Messy beach play inspired by High Seas Hobbit

Since we returned from our glamping trip to High Seas Hobbit, the children and I have focused a lot of our conversation and our play on Scotland, and the things we did while we were there. One of the main attractions of the trip was the beautiful beaches we visited and I knew even before we returned home that we would be re-creating some at home!

We talked about what the beaches looked like and the preschooler became quite animated as he recollected the pebbles and seaweed! We decided to build a messy beach on the tuff spot, using some of the pebbles and shells we collected, as well as some waterbeads and Playmobil figures.

Messy beach play inspired by High Seas Hobbit

This is what we did:

We made rock pools by

  • filling tin foil trays with water and setting them on the tuff spot
  • we arranged pebbles around them to make them look like rockpools
  • added some sand and some water to give them an authentic look

All of this was dictated by the children and what they remembered seeing at the beaches. We had some fun counting shells and creating a sandy part of the beach too, before we moved on.

we made a sandy beach with rockpools and counted seashells


The addition of water soon made the state of play quite different. We noticed that some water was leaking from the rockpool and the preschooler was in charge of filling this up, practising important carrying and pouring skills. We also noticed that we needed to tweak our waterbeads a little to make them look more like seaweed. We scoured he garden for leaves and added some shredded bubble wrap too. If nothing else, the mixture felt nice!

We tried to make seaweed with black waterbeads, bubble wrap and leavesThe messy beach play was certainly very sensory. The kids, as usual, loved getting their whole bodies into the tuff spot and enjoyed exploring the different textures of the sand, water and waterbeads. As usual we were very careful with the baby and ensured she knew not to put the waterbeads in her mouth. We talked about how the different materials were grainy, soft, slippery, wet, dry, soft and slimy.

The different materials provided lots of sensory play


The kids like to bring toys into their messy plsy when they can and the Playmobil figures were a popular choice for this one!

We used Playmobil figures in out messy beach playThe Playmbil characters were a fantastic idea because it encouraged the preshooler to indulge in some imaginative play. I love watching him engage with the characters and invent scenarios for them!

messy beach play is great for imaginative play


Of course, the whole scene soon turned messy- and isn’t that the point! Sand and water are too traditional play materials that adults like to keep separate and kids like to mix! Today, I let them.

This was a lovely messy play activity!

I sat back and watched them re-live our wonderful glamping trip at High Seas Hobbit, because that’s the reason why we do these things. We build memories, and give our children experiences to draw on first in their play and then in their everyday lives. This was a great activity and one that has been repeated many times since!



  1. September 11, 2013 / 10:59 am

    Wow, that looks so much fun!

    • ghostwritermummy
      September 11, 2013 / 5:47 pm

      IT really was!

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