Get a plastic kiddy pool and fill one section of it with play sand. Slope the sand so that it creates a beach-like incline towards the other half of the pool. Then fill the empty portion of the pool with two to four inches of water.
Next, gather an assortment of props for the children to play with:
- Play people
- Felt pieces cut into miniature beach towels
- Toy boats for the water
- Cut up foam or styrofoam pieces to serve as floaties for the people
- Cocktail umbrellas to use for beach umbrellas (check your local party supply store)
- A large rock or two that kids can place strategically either on the sand or in the water
- A diving board created by gluing a large tongue depressor or popsicle stick to a wood block.
Let the kids free play with the items while encouraging them to think up water safety scenarios. A little teacher guidance, not to dictate how they play but to get them thinking, will add some educational value to this activity. For instance, you might prompt them about …
- How would you act out a scene of someone drowning?
- What might happen that would make them drown?
- What are some of the safe swimming rules they need to remember?
- Where is the swimming area that they need to stay within?
- How can they look out for one another in the water?