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Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Walk on the Beach




This week was school vacation week in Massachusetts. The third Monday of April is a state holiday called Patriots Day. It also is the day the Boston Marathon is run and so many roads are closed down for parts of the day. Since we did not have any of our normal activities, Steve took the week off of work and we took a mini-vacation the second half of the week to visit my parents at Cape Cod. We packed up all three of us and the two cats to drive two hours to my parents. It wasn't a bad trip except Fluffy does not like the car and meowed a good part of the way there and most of the way home--though she wasn't as bad as I expected. She may be getting more comfortable with the car. Hopefully.

Each time Hazel and I go she asks me to go to the beach. We often do not make it there, so this time I made sure we did. A few days before we went we took a book out of the library called Let's Take a Walk on the Beach by Karen O'Connor. It is a book about a little boy who goes to the beach with his parents and uses his five senses to explore the beach. It talks about what he sees, smells, hears, feels and tastes (he buys a lemonade and popcorn). Since we have been focusing on our five senses we did a similar thing and tried to do some of the things the boy did in the book. He went in summer on a hot day so it was a bit different going on a day below 70 degrees, but we did some.
We went to Skaket Beach which is on the Cape Cod Bay. It is a beach that is less than a mile from my parents' house (which was my grandparents' house) and a beach I always enjoyed as a child. The bay side is a bit warmer than the ocean side both in air and water at this time of the year. It has smaller waves and surf, but is great for children. We went as the tide was going out--not quite low tide, but getting close. At low tide you can walk out for a couple of miles before hitting the main part of the water. As long as it is not too hot it is a fun place for kids to play during low tide. There is so much to explore including little pools like the one in the picture above.
When we first got there Hazel wanted her shoes off. This was a big step since she use to not like the sand on her feet. I took mine off as well so I would know how cold it was. The sand was not too bad. The water was pretty cold. Hazel however kept wanting to go in it. She of course then wanted to walk to the water. My father came with us, so he took her first but was not barefoot so he did not go into the water.
You can see the little marks of the waves in the sand as the tide goes out. I always find it so neat. We brought a small shovel and pail. I of course went out and bought one since the time we finally make it to the beach I did not bring any of her sand toys (I always bring them). Oh, well. We left the shovel and pail there so we will always have one there. After feeling the water she wanted to dig in the sand and make a sandcastle. Then she went back to the water and back to the sand and kept repeating that pattern for awhile.

She also had fun making footprints in the sand (as well as handprints). I think she was thinking of the footprints in the snow from several of the books we have read.
Things we saw: sea gulls, a girl flying a kite (sorry the picture didn't come out), boys playing frisbee, hermit crabs, rocks, and a few dogs. Things we heard: dogs, waves, airplane, wind. Things we felt: cold water, dry sand, wet sand, hermit crab (well I did), rocks and seaweed. Things we smelled: sea air.
Feeling Wet Sand
Feeling the Water
Seeing a hermit crab
Feeling Seaweed
 Since the boy rolled around in the sand, Hazel of course did. Also we saw a 10-year-old girl digging a hole. Hazel went over and talked to her (made me proud since she normally plays shy) and the girl let her dig with her. She was making a deep hole in wet sand which of course filled up with water. Hazel found it interesting.
Rolling in sand (don't worry I had a change of clothes in the car)
Digging the hole
And my favorite picture from the beach:
Can't you tell she loves the beach? Another great book for going to the beach is Wave by Suzy Lee. It is wordless story about a girl going to the beach with her mother and encountering the waves (with the sea gulls).

I had to bribe her to leave. We went to get ice cream afterwards. The next day, we drew in her journal about what we saw, felt, heard, and smelled.

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