children's books

Seeking Wonder: Seaside Books

Much of our outside time this summer has been spent by hopping in the car and heading in the direction of the ocean. The seashore has been an exciting place to explore new species of wildlife, seaweed, shells, driftwood, and all kinds of new pebbles. We often go in the morning when low tide means we can find tide pools among the rocks. These tiny microcosms seem to contain whole worlds of new ecosystems before the tide rises again. It is equally exciting for children as for adults. Adventuring out on cloudy and cooler days means that we can wander on rocky beaches that are mostly empty.

One way to enrich beautiful time outside in nature or by the ocean is to read books that complement those topics in which your child shows interest. I aim to quietly observe and take note of my child’s natural interests, especially during our times outside. Then, I aim to support those interest through offering beautiful materials such as books both non-fiction and fiction. Limiting the scope to the seashore was just the right way to introduce books about ocean life to my child. I strive to chose ones that contain age-appropriate information, rich language, and beautiful illustrations. While we read these books, we talk about what we remember from our time outside, such as shells, crabs, lighthouses, and seagulls. When we are outside, we discuss organically what we remember from our books on these topics. It is a simple way to practice child-led learning: offering beautiful books to support what you have identified as your child’s interests!

Some beautiful Seaside books for young children to inspire wonder and delight:

The Seashore (My First Discoveries) by Pierre de Hugo

Sneakers, the Seaside Cat by Margaret Wise Brown

Alphabet Boats by Samantha R. Vamos

A First Book of the Sea by Nicola Davies

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

It is worth showing how lovely the short poems are in A First Book of the Sea by Nicola Davies. This books is beautifully written and I’m continually impressed with the beautiful illustrations.

We also love Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall and the beautiful story of a lighthouse keeper and his family as the seasons pass and the illustrations are just magical to inspire wonder to all who read it.

It has been so fun to find a variety of fiction and non-fiction books to support our time on the seaside. The ocean always inspires a moment of awe and wonder. Time at the seaside has been such a joy to explore with my child. What books do you love about visiting the ocean and the creatures and natural life that live there?

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