10 Best Summer and Beach Books for Preschoolers

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We’ve had a long, drawn out winter here in Kentucky. To pass the time until our weather changes for the better, we’ve been reading our favorite beach books for preschoolers. Even our big kids enjoy these treasured picture books!

Heading to the beach? Don't miss these awesome ocean books for preschoolers.

Come take a look at what we love!

beach books for preschool

1.Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out!

We usually travel to Daytona Beach every year with my grandmother. While we’re there, we visit the Marine Science Center and their Turtle Rehab Unit. There, they have sea turtles who are sick or have been injured in the wild. The staff care for the turtles until they are healthy enough to return to the sea.

To reinforce some turtle learning, we picked up Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! The kids can tell you all about turtle habitats, predators, and more. DLTK-Kids has a sweet turtle craft for preschoolers.

beach books for preschool

2. How to Hide an Octopus

Learning about camouflage in nature is so much fun! This book takes a look at how an octopus can hide itself in its surroundings. My kids also try to find a pipefish, crabs, and sea dragons.

I love this octopus craft from Making Learning Fun. Print it out, then encourage your children to fill in the dots with tiny stickers or Do a Dot Markers. Yay for fine motor fun!

beach books for preschool

3. Mister Seahorse

This is one of my very favorite books from Eric Carle. My children loved learning about the different ways that sea animal fathers care for their babies.

You can use this seahorse template along with watercolor paints to create your very own seahorse craft.

Don’t miss A House for Hermit Crab for more beach themed fun.

beach books for preschoolers
4. Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea

My husband is a scuba diver, so he loves to read this book to the kids. A little boy dives for treasure for his mother, meeting loads of sea animals along the way.

You can print out these sea animal characters, color them with markers and laminate them to act out the story.

beach books for preschoolers

5. Sea, Sand, Me

Get your sand pails and shovels ready! This sweet tale from Patricia Hubbell chronicles a little girl’s day at the beach, complete with exploring, sand castles and seaweed.

beach books for preschoolers

6. Day at the Seashore

I love Little Golden Books. They remind me of being a kid.

This story follows a family’s day at the beach – I could look at the timeless illustrations all day long! When you’re finished reading, set up the baby pool for more summer fun!

beach books for preschoolers

7. Over in the Ocean

Need to work on counting skills with your little ones? Let’s do it up, ocean style!

If you can pull yourself away from the polymer clay creations that grace the pages, you can encourage your children to count the pufferfish, gruntfish and seahorses they find.

beach books for preschoolers

8. Commotion in the Ocean

Need a book to anchor your ocean unit? Don’t miss this classic from Giles Andreae. Each page depicts a different ocean animal.

I even found this fun video on You Tube! (click over if you’re unable to view the video)

We had loads of fun making crafts and recipes while we read this book together.

beach books for preschoolers

9. What Lives in a Shell?

Discussing animal habitats? Check out this book that covers crustaceans, or animals that live in shells. Your kids will learn about how shells are homes, much like our houses.

Stop by Homeschool Creations for a Ocean Printables Preschool pack.

beach books for preschool

10. Beach Day

We read this book each summer before going on vacation. My kids get so excited, thinking about gathering their sand toys, packing snacks and frolicking in the water.

Need more ideas? Don’t miss our beach books for toddlers.

Did I miss one of your favorite beach or summer books? Be sure to share your ideas in the comment box!


  1. Colleen Kessler says

    Some of my favorite books here ! We LOVE Over in the Ocean and know the illustrator as she lives in OH & is a member of our SCBWI group. There’s a {fairly} new app for that book — a little pricey as far as apps go — but SO cute! http://bit.ly/116E3SB

    And… if you’re looking for some ocean activities to do with your kiddos, D., check out one of my first educational resource books — Survival on the Reef from Prufrock Press: http://bit.ly/10hLxRr {Shameless plug…} 😉

    • Dianna Kennedy says

      I played the video of Commotion in the Ocean this morning, and the kids were mesmerized! They LOVE ocean books.

      I love it that you are an author,and know more! How cool is that.

      Plug away — I THINK I actually scanned parts of that book while you were here! 😉

  2. These all look like fun books and activities. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. My son loves sea animals and loved that video you posted of Commotion in the Ocean. We might have to get that book! Great list.

    • Dianna Kennedy says

      My kiddos loved the video as well — they were all watching intently this morning! Thanks for dropping by!

  4. JDaniel4's Mom says

    Many of these are new to me. I will have to see if our library has them.

  5. We loved How to Hide an Octopus when my kids were young. I enjoyed seeing your list…brought back memories

    • Dianna Kennedy says

      Good to see you, Kerry!

      My husband is a scuba diver, and he says the octopus is his favorite sea animal. They’re pretty shy,but he’s been able to get up close and even had one following him on a dive!

  6. Writer Mom says

    Thanks. These look like fun books to read during the summer months here in sunny South Florida.

  7. hi featuring this tomorrow on moms library! thanks for linking up:-)

  8. #1 LOVED that commotion in the ocean book when he was little. I wound up hating it because he made me read it every single day of life.

  9. So many fun books! We have read What Lives in a Shell over and over!

  10. Cristy S. says

    Oh, love this list!! Have you read I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry? Big hit w the preK crowd!

  11. Victoria says

    Awesome list Dianna! Off to the library soon to get out of the grumps and find some of these reads! Gracias amiga.

  12. Helen Neale (@KiddyCharts) says

    These are awesome – some great ideas, we love Commotion in the Ocean here in particular. Thanks so much for joining in with the Parenting Pin it Party this week.

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