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Summer Learning at the Beach

Summer Learning Can Occur at the Beach

While at the beach this past weekend, my daughter said, Mom come look and to my astonishment she wrote in the sand with a sea shell, “I LOVE MOM.” Of course I kissed her gently and hugged her tightly. After cherishing the moment, I proceeded to have her write her name in the sand using both upper and lower case letters. I thought to myself why stop at her name? Depending upon your child’s abilities, here are some fun ideas to make a day at the beach educational.

Practice Writing.

Using a sea shell have your child write the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet, first and last name and sight words in the sand. If your child is a fluent reader, play hangman in the sand focusing on difficult phonically irregular sight words (e.g. through, though). If your child becomes tired of writing letters and words, try numbers or shapes.

Read, Read and Read.

I spent countless hours as a young adult reading on the beach. In fact, when I wasn’t digging in the sand or attempting to go into the ocean (I have a minor phobia of natural bodies of water when I cannot see the bottom), I was reading a novel. In fact prior to packing I went and purchased a beach book. Since my commitment to summer homework, I brought some magazines for my children. We read a children’s magazine each day, which provided a perfect relaxing moment in the middle of the day.

Practice Counting.

Another fun activity to do with your child is to count sea gulls. Just remember to keep your distance and whatever you do don’t feed them! We learned the hard way that if you feed the sea gulls on the Jersey shore you will see too many sea gulls to count. Plus, your neighboring beach goers will not be happy!

Practicing Sorting and Grouping.

Both of my children love to walk along the beach and collect shells. After we collected our shells we laid them on our blanket and put them in groups based on size and color. After sorting the shells, we made a patterns with them.

Communicate to Obtain Information.

Our life guards were a wealth of information. While at the beach, our children often asked the life guard about the tides. When is the next high tide? What time is low tide? This information assisted us in deciding upon the best location to start building our sand castles. We also inquiried as to which way the water is “pulling” today so we knew where to go into the water. They also learned about what causes the tides – the moon’s gravitational pull. We also asked the life guard about the vegetation along the beach. In addition, we found out that floatation devices are not permitted at our beach – that was a bummer! The good news is summer learning can occur at the beach.

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