What You Need
- Trip to the beach/lake/creek
- Pail or bucket
- Plastic bottle
- Super glue
- Permanent marker
How to Do this Activity
Explore the beach with your child and collect shells, small pieces of wood, pebbles, and rocks in a pail or bucket (avoiding perishable living plants).
Ask questions to get your child thinking, like:
- "Do you see shells that are alike?"
- "How are the shells different?"
- "How do you think they got here?"
Then, head back to your towel or spot on the beach and sit down together. Have your child put the objects found into the plastic bottle. Once your child is done filling the bottle, seal the top with super glue (keeping it out of your child’s reach until dry). Use the label to add the location and date. Encourage your child to observe the items in the bottle and get an up-close look at them.
What Your Child Learns
Through this activity, children gain firsthand experience with natural materials. They slow down to make observations, ask questions, and consider theories about what they see.