Home Fine Motor Activities Summer Sensory Activity : Beach Dough Creatures

Summer Sensory Activity : Beach Dough Creatures

Summer Sensory Activity : Beach Dough Creatures
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Sensory activities for the summer

Here is an Homemade beach dough recipe for a fun fine motor, sensory and nature play with a big splash of summer theme.

To make beach dough you will need. I used the 4 minute no cook play dough recipe as a base.

[box title=”Things we used” color=”#333333″]

  • 1 cup Play Sand
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tbsp Cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup-3/4 cup of Boiling water ( add in small increments)


Use the above measurements as a base and adjust to your own preferences. ( we like our play dough very pliable)

I added the sand, flour, oil and cream of tartar and mixed them all well.

Once mixed, I added the boiling water and started kneading the mixture. Soon you will get a play dough like material with a gritty texture.

That’s it! You have your own beach sand dough for little hands to explore and enjoy.

I set out an invitation to play with beach dough, shells, sticks and stones. It was met with an excited squeal and giggles ( how exciting to see your kids get excited over your little set-up)

sensory activities with sand dough

Any sensory activity including play-dough substance is great for developing fine motor skills.

The recipe is super simple that your kids can help knead ( watch for that hot water though)

The girls set off to play, explore and create with the beach dough.

Toddler’s  take on the sensory activity


My toddler as usual saw this as a complete sensory exploration. She was all about squashing, kneading and feeling the beach dough.

squishing play dough

 Soon however, she turned the sensory activity into a fine motor activity.She started picking up the shells and arranging them on her share of beach dough while counting the shells and simply vocalizing her process.

playing with shells

  She soon added sticks and pebbles to her creation. It was great to see the kids using objects from nature to play and create.

toddler play

toddler sensory activities

As you can see my toddler was more into pressing objects into the beach dough. While her older sister was using the beach dough as a glue of sorts to create more elaborate creatures. At their own levels both were developing some serious fine motor skills all while playing and creating with nature.

Preschooler’s take on the sensory activity


My preschooler’s sensory activity leaned more towards “creating” with the dough than exploring the dough by squashing. Here is her beach dough bird.

fine motor activity

My personal favorite her snail ( I even so shamefully screamed” kiddo you are so creative”)

making a snail

creatures line up

All the creatures in this summer sensory activity.

all creature using sensory sand dough

Hope you enjoyed the play idea. If you happen to make and play with the beach dough, come back and share your pictures and creations.

Thanks for reading


More Summer Play Ideas


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homemade bubble recipes

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  1. We have made this the last 2 summers (kids were 2 & 4 last year, 3 & 5 this year) at the beach when we needed a break from the sun.I brought along google eyes and watercolor paints to the paint shells and dried creatures, too. It is fantastic! Thank you for the great idea and recipe!

  2. Hello,

    Mother of three and I recently found homemade playdough and my children love it and can’t get enough of it. This one specifically intrigued me because we live in Trinidad and Tobago and I love the beach as do my children and I have a collection of shells that I didn’t know what to do with them.. doing this playdough will give me reason to us them. Thank you so much. I am even thinking about starting a small business selling different types of play dough because I can see how much it builds a child developmentally.

    THANK YOU!!!!!


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