Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Nature Area: Seashells part 1

I'm not sure how many times we'll make it to the beach this summer.  Truth be told the kids have already been out there twice this spring; a very leisurely drive on the PCH to get to Will Roger's Ranch and the other for a scout's beach clean up day.  The second beach outing and this cute little book, The True Book of Pebbles and Shells by Illa Podendorf, were the inspiration for our nature study area this summer about seashells and the seashore:

A few months back I asked another favorite Etsy artist, Aly from The Handmade Classroom, if she could come up with some shells for my little guys and our table.  They turned out just wonderful.  Her work is really neat.  I put some blue paper on a tray which holds our handmade seashells, homemade matching game, and our yardsale stubby pencil find.  All have been a hit with the little ones:

Also on the tray is a glass mason jar full of seashore treasures my kids collected at the beach clean up. (Since I took these pictures, the boys have managed to add some drift wood and wild flowers to the tray; from our trekk last week):

A few magnifying glasses are tucked underneath the table for easy access.  There is one in particular that we can't wait to take with us on our next trip to the beach.  I have to say this was not a cheap purchase at the homeschool convention I attended last month, but the kids have already had such a great time with this small field microscope.  It's ingenious, really.  There are two types of clamps; one for small clear boxes and the other for slides or baggies.  The boys have already enjoyed the clear boxes very much. They put a spider one day and it didn't take long for us to be able to actually see the spider spinning a web!!

In case you're wondering, it's the black one and it's called The Discovery Scope.  It comes with the black case and plenty of supplies; the pipet is just in case you want to put some liguid in one of the baggies.  I'm so excited about this field naturalist scope kit.

The kids love going through our bookshelves and helping me pick out books we already own to put in the basket.  I've actually enjoyed filling it and just letting them meander over and pick one.  We might not get to read them all cover to cover but we come pretty close and their curiousities do get piqued.  I also try to include a mature pick for my oldest; this time around it's Rachel Carson's The Edge of the Sea.  She just finished Sea Around Us so I thought she might want to continue with the trilogy. The rest are pretty well appreciated by all the kids.  In our book basket he have:

Pacific Intertidal Life by Ron Russo (small little book but a great field guide; part of a series)
The True Book of Pebbles and Shells by Illa Podendorf (great water color illustrations and our inspiration)
The Sunlit Sea by Augusta Goldin (a Let's-Read-and-Find-Out-Science book)
The Curious Fish by Elsa Beskow (whimsical and great illustrations)
Far from Shore by Sophie Web (written in a naturalist journal style)
All About the Sea by Ferdinand Lane (informational, All About Series)
Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha (picture book, the kids like this one)
The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown and Leonard Weisgard (another favorite picture book)
One Small Square: Seashore by Donald Silver (field guide type, One Small Square series)
Who Lives at the Seashore by Glenn Blough (we're really enjoying his books)
Along the Seashore by Margaret Waring Buck (very much like Blough but for an older child)
Under the Sea by Anna Milbourne and Cathy Shimmen (my little ones enjoy this series)
On the Seashore by Anna Milbourne and Erica-Jane Waters
Following the Coast by Jim Arnosky (you can't go wrong with Arnosky books)
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (cute picture book)
Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle (we also like A House for Hermit Crab but can't find it!)
The Seashore Book by Charlotte Zolotow (another great picture book!)

Whew...we are ready for the beach and some seashore nature study!!  Now, to get dad to drive us there ; )


Charlotte Mason in the City said...

I'm wanting that microscope! We haven't done much microscope viewing as we don't own one, and we only look through one when we randomly encounter one. I can see some fun days at the beach and river with 'scope.

We haven't been to the beach yet this year. I'm not accepting that it's almost JULY already.

...they call me mommy... said...

How LOVELY, Jenny! A favorite book of my Annie's (8) right now is Pagoo by Holling Clancy Holling. I am contemplating buying a hermit crab as part of her birthday gift! :-)

Jenny said...

Pagoo is on our list to read in the fall with my boys! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it : D

Jenny said...

I didn't think much of the scope when I first saw it, but once the boys started using it...I was glad I didn't waste my money ; )