Decide what size of beach bag you’ll need. Smaller bags can carry odds and ends like sunglasses, sunscreen, and jewelry. For a smaller bag, an empty, clean mesh produce bag, like the kind potatoes or avocadoes come in, will work. If she wants a larger towel-sized tote, large mesh utility bags can be bought from dollar and discount stores.
Help your child cut a piece of a plastic shopping bag to fit inside the bottom of the mesh bag. This will be a “liner” inside the tote bag. She can attach the liner to the bottom of the mesh bag using double-sided fabric tape under the liner.
Help your child cut a fabric piece to go outside the bottom of the mesh bag to cover the liner, about 1-2 inches up the bag’s sides. She can use double-sided fabric tape again to hem the fabric’s edges if needed, and then to attach the fabric to the outside of the mesh bag.
Now your child can decorate around the sides of the beach bag with beach-themed charms, stickers, beads and buttons! For each non-sticker item, she can cut a small piece of ribbon and tie it through the item, then knot the ribbon inside the bag.
Let her weave a pretty ribbon through the mesh holes near the top of the beach bag, then pull the ribbon together at the ends when she wants to close the bag. The ribbon will also be the carrying handle for the bag.
Drop in her bathing suit and sunglasses and hit the surf! This bag is waterproof and has mesh holes to sift out sand—all she’ll bring home are beach memories, not the sandy mess!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.