Explore a Shore

Explore any shore near you—by an ocean, lake, pond or stream.


What You Need

  • bucket (optional)
  • camera (optional)
  • clipboard (optional)
  • explore a Shore print-out (optional)
  • kite (optional)
  • pencil (optional)
  • towels


What You Do

  1. If you’d like a fun quiz to bring to your favorite shore, try our “Explore a Shore” print-out.”
  2. Waves toss up all kinds of interesting things: pretty shells, polished pebbles, smooth beach glass, driftwood. Enjoy them—then leave them for others to enjoy, too. Did you know in some cultures, a rock with a white stripe is good luck?
  3. Listen to the music. The water, the waves, the wind, the birds. Together they make a wonderful, peaceful sound.
  4. Get your feet wet. Take off your shoes, wiggle those bare toes, and wade right in. (But check with an adult first to be sure it’s safe.)
    Chase the waves. As the breakers roll in and out, it’s fun to run after them. Watch out—they’ll chase you back!
  5. Look for creatures. Watch birds swoop and dive. Check tidepools for sea urchins, barnacles, and sea stars. Dig into a sandy ocean beach for crabs or clams. In fresh water, find fish, water bugs, frogs, crayfish, and other animals.
  6. Follow tracks. Look for animal tracks left in sand or mud. How many creatures have come this way? Or see what markings humans made. Can you see some footprints? Can you see where a vehicle drove? Can you draw some tracks for a mythical creature?
  7. Skip stones. How many times can you make a flat rock hop across the water?
  8. Float a boat. Make tiny rafts from leaves and send them down a stream.
  9. Sculpt sand. At a sandy beach, make sand castles — or a whole sand village! If you dig a hole first, you might be able to sit down in it, and bury your legs. You could have a mini-sculpture contest with whoever wants to join. Make ribbons!
  10. Make a sculpture. Driftwood, rocks, seaweed – these are like nature’s art supplies. The one pictured here is called an inukshuk. Inuit people in northern Canada make sculptures like this in the Arctic.
  11. Run a race. A wide, windy beach is the perfect place to run as fast as you can. When you need a rest, race to a good spot for a picnic  lunch.
  12. Fly a kite. Often there is a great wind that comes off the ocean, which will keep your kite flying high.
  13. Take a picture of your shadow. On a flat, sandy shore, when the sun is going down, you can get a nice shadow on them.