After lunch I took Iona for a paddle. As when we went to Port Talbot she had no fear of the waves, loved splashing in them and was reluctant to leave.
On the way down to the sea I saw a real, wild starfish (unfortunately dead) for the first time, and showed it to Iona. She was quite interested, especially as we've seen them in books, and was happy to hold it.
After we'd finished paddling we returned to Daddy, who'd built a sandcastle and was starting on a moat.
Although she quickly knocked the castle down that was the extent of her destructiveness, and she spent some time exploring her ability to make handprints in the sand. She seemed to find it really fascinating. It's been something she's been doing at every opportunity since she did some painting last week and I tried to show her how to make fingerprints.
After a while she noticed a bigger girl making a castle nearby and went to have a look. I was wary that she'd damage it, and warned her to be careful, but although the girl said she could knock it down (I think she was just leaving) Iona was very good and just decorated it very carefully with shells and pebbles. That's a real step forward, as she's normally very destructive.
In the mid-afternoon we went for an ice-cream, which Iona also loved.
We then had to go, as we had a long drive ahead of us, although Iona was very upset and didn't want to go. However, overall she had a lovely day and I decided to begin a unit study with her on the seaside to capitalise on this. I've used the "Hello Ocean" lapbook as a basis for this:
Their tactile starfish was a particularly good idea, as it can act as a permanent reminder of the starfish we saw. Although we couldn't afford to buy "Hello Ocean" I decided to buy "What Lives in a Shell?" http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0064451240/ref=oss_product and am just waiting now to see what it's like when it arrives.