The beach has always been a place that I loved as a child. As an adult, I still love the ocean – being at the beach – toes in the sand, sun on my face, waves at my feet.
I am lucky, as an adult, to experience the beach with children in my work. I still have my toes in the sand, sun on my face & waves at my feet. However, I am able to jump back into my own childhood days & relive the wonder of the shore with the children.
Joy: There is nothing like the joyful smile of a child splashing in the ocean. The water feels cool & refreshing. It is a time to swim, race friends, dive underneath the water & float on the surface. There is so much joy in this play!
Peace: Take a breath as you watch the waves roll in. Close your eyes as the breeze washes over you. Slow down your walk as a child stops to explore a tidal pool. Feel yourself relax with each drip of the sand onto the drip castle.
Curiosity: Is there a crab in this shell? If I hum will the snail come out of its shell? Why are there bubbles in the sand? There is so much to learn at the beach. We can actively think & ponder the sea life.
Wonder: It is amazing to engage with the children as they experience their time at the beach. It may be watching the seagulls scavenge for stray food, digging tunnels in the sand, giggling with friends on towels, tossing a football in the water & making a diving catch. For children, all of these things & more create a sense of wonder & a time to PLAY.
PLAY: That is what childhood is all about. Lucky for me, that is also what my work is all about. Children need time in nature. They need to experience & explore the world around them. They can experience this best through PLAY. I feel the beach is one of the best places to embrace this beautiful childhood experience.