrington Sands, where we beach combed and dipped in rockpools.

Birds, beach huts and boats

We later had a second beach trip, Budleigh Salterton; this time to a pebbled sea front rather than a rockpool-y sand beach.

We had several Busy Boxes (smaller, short activities to grab and repeat as often as we like).

We had a fish pattern for geo blocks downloaded from Prekinders.


We used shells and the letter S while playing with playdough.


I made a matching and logic puzzle using a free colouring page download on a mass database of them. I simply coloured both (in the relevant areas), laminated both, cut out the features of one and applied sticky backed velcro to the pieces. Leo grasped this well!


It just so happened that I found a box of 5 2 and 3 piece puzzles in a little gift box at a pound shop back in the spring and picked it up at the time! He understands the process of puzzles of this nature, but seems frustrated at the broken images, so perhaps a little more practice will help his understanding and work on his problem solving.


We had several great print outs for colouring from around the internet, the yield of a short evening of Googling.


I found this sweet beach hut print out from Twinkl. I printed them on small cards and we coloured them individual colours as a colour distinguishing exercise. (We also used the printable letter cards around our board display.)

We later took them down to Budleigh Seafront and played a short and distracted (dogs everywhere, and this kid is euphorically obsessed with them!) game of Beach Hut match!IMG_0549edit

Leo also loved coming down each morning and having me say out loud, the word for each animal or object surrounding our theme unit outline chalkboard, before running off and playing with “Og-og” (octopus) and “Ob-ah” (lobster).

Our bigger activities, those that took up greater time, were messy or otherwise more of a challenge.

Boat Building and FloatingBuilding and Floating Boats

Jellyfish Sensory & Fine Motor Craft Activity

Jellyfish Crafting

beachinabottlebannerBeach In A Bottle

back garden rockpooling banner

Garden Rockpooling and Seaweed Dipping

Washing and drying beach combing treasuresBeach Combed Treasure Washing

Paper Plate Crab Activity

Paper Plate Crabs Craft

Magic Water Play with Gellibaff

Magic Water Sensory Play with Gellibaff

We had a fantastic fortnight, and even wrapped it up with a little beach lunch of couscous, pesto, cucumber, orange pepper, raisins and cheese!


I hope our posts for this Unit have been useful to you, or you have enjoyed reading about our recent adventures!

This post is linked to 1+1+1=1 Tot School Gathering Place.


Magic Water Play with Gellibaff

Magic Water Play with GellibaffI picked up this product way, way back. Once we had decided to start educating Squirrel at home, I started picking up little bargains that rang little tunes of educational play in my head, and this product GelliBaff was one of those. It boasts being 100% safe to skin, non irritant and non staining, and safe to go down the plug hole, and it looked like great fun to me, let alone Squirrel! So at a very cheap price, well below even the RRP, I grabbed it, and knew it would go down well as part of this unit. I was so-ho right.

We used:

1 pack of Gelli Baff (Blue colour changing to purple variety)
Our small water table.
A wooden spoon.
A mop (trust me.)

We started by filling a couple of large bottles with water, and pouring in the first sachet (there are two, and according to directions, one turns the water into goo when you pour them together and stir, and the other turns it back to water and into a different colour!)
IMG_0722Squirrel, though armed with the wooden spoon, gave it straight to Daddy and went in with the hands, naturally!

Oh crikey, this kid just loved the stuff. Plenty of squidging and squelching with his fists, stirring with his spoon and scooping and plopping the goo.
IMG_0731Octopus was always going to get involved. I mean, this is prime octopus play stuff. He had fun!


He was covered and dunked and used for scooping…

IMG_0757 See? One happy cephalopod.

One happy Squirrel, too!


Eventually, we added the other sachet, and let Squirrel stir it in, and before our very eyes, it turned purple, and eventually turned back to (albeit lumpy) water.


I’m not going to lie, folks. Once your toddler realises how much fun it is to clap with handfuls of it and watch it go EVERYWHERE… you kinda wish you had thought about doing it in the garden.


But where there are willing volunteers in the shape of a kid-who-loves-mops and an octopus who is happily dunked in just about anything, there is always a contented means to messy activity clean up time.

This is an activity post for Unit 1. The Seaside & Rockpools.

(This activity is not endorsed by Gellibaff.)