Real Life Language, Idea No. 2 – Playing on the Beach

child on beach

We’ve been spending lots of time at the beach this summer, so here are some ideas for how to incorporate language learning into beach time.

First up, for me personally, this is textbook “follow the child’s lead” – because I am not a fan of sand, the beach is not my destination of choice, but both the kids love it. Take time to notice what your child enjoys doing at the beach, perhaps they want to make sandcastles but perhaps not. Collecting and arranging pebbles, digging holes, mark making with sticks, are also fun options. What inspires your child?

Next consider how much you talk when you play with your child. Experiment with leaving more silence, continue to follow your child’s lead and contribute when they ‘ask’ you to. They might use a direct question, give you an instruction, or simply look at you, to indicate they’re ready for your input. If more silence feels unnatural, try imagining someone chattering to you when you’re concentrating on writing a tricky email. The person comments on what you’re doing, asks you questions and makes suggestions you didn’t ask for – distracting and annoying, right?

Today my 3 year old and I talked about “sprinkling” the sand, and how wet and dry sand is different colours, as he buried his hands and feet. The 1 year old found out there is a limit to my ability to follow his lead, and we worked on his comprehension of ‘no’ – I must have said: “no eating” (sand) about a hundred times!

What does your child like to do at the beach? Any tips for stopping sand eating?!