The Preschool has been very fortunate to have Dave and Donna come and teach us about things you can find from or near the beach.

Dave emphasised that we only touch-friendly animals and it is always best to check with an adult first.

Dave held up 2 objects and asked if anyone knew what they were?

“Sea sponge” identified Phoebe K.

“Coral” identified Ariane.

It was interesting to learn that they are in fact animals because they eat!

Next Dave introduced us to the ‘Mollusc’ family.

He showed us a blue-ringed octopus and explained that they are a dangerous sea creature and we are never to touch any type of octopus. “It will sting us,” said Eddie.

Also in this family we looked at a sea snail who likes to hide in its shell, Piper and Heidi thought they might be “scared” and Meha stated, “they won’t hurt us”. The interesting fact we learnt about sea snails is they have over 10,000 teeth and they are located on their tongue. Logan bravely went up and held a sea snail.

The next family we explored was the ‘crustacean’ family – they have their bones on the outside. Ryan and Harrison S had a feel of crab bones. “It’s hard,” said Harrison S. “

Lachlan C volunteered to hold a soldier crab. Lachlan identified they “are soft and blue”.

Jayda volunteered to hold a decorator crab. They are called decorator crab because they decorate themselves with sea sponge to camouflage. Jayda expressed the crab felt  “hard”.

The children thought the hermit crabs were hilarious as they watched them begin to come out of their shells and then dart back inside. Austin had a turn of holding the hermit crabs. Austin waited patiently for his to start coming out and then touched the crab so he hid back in his shell, “That’s so funny, so the crab pops out and then goes back in” said Piper. “Peek a boo,” said Derek.

‘Echinoderms’ was the next family we investigated.

“Do you know where the sea star’s mouth is?” Dave asked.

“On the bottom” replied Phoebe K. It was interesting to learn that sea stars can have up to 40 arms!

The sea urchin was explored by Reef, Matilda and Shane as they all carefully had a hold saying it felt “tickly”.

The sea cucumber was next to be investigated and we learnt they love to eat sand! Elsie, Eden and Faisal all volunteered for a hold. “It feels like Jelly” expressed Elsie.

The next family to explore was the ‘Fish’ family.

We looked at a baby eel and Kira informed everyone that they “bite”. This was a sea creature we do not touch.

Scarlett, Adriel and Hunter were eager to get up close and explore the sharks’ jaw and teeth that Dave showed us. Amelia confidently identified the “shark egg”.

We discussed the important topic of pollution on our beaches. Phoebe P said we put our rubbish “in the bin”. If there is no bin we take our rubbish with us!

The Gems, Treasures and Sparkles were then able to freely explore the creatures and shells with their gentle hands in the learning tubs before they happily painted their sea creature and displayed excitement to take them home.

This experience supports the Early Years Learning Framework Practice ‘Responsiveness to Children’ which states “Educators are responsive to all children’s strengths, abilities and interests. They value and build on children’s strengths, skills and knowledge to ensure their motivation and engagement in learning”.

Michelle Neylan
Preschool Director