We have just returned home after spending a long weekend at my parents caravan in Devon. The weather was glorious for the first few days and the children had lots of fun building sandcastles, rock pooling and playing in the sea.
On the final day of our holiday the weather became cooler and the beach was less busy so I decided take the opportunity to test their Arabic skills on the beach. Just because we were away from home does not mean learning has to stop. After all, learning can happen anytime and anywhere. With a bit of imagination (or ideas from blogs and pinterest), you can create some wonderful learning experiences for your children
The children have been learning the Arabic alphabet, both at Arabic school on Saturdays and with me at home. We started off by going through the letters of the Arabic alphabet and writing them in the sand. Sand is such a great medium for writing. Grab a stick or simply use your finger to draw letters, shapes and pictures.
Next I asked them to write their names. D loves to write her name in Arabic. She loves writing i general; shame she doesn't like reading as much yet!
After they had written their names, I suggested they collect some treasures to decorate the letters. In this way, they could create stunning pieces of art in the sand.
Both the children decided to write their names in English as well. D got stuck in decorating her letters with pebbles which were easy to find all over the beach.
D's finished masterpieces. Her name in both English and Arabic.
R started off well but soon got bored. After all, what can you expect from a 5 year old?!
He managed the first two letters of his name before running off to play elsewhere for a while.
Letter matching with Arabic flash cards
When R came back to join us, I decided to get out the flash cards. Flash cards are a good resource for language learning once children get to a certain age. I would not recommend them for use with very young children but once they reach preschool age or slightly older, they may enjoy using them.
I wrote three Arabic letters in the sand.
I gave R three flash cards and asked him to match the cards to the letters in the sand. Whilst he did this, we talked about the shapes and sounds of the letters and I asked him to try making the sounds.
Letter matching is an excellent activity which can be used as a precursor to writing. It encourages children to think about the shapes of the letters and look at the similarities and differences between them. Then they can start to differentiate the letters from each other.
Writing Arabic letters in the sand
D is past the letter matching stage so she needed something a little more challenging. I called out letters to her and asked her to write them in the sand.
She enjoyed this activity, particularly as she was writing in the sand rather than on paper. It made a nice change.
Learning to join the Arabic letters
D has also been learning to join up the Arabic letters so I suggested we test out her knowledge of this. Arabic letters are written differently in different positions in a word (beginning, middle or end). I gave her some letters and asked her to write them as they would be at the beginning, middle or end of the word. She needed a bit of help with this so I know this is something we need to keep working on for a while longer.
There are so many ways you can learn at the beach. Here is a post about learning numeracy on the beach. As I said before, learning can happen anywhere. Have fun with it!