Portrait of Play, Week 37

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We’re at the beach. It’s always the best playground, especially with cousins and aunts and uncles. Uncle Chad and Aunt Stacy set out to build a sand castle with the kids, and Stacy’s motto of, “go big, or go home,” came to life. Chad is an architect, so the whole structure was quite a bit more exciting than our normal drip castle routine. Charlotte decided it was a palace for her Ariel doll, and they set out digging, packing, molding, and shaping. The moat was unintentionally the perfect way to keep toddlers from destroying the whole thing in one impulsive kick or unplanned tumble. I’m pretty certain that having kids of varying ages work together to build a sand castle is one of the better learning experiences available. There’s all the science and math along with tons of social emotional/communication/problem solving opportunities. The resulting design included draw bridges, a plank, some decorative flairs, and even a farm for sustainability. It was fun watching the younger kids copy the actions of the older kids of going down to the ocean to get water and of packing and dumping. I really wish we lived closer to the beach.

Other past play experiences at the beach have looked like this and this.

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