"Summer At the Beach" Collage

beachcollage This simple beach-themed collage is a perfect way for children to display some of their favorite summer memories as back to school time rolls around!


  • To develop fine motor skills and creativity in creating a one-of-a-kind keepsake
  • To create a memento of special summer activities
  • To kick off back to school with a fun group activity

Before You Start: Collect pieces of heavy cardboard or poster board. (Recycled cereal boxes are a great eco-friendly alternative for this project also.) Cut the cardboard into large rectangles, one for each child, and prepare templates of starfish ahead of time to show children as examples or to trace if they wish. Encourage the children bring some recent photos of their summer vacation if available. Provide pieces of Colorations® construction paper, fine grain sandpaper, sea shells, Colorations® Markers and crayons, glue, scissors and other decorative materials.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Talk to the children about their summer vacations. Where did they go? What did they do? Did anyone go to the beach? Explain to the children that they will be creating a beach-themed collage with pictures of their summer vacation. (The teacher may also want to bring magazine pictures portraying beach activities to show the children.)

Step 2. Have the children draw pictures of a few of their summer memories (anything from daily activities to special trips they may have taken) on the construction paper.

Step 3. Help them cut the pictures they've drawn and photos they've brought into fun shapes before gluing onto the cardboard. There is no "correct" way to cut the pictures. Have children glue their pictures on the cardboard any way they like, encouraging them to put the pictures at different angles or draw "frames" around them.

Step 4. Show the sandpaper starfish shapes you've created. Let the children make their own starfish on the pieces of sandpaper provided (tracing the templates if they wish). Help them cut the shapes and glue on the collages. The children can decorate the rest of the collage with the shells, beach-themed designs and decorative materials.

Step 5. Once the glue has dried, everyone will each have their own unique collage to show off their summer memories!

Furthermore: Use a one-hole punch to make a hole in the top of the collage and thread a piece of yarn or ribbon through for hanging. Teachers can also repurpose the remaining cardboard (or use other cardboard/cardstock materials) and have children create their own "book covers" about their summer! Have children give their "book" a title that relates to what they did, where they went or the people (or animals) they spent time with and then decorate. Gather everyone at circle time and take turns sharing the "books" and display around the classroom for Back to School night!

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