We spent today at the Wittering's Beach with Grandma and Pops. It wasn't as sunny as last Friday but it was a great day none the less.
Today Grandma asked me the question, 'so what is he [Bean] learning today?' So here is my reply....
The journey to the beach involved Bean map reading, this mostly involved asking about the different coloured roads and guessing what the symbols meant, We looked these up using the key when we arrived at the beach to see which ones we had guessed correctly. He even spotted a National Trust sign on the roadside on the way there! (Would you like me to give them subject headings, let's call this geography.)
He also spends a lot of time trying to read the speedometer and speed limit signs. This involves reading numbers and understanding there value in relation to each other (Maths)
Today the sand was used for: building castles, which involved digging deep for wet sand; making a flag from a stick and a tissue; burying Bean; and burying the frisbee. The sea was used for: paddling in; exploring seaweed, mostly Pumpkin avoiding it!) pouring water and running through. The beach is a whole day of sand and water play, which is an unquestioned activity in most early years settings, our advantage being having them in their natural habitat. Discovering about materials and their different properties, how they change when you add things to them i.e. water to sand, or how things change over time i.e. tidal movement. This play also involves physical dexterity, problem solving, social skills, communication and a multi sensory experience all contributing to their congnitive development and knowledge (language, science, maths, social development)
Bean also set up a game of cricket using two spades and a stone. One spade was the bat and the other the wickets. Being able to use one item and pretend it is another is not only very useful for when you think you have no toys available and are able to gather together a few odd objects and they become a whole new world but is the same process of thought used in successful problem solving in adulthood (seeing a use for things that they were not designed for.) (Creative and physical development)
Pumpkin continues to be a very sensory learner and spent a large amount of time lying in the sand, head and all! Very messy but soft sand is very pleasing to touch so I could see the appeal, I just wouldn't put my face in it.
Spending a day with family and multiple generations also contributes to their social and emotional well-being. Feeling valued and cared for by those closet to them and respecting and caring in return. Today Bean took 4 pennies each for grandma and pops to buy them an ice-cream.
We went over to the cafe to buy ice-creams where the boys learnt to select and order and pay for their own purchases, although we did have an odd moment when the shop assistant looked at me and asked if I knew that they had ordered dark chocolate even though I was right next to them when they were ordering. However, instead of merely role-playing the situation they were able to learn from a real life experience. (Maths, communication, literacy, social.)
Unbeknown to me the boys had also been watching the life guards closely and three days later (Saturday) have been playing with the playmobil men and quad bikes and walkie-talkies in the bath enacting what they observed. (observation-science; story telling-literacy, communication, language; memory recall; shared experience - social; making sense of the world around them-humanities.)
And all this was just whilst we were at the beach and I know they learnt far more than I have recorded here. All three smalls slept on the way home and consequently up later again. Pumpkin spent a happy time entertaining friends looking at books and Bean set up the dolls house on his bed having a picnic.