I’m slowly working out that spring seems to occur on Wednesdays (so it’s our adventure day), and torrential rain on Fridays (Forest School day!). So with a glorious, but very breezy day of weather ahead of us we headed for our favourite local sandy beach, West Wittering. We love it here. It is so vast, the children can run for miles, and with it still being so empty, I don’t mind them going in different directions so much as I can see them easily. It gives them a much needed sense of freedom.
Living by our own stretch of coast means we keep a supply of beach gear in the car. These include fishing nets, large dumper trucks, smaller cars, buckets, spades, forks, sand moulds, watering cans, sieves, and the fantastic talc to get all that sand off afterwards! When we arrive this is just dragged onto the beach and play commences. It was no different in West Wittering. Today they built a volcano (a large crater in the sand), made a road for the cars, and our little lady tried to find Australia by digging downwards. She’s quite an optimist. They also played a lot of imaginative role play games in amongst the sand dunes too. I love listening to their chatter when they play like that. The sun was out but it was fairly fresh with the strong breeze. The children started the day all waterproofed and wellied up, but by the end of the day I looked completely overdressed in my wellies and winter coat, as they splashed and ran in and out of the water in their swimming kit….bbbbbrrrrrrr. They are bonkers!!
It was a great day at West Wittering, and the children had so much freedom, fresh air, and unstructured play. After the wellies were discarded, they went barefoot everywhere, which is great for them feeling more in touch with nature. They scoffed an ice cream to finish off the day. I am slowly learning though that home education seems to involve more mess, muddle, and chaos than the usual daily life that a family of 5 brings (which was a lot anyway!), and on the way back to the car I turned round to be greeted with this scene…..
My conventional mum hat needed taking off, while I let her squash her way through the “chocolatey lovely squidgy mud mamma” and just squirm on the inside, not letting it show. It’s moments like this that are brilliant for children, using every sense to get in touch with nature, but as grown ups we don’t like the idea, or we think of the messy consequences, so reign them back in. I then sent her running down to the retreating tide (which had disappeared into the distance) to wash her feet and run back again, to which the comment was “I didn’t have to run that far in PE”!!