Summer is officially upon us, and while many of us teachers will spend the next couple of months spending time in the sun and catching up on summer reading, it’s never too early to brainstorm fun classroom ideas—especially when they’re inspired by our favorite vacation spots. So slip into your flip-flops because these beach-themed classroom ideas will make a huge splash with your students and coworkers.

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Hang jellyfish from your classroom ceiling.  

SOURCE: Love the Day

Whether you make these yourself or get your kids in on the fun, these paper bowl jellyfish from Love the Day are easy to make. With some paper bowls, paint, and ribbon, shock all who enter your classroom with this craft.

SOURCE: Surfing to Success

These cute jellyfish from Surfing to Success can be made with paper lanterns, ribbon, and party streamers.

Craft paper lantern crabs.

SOURCE: Pinterest

With just a red paper lantern, pipe cleaners, and paper, these low-fuss crustaceans make adorable additions to any beach classroom theme.  

Relax under paper palm trees.


Transform your classroom into a tropical island with these paper palm trees from eHow. We love the idea of lining the walls or creating a cozy reading nook with these trees.

Make beach umbrella tables.

SOURCE: Schoolgirl Style

We’re (coco)nuts about these cool luau desks from Schoolgirl Style. Simply anchor grass straw umbrellas between the desks and surround them with Hawaiian grass table skirts. Learning has never been so relaxing.

Catch underwater views.

SOURCE: The Charming Classroom

Admittedly, we’re stepping off the beach here and going into the deep blue sea with this awesome ceiling design from The Charming Classroom. All it takes is a blue tablecloth or two and paper or cardboard sea creature cutouts to turn your classroom into an aquarium. (Tip: placing the sea animals under fluorescent lights will make them appear more clearly through the plastic.)

Dive into this bulletin board theme.

SOURCE: Elementary Shenanigans

We love the idea of turning your students into snorkelers with this fun bulletin board idea from Elementary Shenanigans. All you need is paper goggle cutouts and colorful straws. Encourage your kids to “dive into” learning, reading, participating, and being all-around awesome students.

Create a beach-themed encouragement board.

SOURCE: Pinterest

We’re suckers for puns, and this Pinterest bulletin board is one shell of a design.

Make a beach ball ceiling net.

SOURCE: Middle School Math Moments

This idea comes to us from Middle School Math Moments, where the beach balls are more than just fun classroom decor but also a teaching resource. Write math problems or questions on each strip of color, then toss the ball to your students. Whichever question is facing up is the one they must answer.

For more classroom beach ball ideas, click here.

Design a writing island resource table.

SOURCE: Charmed in the Third Grade

Don’t leave your students marooned when it comes to writing (or any other subject)! With a grass skirt and an inflatable palm tree, turn any ordinary table into a writing “island,” thanks to Charmed in the Third Grade.

Offer beach-side views with cozy reading nooks.

SOURCE: Pinterest

Such an awesome readers’ cove from Pinterest.

SOURCE: Schoolgirl Style

With a straw umbrella, an artificial grass rug, paper lanterns, and plastic Adirondack chairs, recreate this reading center from Schoolgirl Style.

Organize your students with a “Hanging Ten Helpers” classroom task chart.

SOURCE: Surfin’ Through Second

Check out this radical task chart from Surfin’ Through Second to organize your classroom helpers. Find paper surfboard cutouts here.

Bring the beach theme to your hallway with these cool door designs.

Welcome your kids to paradise with this door design from Busse’s Busy Kindergarten. (Peep the students’ names written on seashells.)

SOURCE: Busse’s Busy Kindergarten

Catch the wave into your classroom with this Pinterest design.

SOURCE: Pinterest

Give your kids a warm “whale-come” with this Pinterest craft. Prep your door with an underwater background and have your students design their own whales in class.

SOURCE: Pinterest

Celebrate your “fin-tastic” students with this cool door design from First Grade Blue Skies.

SOURCE: First Grade Blue Skies

Want more? Read on for some of our favorite accessories for a beach classroom theme.

Under-the-sea party garland from Etsy.


We can’t get enough of this flip-flop bulletin board trimmer. In fact, we practically feel the sand in our toes already.

SOURCE: Amazon

Make a splash with this wave bulletin board trimmer.

SOURCE: Amazon

Hang these mini sea creature centerpieces from the ceiling, attach them to your bulletin board, or scatter them in the “sand” and “surf” around your reading nook.

SOURCE: Amazon

Use these flower leis as classroom decorations or prizes for your students.

SOURCE: Amazon

Motivate your crew with this treasure-chest prize box from Walmart. Fill it with plastic gold coins, books, or other small prizes as rewards for correct answers, good work, and thoughtful participation.

SOURCE: Walmart

We’re obsessed with this under-the-sea canopy tent that would make the perfect addition to any beach-themed reading nook.

SOURCE: Oriental Trading

Finally, you can’t go wrong with some decorative fish netting—whether you drape it along your desk or turn it into a bulletin board display (“Get caught reading!”).

SOURCE: Amazon

What are your favorite beach classroom theme ideas? Share your crafts and ideas on our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, our favorite ideas for a camping, sports, or emoji classroom theme.

25 Sand-sational Beach-Themed Classroom Ideas