Heading to the beach seems such a summer activity – but throughout the year it’s fantastic to head out and look at the way that the habitat is changing and picking up a net and bucket means that not only can you explore the strandline but you can also go rock pooling on the beach. Here’s our guide on how to rock pool with young kids as well as some of our top tips for exploring tide pools with kids to make sure that your next venture to the shore is a success.
How to explore rock pools with kids
Just a quick note if you are a reader from the USA then instead of calling these rockpools you may be more familiar with the term tide pools. They are essentially the same thing.
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What Equipment Do You Need for Tide Pool Exploration
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Guide for the beach if you want to discover what you have found – check out our FREE Printable Rock Pool Scavenger Hunt Book to download HERE!
A beach with rock pools
How to Go Rock Pooling with Kids (as young as toddlers)
One of the things that we always do when we are rock pooling is make sure that our feet are suitably covered – with rocks, limpets and barnacles on the rocks at tide mark we really don’t want sore and cut feet – so wellington boots or jelly shoes are required.
Once we arrive at the beach it’s time to explore – fill up a bucket with water from the pools and then dip the net in and explore.
It really is that easy – the sand at the bottom of the pool is often one of the best places to find small shrimps and small fish.
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Don’t forget to check out our FREE Printable Scavenger Hunt for your rock and tide pool adventures
What to Read when you Return from Rock pooling with the kids
Today we are sharing a storybook by one of our favourite authors Julia Donaldson and one of the most read books we have from her – Sharing a Shell a story about 3 creatures commonly found in a rock pool – a hermit crab, an anemone, and a bristle worm. The creatures live in a symbiotic relationship with in the rock pool and it’s a fantastic book to talk about friendships, living together as well as look at the environment.
5 Top tips for rock pooling with kids
- CHECK THE TIDE TIMES – Know the tide times for the beach you are visiting – you don’t want to be trapped and equally you don’t want to arrive and find that the time you have it’s high tide and the kids won’t be able to get on the beach.
- Wear shoes – rocks, barnacles, limpets and even the possibility of a crab nipping at the toes means that they are likely to be cut make sure that little feet and yours are protected.
- Don’t forget the rocks themselves – many creatures in the rock pools are sedentary using tentacles to feed or filter out plankton from the water. Check out the rocks along the inside of the rock pools and if you are there at low tide then check the rocks at the lowest point they may hold all sorts of interesting creatures.
- Take some water home with you – Take a small bottle with you and take it home – then look at it under a magnifying glass or if you have a microscope at home have a look there. At home, we have a magnifier block set so poor a little water in and can see what microscopic creatures are in the water as well.
- Journal the experience afterward – with the kids even toddlers and preschoolers you can nature journal. Use photographs, drawings and notes to create a journal of your rock pooling and then you can use it to compare to the next time you head out rock pooling with the kids.
Storybook Science Series
You know that here at Rainy Day Mum we love connecting books with learning and all this month Trisha over at Inspiration Laboratories has been running a storybook science series where bloggers from around the world select their favourite book and inspire you to explore different science areas with your kids.
See other Storybook Science Posts Here on Rainy Day Mum
- Learn about Sea Turtle Conservation
- Experiment with the planets
- Design and Test Paper Airplanes in this STEAM challenge
Other Julia Donaldson Inspired Activities
As I mentioned at the start we love Julia Donaldson Activities and they often inspire us to get creative with our learning check out these other ideas we have featured in the past. Click on the images to be taken to the posts.
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