My family and I are traveling to the beautiful Oregon coast this week. Sandcastles, strolls down the boardwalk, and the sound of the waves are in our future. Ever since I was a little girl, the beach has been one of my favorite places, and I can’t wait to create new memories with my family this week, as we play, explore, and learn on the beach together.
Nearly the moment our feet touch the sand, my children have their shovels and pails at the ready – eagerly waiting to search for hidden “beach treasure.” They put on their eagle eyes and begin to scour the sand, searching for shells or the elusive unbroken sand dollar or starfish.
They love to walk the sand dunes, searching for cool pieces of drift wood. A hermit crab making his home at water’s edge or a small clam’s shell evoke wonder, excitement, and lots of great questions. As we search for shells and enjoy the wildlife around us, dozens of teachable moments, opportunities to ask questions, and focused interactions take place. We talk about habitats, textures, animals, nature, water….all using descriptive and sensory driven language- increasing their vocabulary, deepening their understanding, piquing their curiosity, and turning an ordinary stroll down the beach into a learning adventure.
This scavenger hunt not only focuses their attention, but provides a common goal for siblings and families to work towards, as you explore and enjoy the beauty of the beach. You and your children will love learning and exploring together. As you and your children work your way down the list, you’ll use your senses to investigate nature, wildlife, and the sights and sounds of the coast.