Our occasional investigation station is back, and it has a new theme - the seashore. It was easy to set up thanks to the wonderful finds we brought back from our recent trip to Dunraven Bay in Wales. My two little nature-lovers have been tempted into this activity again and again simply by my setting out the equipment and specimens invitingly and leaving everything there, ready when they are. Here's what's available:
1. A collection of small rocks, minerals, pebbles and fossils.
2. A selection of shells.
3. A piece of drift wood.
4. Prepared slides with plant material.
4. A mini-torch.
5. Hand-held magnifiers.
6. A microscope.
7. A handmade rock-pool I Spy poster (made on location in Wales).
8. A wild flower pocket book.
9. A copy of the Spotter's Guide to the Seashore.
It hasn't taken long for the children to work out that if you want to use the microscope successfully you have to have very thin slices of material to enable light to travel through. In other words, the pebbles and shells, it turns out, must be viewed using the torch and the magnifying glasses - not shoved under the lens of the microscope.
But, whether using the microscope or the magnifiers, there have been ooo-s and ahh-s aplenty, and it's been a great opportunity to investigate our favourite bit of seashore on a very different scale.