On Kingston's first beach trip, Daddy collected some great shells and rocks for K to explore further when we got home. Using these materials, craft sand, a clear bin, and some toys (his crab and his very own shipwrecked boat!), I created a beach small world bin so that Kingston could enjoy the beach in the comfort of our own home.
I set "Kingston's Cove" out in the kitchen and called K over to come see what I had set up. He was eager to see what was inside. He wore his new ocean shirt for the occasion!
He tried to reach in and see what it was all about. This is when we hit our first snag. The bin that I selected was much too tall for him to comfortably reach in and play. This meant that he couldn't get the full effect of the sand and shells. I let him explore what he could for a little bit.
He explored a few of the rocks, threw the starfish across the room, and grabbed for the shipwrecked boat.
This yellow boat is one in a series of colorful stacking boats that Kingston plays with in the bath tub! He examined the boat, and I talked to him about the beach and what was going on in the scene he was playing with.
In the bottom picture, he is SQUEEZING the boat using his tough guy baby muscles. I love when he makes this face!
While he played, I was trying to figure out how to reconfigure the bin so that he could get the most out of it. I decided that I would try putting him inside of it!
That worked for awhile. He examined each shell and rock more closely. He also got to feel the sand on his feet and legs. It was definitely more of an immersing experience!
However, he looked terribly uncomfortable. So, I took him out and searched for a more baby-friendly bin. Then I transferred everything into that. It wasn't as pretty or realistic as the first bin, but much more suited for Kingston's age and capabilities.
He was so much happier with this bin! He clapped, laughed, and started grabbing fistfuls of sand.
I watched as he sifted the sand through his fingers. This was the first time he has played with craft sand and he was enthralled with the texture. I had so much fun watching him closely examine the sand. It held his attention for almost an HOUR! I was also proud that he never once even considered tasting it. He must be getting use to the concept of sand!
I snapped about a million pictures of him as he explored the sand. It was magical to watch how intrigued he was! It really made me stop and consider how new everything is to him and appreciate that I am the one who is blessed to be able to experience every moment by his side. I love looking through his eyes and experiencing the wonderment and pure joy of it all.
We played in the sand side by side. He loved taking clumps of sand from my hands and examining it in his own. I loved spending quality time with him.
This was another beach sensory activity that we had a great time with. We have a bunch more crafts and activities planned, so it looks like our beach/ocean theme will be a lot longer than I had initially anticipated! I am taking Kingston's interest and running with it. We have our very own little ocean area set up in our main play area with starfish, sand dollars, sea creatures, our beach bottle, our ocean books, and a few beach themed toys that K has full access to throughout the day. I love seeing him climb right up there and open a book, or grab something to play with. He is really taking an interest in what we are learning and quickly becoming an active participant! I am blown away with my 9 month old for sure, and I am so happy that our Baby School is giving him opportunities to expand his horizons.