This week we hit the beach! School is official for most of us next week (although I know some schools are still out until Sept). I thought it would be fun for our last ‘non-school’ nature study to just play at the beach. While this is normally a tide-pool beach, I didn’t plan to go during low tide because low tide in the summer is 6am and I don’t know many families willing to do that! We’ll go again in Winter when low tide is right around out normal meeting time and you can see so many incredible things!
Just because the tide wasn’t out, doesn’t mean the kids didn’t still learn anything though! Ginny from the city of Newport’s recreation department had a great table set up with different animals that can be found at the tide pools. She had many real samples as well as some plastic ones for the kids to touch and play with. There was even some examples of unintended beach pollution with popped balloons and a forgotten baby sandal. She had a picture of a seagull who’s stomach was full of plastic trash. It gave us a great opportunity to talk about why we should always be careful to clean up after ourselves.
The seagulls here will take any opportunity they can to get things as well! It’s a lot easier then you think to leave ‘unintentional’ pollution behind. At one point a seagull opened up my beach tote and tried to take off with our pack of baby wipes! Another seagull was sucessful at taking a plastic cup of oranges and flying off. While we were able to retrive the plastic thankfully, we were much more careful about making sure all of our trash was zipped up in bags. We even saw this poor little guy with trash stuck to him.
The kids all collected trash they found on the beach so that we could throw away more then just are own. We pulled an old sand bag out of the ocean, found a grungy heeled shoe (not sure how they walked on the beach wearing it though!), plastic lids to jars and bottles, and an old soda can that was actually sharp in many places. It wasn’t all about the trash though. We were able to talk about the awesome footprints the birds left behind and were guessing if the seagulls were drinking the ocean water or not.
We also talked about the flags on the top of the life guard tower. The yellow flag with the black circle means there is a rip tide!
The kids had a lot of fun playing as well!