In the car as we drove towards the beach I heard Daisy say to her favourite doll, “Look Baby, look! Water!” Daisy had never been to a sandy beach before so I had that deep warm awareness that I was going to experience our granddaughter seeing the sea for the first time.
Our granddaughter is a couple of months from her second birthday and we see a little girl who is curious, playful and happy, growing up in a nurturing environment. Having a family holiday together gave Daisy an opportunity to explore new and unfamiliar environments.
Daisy stepped onto the sand. Sand is familiar from messy play time at home and Daisy instantly squatted down to feel the warm sand and let it run through her fingers while we settled our beach kit near the dunes.
As readers of my blog will already know Daisy is fascinated with the water; but this was a new environment to Daisy and this kind of water was unfamiliar to her. She wanted to explore it and she needed the security of knowing that she had familiar adults nearby if she needed us.
We stood together, holding hands at the water’s edge and Daisy giggled and watched as the tide moved the water over her feet (wearing her jelly shoes). She was engrossed, but still uncertain about this new kind of water as it moved about.
To help her feel less uncertain about the seawater and the gentle waves I thought I’d distract her with some pebbles and stones that were nearby. I picked up a pebble and dropped it into the water. And then it was Daisy’s turn to drop a pebble. And again, and again. Each time Daisy dropped a pebble we added our sound effects ‘PLOP, SLOSH’. Daddy had to drop pebbles with her, Grandpa had to join in too.
When we returned to the beach the next day Daisy was ready to play ‘Drop Plop Slosh’ with the pebbles and stones at the water’s edge. This time we took a waterwheel and sand tools to play with on the damp sand, making more different sound effects pouring water through the water wheel and spraying our feet with water from the watering can.
By the end of the afternoon at the beach we knew that Daisy felt confident about the beach and the waves when she went for a walk, hand in hand with her Grandpa, along the water’s edge.
Back at home we can replicate and repeat this kind of play with the waterwheel, watering can, pebbles etc. And in the play we can talk about going to the beach together.
Granny Smith says
Holidays are the perfect time to give our grandchildren opportunities to explore a variety of new environments with their familiar adults close by so that they can feel secure as they explore.