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Learning about the Seaside

This is such a lovely, lazy topic to do as it requires no planning really and the children totally lead it. Plus you get to go on some gorgeous ‘educational’ days out (British summer weather dependant of course).

For our ‘at home’ part of the topic, as usual I set up lots of little play based activities.

We read our trusty favourite Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson. Then examined our collection of shells. We used the Collins Gem Seashore book to find out what creatures the shells belong to. The girls then used playdough to make their own rockpool creatures.

We read the Lighthouse Keepers Lunch then made our own model lighthouses. We were planning to visit our local lighthouse but the tide times meant we’d be stuck out there for 5 hours which we didn’t fancy very much.

The girls wanted to make a seaside board game. They came up with the design and concept. You had to move around the board collecting seashells on your way to granny’s house. The one with the most seashells wins. They made the characters and coloured in the board, and decided what the board was going to say. I just wrote down the instructions they gave me on the board for them.

Again I never make them write anything. They wanted me to help, so I did.

We read so many books about the seaside both fiction and non fiction. They are fascinated by Victorians at the moment so we looked at how the seaside has changed. Grandma’s Seaside Bloomers is a lovely book which looks at the Bathing huts. The girls thought it was hilarious that they were pulled out to sea in a hut so no one saw them in their bathing suits.

My favourite of all of the books is Flotsam by David Wiesner. It is just stunning and really sparks imagination.

I set up a small world beach in the tuff spot in the garden. They literally played with this for weeks. Gradually adding more bits, they set up a camp site with swimming pool and a beach house. The girls love small world play and it is so important for them to be allowed time to play imaginatively.

And obviously the best way to learn about the seaside is to visit the seaside – often!

Let them dig in the sand and frolic in the waves.

Spending all day collecting shells.

And in the case of Little Bean really exploring the creatures that lurk beneath the waves and getting yourself a nasty crab bite on the toe!


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