Sun, sand, and knowledge?
Learn at the beach!
All it takes is a little planning, and some time afterwards to keep the learning going.
There are as many ways to build sandcastles as grains of sand on the beach. From the trusty shovel and pail method to the drip method to the insanely complicated creations that the pros build.
Before you head to the shore, pull up some guides for different sandcastle methods. As a family, decide which one(s) you want to tackle and grab all the supplies. Pinterest is a great place to check for ideas and short cuts!
After you build, talk about which method or design worked the best and why. What would you change? What would you combine from different methods? Which one looked the prettiest? If you are testing different sandcastle ideas over the whole summer, take pictures and compare later.
Or tag me on Instagram #MilKidsed!
Tide Pool Pro
Many beaches have tide pools, or shallow bodies of water left behind when the tide is low. These little pools are teeming with fun, and discovery!
Some tide pools depend on the sand patterns, and only form every once in a while. These make perfect paddling spots for little ones unsure of the big surf. They are also probably slightly warmer than the open ocean, which makes more a happier parent!
Other tide pools are more permanent, allowing life to flourish. Depending on where you are, tide pools can contain snails, crabs, sea urchins, clams, mussels, and more. Curious beachcombers can gently touch these wild animals. Just watch out for crab claws and poisonous critters. If you don’t know what something is, the best bet is to keep little hands off.
Even if you can’t touch, you can still snap a picture to take home and investigate later!
Life Under the Sea
One of the most popular activities is shell or rock collecting. With a smartphone or guidebook, you can turn this into a science activity. And your kids might not even know!
As you collect shells, wonder out loud what animal lived in that shell. Talk with your kids about things they notice: color, size, shape, one shell/two shells, texture, patterns, thickness, etc. Ponder what these things might mean about the animal that called that shell home.
Pick a few of your favorite shells to take home and them up later. Try to find videos online that show living examples of each creature. If you have’t seen a clam bubble IRL, you haven’t lived!
Ride a Wave
Body surfing, boogie boarding, wake boarding, and traditional surfing are all great ways to have fun in the sun. But they all take a little practice, coordination, and determination.
This summer, pick a few different water activities to try together. As you do each new thing, talk about what made your attempts successes or failures. Was it the wave height and speed? Your depth in the water? The actual board? Or a combination? Talk through solutions and modifications you could make to get more perfect rides.
Above the waves, there is even more to discover. Birds, small bugs, and other land critters all call beaches home.
Do a little bird watching with your kids. Talk about how the birds move, use their bills, the shape of their feet, or where they are. Try to guess if the bird lives mostly on land and scavenges at the water’s edge, or if it is a predator bird, or if the bird is comfortable on water and land.
When you spot an unfamiliar bird, snap a picture for later and challenge your kids to figure out who they saw!
What are some of your fav beach activities? Tweet @MilKidsEd!