As a parent I know that many of the learning experiences that I can provide my kids with won’t happen in the home and are far away from the classroom. One of my favourite places to visit and learn about is the beach, we are fortunate that we live close enough to the sea that we have multiple choices of shore environments to explore as well as there is a high tidal change which makes for an interesting environment to explore. Today, I’m going to share some strandline exploration which is fun to do with the kids and is great for letting them learn about the environment as well as a little bit about the earth and the plants and animals that inhabit it.
A strandline is the line of debris on the beach produced by the tide, in our area of the country most of our beaches have multiple strandlines from the varying tides that we get over the month. As the tides decrease from the high tide to the smallest high tide of the month you can see a stepped strandline on the beach. The strandlines will be filled with a mixture of different items so it’s important that children are supervised with the activity.
This is an activity that it is good to do at different times over the year as you will find drastically different results depending on the seasons and also changes in currents that occur.
Find the strandline on your beach and then set yourself a walking distance – we normally do 100 paces
On our Paper we note down any interesting finds.
Start to walk along the strandline and look at the items common items of Nature that we find are
- Sea Weed
- Dead animals
- Shark or Ray Egg Sacks
- Fish Eggs
- Jelly Fish
As well as the natural finds my kids are often dismayed to find rubbish but instead of getting mad we use this as an opportunity to talk about currents (look to see where the rubbish has come from often the language will give you some indication), the reason the rubbish has arrived there – q-tips are one of the most common finds they look like a cake pop stick but that is as the cotton has come off and the reason they are on the beach is because people flush them down the toilet.
If your children are as angered and dismayed by the rubbish on the beach especially if you are like us and head out out of the season then check out with your local organisations when they have a beach clean up planned and go along and join in helping your children to develop volunteer skills and service skills within the community.
Learning through Adventure
There are plenty of more ideas that you can do to take the learning outside of your home and the classroom walls. We’re joining in with a series about Learning Through Adventure – check out the other posts to discover more ideas.