How to Take an Ocean Unit Beach Field Trip
My son is chasing seagulls and my daugther is collecting seashells in her pockets. It is January 1st and I'm standing on a beach gazing out at the Atlantic Ocean with my warm hat pulled snug down over my ears. It is chilly but the air is still and the sun is shining. The perfect weather for a Winter beach day.
When we concluded our Preschool Ocean Project this summer I thought we would move on to other things. We did for a heartbeat or two. Legos. Police Officers. Polar Bears. Nothing stuck for long.
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At the end of December, my son announced that he needed to learn more about the ocean. Not the animals, he clarified, but the actual ocean.
I have grown accustomed to such declarations so I simply asked what he thought we needed to do so he could answer his questions. After a moment of thought, he said he needed to go to the beach to collection some specimens.
I resisted the urge to giggle at his serious little face and agreed.
We headed to our favorite New York City beach with some containers to collect samples of ocean water (we brought the test tubes from this kit) and their cameras (they have these waterproof durable cameras) to take some photos.
As soon as we arrived they took some photos and then quickly ditched their shoes to test the chilly waters - because of course they need to discover these things for themselves not just trust mama's wisdom.
They declared the water cold. (Surprise, surprise) Then they got to work collecting a sample. A task they both took quite seriously.
After a summer of learning at the beach, this should have surprised me less.
Standing in a patch of wet sand uncovered by the low tide, they discovered several rocks covered in mussels.
They touched the mussels with gentle fingers and took pictures. We also watched the nearby seagulls prancing in the shallow water looking for mussels themselves.
As the sun began to set, we gathered our samples and headed home to look more closely at what they found. A simple field trip but rich with the sights, sounds, and other sensory delights only found at the beach.
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