Nature In a Nutshell.

z112Where else do you spend the day when it’s 27 degrees by 10 am??!!  Back at the beach, and most of the day in the water at that.  Today I took our book called Nature in a Nutshell with us, that has 5-10 minute quick experiments children can do according to seasons.  We are going to be using this alongside our nature curriculum from September, but I thought I’d give the beach trip a bit of a twist today, taking three mini tasks from it to do.


z113The first was looking at what the inside of a shell looks like.  They located a spiral shell, and then our little lady sanded the outside down in one spot, on some sandpaper we had taken with us.  She revealed the spiral shape inside the shell.  As the organism who once lived in the shell grew, it added layers to the shell, which then appear as rings on the outside of the shell.  They loved thinking about this idea.  They also looked at the colours of sand.  There isn’t much sand on our beach, but as it was low tide there are patches that are exposed that we exploited.  They each got a handful of sand, scattered it across dark paper and then examined it under their magnifying glasses.  They were really surprised at all the different colours in the mix, that looks just brown on initial glance.  This got us all talking about how the sand grains are made and what it is.  This then led nicely onto our last little experiment, called sand secrets ie what is sand.  The sand was placed in a strainer and shaken through.  What didn’t go through was then placed back onto the dark paper, and again examined through the magnifying lens.  There were bits of shells and pebbles, and we speculated that there was probably bits of fish teeth, and bones that belonged to sea creatures too in there.  They loved thinking about all of this.

z111The hottest day so far yet, meant that even our mini men spent all day in the water either falling off body boards or trying to use them!!  Although there was a quick recce out onto the spit at low tide, with mini man no.2 running back exclaiming he had found two fossils on his own and he was very proud.  His sister’s enthusiasm is rubbing off on him!  Plus mini man no.1 and his big sister found a little star fish under a rock they upturned.  This is a new thing for them, and along with the crabs they brought back in the bucket to the towels, he was examined for quite a while before replacing.  All three should hopefully be worn out from their all day swimming exertions, and the mini men look forward to their last day of preschool tomorrow!

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