Sandy South Carolina

In the winter, people tend to stay inside away from the beaches. But while we are all hibernating, the oceans are still out there taking care of fish, corals, seaweeds, and all our other ocean friends.

January isn't always the best time for beachside fun in the sun, but there's still plenty of ways to enjoy the ocean in the winter months--especially with your little Sea Pals in tow! Here are some of our favorites:

  • Beach yoga! Kids Yoga Stories has some easy poses for kids to get them in a beachy frame of mind.
  • Treasure hunt! With fewer people on the beach, you can hide treasure on the beach for your kids to find and not have to worry about pirates making off with the loot.
  • Seashell collecting. With less competition, you'll have your pick of the best shells!
  • Beach picnic. Bring a thermos of warm drinks and some blankets and have a nice group meal with just yourselves and nature. If local laws allow, you could even build a bonfire for extra coziness. 
  • Quiet beach walks. Empty beaches are a great opportunity to stop and appreciate ocean sounds and observe how wildlife behave outside of tourist season.

Do you have any favorite winter beach activities or traditions? Let us know!

Susan KearneyComment

Each month we give our Seapals a Special Assignment to get them excited about the ocean, and to spread their excitement to others. This month we have another Special Assignment, and this time it is for all you Senior Seapals out there!


Find a local learning center, beach, or museum and take your little Seapals on a field trip! It's always exciting to go somewhere new, and a field trip will give you special time to bond over your excitement about the sea! You could even make it extra fun by turning it into a scavenger hunt, a bingo game, or an arts and crafts time. Sharing an activity or a contest will be fun for the both of you, and seeing your excitement will help your little one make happy memories connected to the ocean or nature. 

We will be taking time this month to take a Seapals Adventure to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington D.C. with paper and colored pencils, so that we can draw our favorite marine creatures that we see in the exhibits! 

Let us know what you do, and we may feature your story in a future post!

Susan Kearney

Today we're going to let you in on a little secret: our Sunset Beach was inspired by a real life beach! Sunset Beach, Florida is a lovely little community on the Gulf Coast of Florida. We have spent many days there wading in the waves, and many evenings watching beautiful sunsets from the balcony.

But Sunset Beach isn't the only Florida beach we love! From Captiva to Miami to Port St. Lucie, Florida is full of beautiful beaches that we want to protect. And that is why we are such big fans of the Florida Oceanographic Society!


Our friends at FOS are big champions for Florida's coasts, oceans, and wildlife, and their mission aligns with ours here at Sunset Beach Books, because they are dedicated to passing on a love for the ocean to kids. 

At their Coastal Center on Stuart Island you can hang out with sea turtles and sting rays, hike a nature trail, and learn all about Florida's coastal ecosystems. They also host educational programs for students with field trips, a summer camp, and nighttime sea turtle walks!

They run several important conservation projects. The Florida Oceanographic Oyster Restoration project helps support local oyster populations, with help from local businesses. The Florida Oceanographic Seagrass Training Education Restoration project recovers, replants, and restores seagrasses to create healthy habitats for all sorts of local critters. They also monitor and care for other local plant and animal populations to ensure a healthy ecosystem.

As you can tell, we love the Florida Oceanographic Society, and we hope you will help support their work with us! You can learn about more of our favorite groups on our "Resources" page.

Do you have organizations that you want us to profile? Or people who are doing great things to help our oceans? Let us know by e-mailing us at!

Susan Kearney
Sharing Your Stories Helps Kids Fall in Love

Reading with your child and coloring beach scenes are great ways to help your kids learn to love the oceans, but there are lots of other things you can do as well. Here is one of my favorites.

Tell your children stories about your favorite beach memories. Was it swimming with your dad at sunset? Did you see a dolphin jump so high one day? Is your story about the sea shells you collected one morning just as the sun was coming up? Maybe it was simply waking up to the sound of the waves? These vivid and happy memories will help kids learn more about you, which they will love, and illustrate why keeping our oceans and beaches healthy is important.

One of my favorite beach tales is about making mobiles with my Uncle Jimmy, an art teacher from Philadelphia (so exotic to me!). He, my older sister, and I spent the morning strolling the beach and collecting small pieces of driftwood. Then, after lunch, we made beautiful driftwood mobiles from hooks, eyes, and fishing line to hang in our rooms at home. What a way to remember our fabulous beach vacation every day!

Another one is about staying with my Uncle Jimmy (clearly a star in my book!) at his beach house one summer. It was on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. One night, Jimmy took us to the beach to find sea turtles. We quietly filed down the steps to the sand and water below. Under the moonlight, we walked on the beach wading in the waves, gazing at the starry sky, and searching for sea turtles coming ashore to build their nests. We did not find any that night, which was probably for the best, but it was a magical adventure nonetheless.

What are some of the ways you help kids learn to love the ocean? Email us at to let us know. We’ll highlight your ideas in future blog posts. 


Susan Kearney
Welcome to the Deep Blue Blog!


I am so excited to launch the Sunset Books website and the Deep Blue Blog!

I grew up in Florida and spent summer vacations with my family by the Gulf of Mexico. We took long walks, collected sea shells, swam from dawn to dusk, and watched the sunset every night. It is by those Gulf shores that I learned to love the ocean waters, the beaches, and the critters that live in and around them.

I am worried about the Gulf and other ocean ecosystems. Man-made pollution, over fishing, and climate change are threatening these natural treasures. I believe in my heart that if children learn to cherish the oceans, beaches, and critters like I did, they will care for them and preserve them for future generations as they grow up.

And so, Sunset Beach Books and this blog are born. The mission of Sunset Beach Books is to publish books, activities, and other resources for parents, teachers, and librarians, so that kids can learn about, fall in love with, and be a friend to the oceans.

We would love your feedback and submissions. If there are resources you believe would be valuable, let us know. If you have suggestions for improving our site, shout out. And if you have activities, books, stories, or other content you believe would enrich our resources and help fulfill our mission, tell us all about them! Please send your notes and ideas to me at

Again, welcome! Let’s work together to help kids fall in love with our oceans.

Susan Kearney, Founder 




Susan Kearney