Over the Easter period, we went to an Island off Auckland and spent many lazy hours at a small beach, swimming, talking, making sandcastles and walking along the sand. At one point, the kids returned from a swim with Dad and plonked themselves in the sand. The eldest was making the youngest a sand castle while my middle two girls talked from a tummy down position on their towels. My husband grabbed his own towel and lay down next to me and we talked. Like really talked. It was one of those times when everything seemed so good in the world!
I love the beach. It’s a place where we all tend to relax. And I love beach things: shells so interesting and beautiful; smooth drift wood and frosted sea glass; loose feathers and small stones. In the days after we got home, I set out some of our finds on a A3 art pad and grouped them into colours. It’s so beautiful to see them that way! The oh-so-simple activities that foster connection are are my favourite.
I found an app called Palette Picker (video about it here), and it helps you pick out colours in an image to create a palette. It’s amazing. Check out some the palettes I created out from our beach finds. Kids could use it to find colour combinations for school projects, and it’s great for decorating too. Plus it helps you to truly appreciate all the amazing colours in this world. I will be trying this with different nature collections the kids and I have found, like these rainbow leaves.
There are natural questions that come out of this simple sort of activity, and they can be explored at leisure.
How long does it take to form sea glass?
Up to decades. So that’s pretty cool to think about. More interesting info about the process here. Sea glass is sometimes called mermaid tears. There could be an entire story made-up about that!
Why do shells come in different shapes and colours?
There are many variables involved, depending on the mollusk, their diet and environment. There’s more information here. My daughter and I spent some time looking up different shell variations and we found in our collection a scallop and a calico scallop. It was hard to work out rest but it’s motivated me to add a few shell identification books to our book shelf, and I’m starting with this DK one I just purchased from Book Depository: Shells: The Photographic Recognition Guide to Seashells of the World