When my kids were visiting from Texas we made a day trip to the northern section of the Oregon coast. We went to Cannon Beach, Indian Beach, and Seaside. Swimming was not the main activity on the beach because the water was very cold. We did see some surfers in wetsuits braving the elements. My son even took a quick plunge just so he could say he did.
So what were people doing on the beach? They were building sand castles, taking long walks, flying kites, collecting seashells, riding bicycles, feeding seagulls, and making designs in the sand.
Some of the sandcastles were quite creative with seashells, seaweed, and pieces of driftwood as decoration. Shovels and buckets were used to mold the wet sand into the desired shape. Two little girls drizzled a water/sand solution over their sandcastle to give it texture. I loved building sandcastles when I was a child. Making sandcastles is not an unusual activity to see happening on the beach.
Later in the day, I noticed a young boy bent over intently drawing something in the sand. His mother stood watching. She wasn’t just watching, she was posing.
She stood with her arms at a 90 degree angle from her sides. Her fingers were spread wide. Her feet hip width apart. I looked closer. The child was tracing his mother’s shadow.
I was immediately impressed. What a great idea! What an easy activity to do. Supplies needed are a model, a stick and a smooth area of sand on a beach. Substitute a concrete driveway for sand and sidewalk chalk for the stick and you have an activity you can do at most homes or schools.
Tracing cast shadows can give a child the ability to understand how shadows are affected by the shape and size of objects as well as the angle of the light source. I plan on doing this activity with my grandchildren when I go back to visit.