- Today we had planned a seashore safari with the local nature reserve. The staff at Titchfield Haven run various sessions, and being half term, this one was on for children. I thought it would be beneficial to us to go along and actually learn about all our findings! It started with a scavenger hunt, the list being used as a guideline of things to look out for, but then when the children got drawn into looking around, they soon got engrossed in their own searches as various mini beasts took their interest and they found other creatures.
Our little lady caught a tiny baby fish, 5 very small crabs, some small shrimps, and oysters. We all picked up various shells including, common whelk, razor shell, cockles, and others. We also saw an oyster catcher bird with its long thin red beak which the children were fascinated with. The rock pools around us aren’t that good, so you often end up on the verge of the water looking in the shallows, or turning over larger rocks to look in the puddles underneath. However, today a few rock pools were left behind by the tide, so it made it a lot more interesting as you were able to grab things without the waves ruining it. After hunting and searching we all shared with each other what we had got, before looking at some other interesting finds in the instructors day sack. It turns out, that some shells we have brought back from the beach previously that seem rather solid and heavy for shells, are in fact shell fossils around 40 million years old!! I definitely learnt alot today as well as the children.
We then went on to create some wild beach art. Our little lady scuttled off instantly bursting with ideas of what she wanted to do, leaving me with the 2 boys who had grand ideas and no intention of implementing them, but getting me to do the work. I did eventually manage to encourage them to help and the results were not too bad. Just one slight problem in that the smallest little man did not want to leave his man alone on the beach, but stay with it!! We had a dolphin, a man, and a fish.
As we left, the rain came in, so although dressed for it, with the winds as well, the experience was much more pleasurable with the rain getting it’s timing right 🙂 I have now dug out an old spotter book I had for the seashore too that looks fun to use and will help us get to grips with what we are looking at.
We have had a busy day, as after we headed home and had lunch, the little lady knuckled down to some maths and english, whilst I managed to do reading with the boys separately. They went onto practising writing letters, and generally getting side tracked colouring in the books. For anyone who knows us though, this is massive progress. They are happier sitting for longer doing it now, in their own way on the pages they chose, with the pens they chose, and for the youngest I am almost relieved he is now showing an interest. I know it always comes when they are ready, and maybe even much later than you anticipate (that’s a purpose of home education, to give them the chance to do things in their own time), but as a mum, a little bit of you will always panic at the lack of interest. I definitely do not push him as this would instantly make him shut down, but this is a self motivated interest after watching his twin for a while, and deciding it might be quite fun to try. He does it in every unconventional way possible, but I am just happy to have him holding pens and and making marks. After that I put my daughter’s maths skills into practise again by getting her to weigh out the ingredients for the baking session. Unfortunately for her, every ingredient needs to be multiplied by 3 (or else a recipe doesn’t spread amongst three very well).
After the cakes were completed and hidden, it was onto my last mission planned for the day. I have this great book, “Nature in a Nutshell for Kids”. There are over 100 activities, along the lines of mini science experiments, that you can do to learn about various things in nature. The book is split up into seasons, and despite technically being the last day of spring before summer hits us tomorrow (someone needs to let the weather know as it has gone back into early spring mode!), we chose a summer activity. It was called “dense dip” looking at why it is easier to float in the ocean than in a swimming pool. We used eggs in salty water, and eggs in fresh water and talked about densities. Much fun was had, and always breathe a sigh of relief when the experiments actually work!!
June sees the arrival of a new challenge for us, called “30 days wild”, so look out for the future posts where we take on the challenge of doing something wild, or in the wild everyday for the month of June….although we are going to cheat a little and use yesterdays walk for one challenge and today’s art for another, ssshhhh don’t tell anyone! It is an initiative by the wildlife trust to help people feel happier by being out in nature and more connected to it 🙂