Friday, 19 August 2016

Seaside Investigation Table

All children love the seaside (I have yet to find a child who doesn't!) What isn't to love - water as far as the eye can see, endless sandcastle and sculpture building possibilities and so many weird and wonderful things to discover within rock-pools and along the shoreline.

As someone who grew up within 20 minutes drive of some of the most stunning beaches in the UK, I spent so much of my childhood summers at at the seaside. Glorious. It wasn't until I had children of my own and now lived a good 2 hour drive away that I realised how much I missed it!

The children have been dying to get back to the beach this summer, and thankfully our family holiday a few weeks ago (see HERE for a review of our stay at Butlins) meant that we could make a trip.

On every visit we make, we always end up bringing a bucket full of treasures from our time there. The past few days I've been thinking I needed to update the discovery area (it's been a mini-beast exploration table for months). So, as the beach has been a recent event and we've been reading lots of sea-themed tales. I thought we could turn it into a bit of a beach-themed investigation table.

Ta-Da -

We've got stories, both fiction and non-fiction, various treasures from the sea-side, magnifying glasses and pencils and paper. I later added the sea-themed story basket (which I will post a link for soon).

We first spent some time talking about our recent beach trips and we looked at a few of our beachy books together. Then they set about looking at the objects more closely.

It was lovely sitting with them and encouraging them to look at the different shapes and patters they could see, asking them if they could find the item in the seaside book to see what it was called, then encouraging them to have a go at doing some observational drawing of the shells.

Even Chick 2 got stuck after his nap! 

As he is 2 and his talking is really coming along now, we focused on the language side of things. It was a great way to introduce new textual language such as 'smooth' 'rough' 'bumpy' stripey' etc. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the language he came out with - "It's wood mummy, it smooth" "Shell.. uh oh... hole in it". It was also lovely to hear him asking his own questions - "What is it?" as he picked up the dried seaweed.

We worked together to create some natural art work using the sticks as a frame and the shells in the middle. I picked one up and gave it to him and he placed them down where he wanted them.

Later in the day we had some fun creating stories using a box filled with sea-themed toys and objects - which I will write a separate post on later.

I'd love to hear about any of your own beach-themed play days so feel free to comment and link up below. Also, please comment or share this page if you have enjoyed reading it :) 


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