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The 'Keep Track of your Beach Toys' Campaign and

The 'Ride the Wave for a Cleaner Ocean' project with

Rancho Santa Fe School

The 'Keep Track of Your Beach Toy' mural project was designed for the purpose of teaching children to become responsible for their own beach toys. This project incorporates a mural, song and a coloring book that was illustrated by Isabelle Corlett. The coloring book follows the words to the song, where children are encouraged to count the toys they pack for the beach and make sure they bring home as many as they brought. It encourages children to understand and pay attention to how the wind, tide and surf can easily take their toys into the ocean where they become part of the problem of marine debris. Plastic toys can end up becoming an unwitting source of food for marine animals. All of the toys and plastic pieces on the mural were found on the beaches of Southern California.

Roberta Dean demonstrates to grades K-3 of Rancho Santa Fe School how plastic toys can eventually harm marine life when left on the beach, taken by surf & tide or blown into the ocean. She shows them a piece that can easily be swallowed by birds, fish and mammals.

The Kinder - 3rd graders choose their pieces of beach toy beach trash carefully to place on the 'Keep Track of Your Beach Toys' mural. They love to sort through the colorful found-and-washed plastic toys and broken toy pieces, which are left behind daily at our local beaches. Now these children are aware and will keep their toys out of the ocean.

The children color their 'Keep Track of Your Beach Toys' coloring book illustrated by technical artist and children's book illustrator Isabelle Corlett. The words to the song of the same name are followed verse by verse in the pages of the book.

How you can help:

Encourage your children and grandchildren to be self responsible with their own toys and other things that they bring to the beach. Let them know that any toys left behind can end up in the ocean where they break down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic. Pieces of plastic from the ocean have been studied and are found to soak up toxic chemicals that have polluted the ocean, and the plastic remains in its original composition – plastic made from chemicals. Plastic has been found in the stomachs of birds, fish and ocean mammals.

The 'Keep Track of Your Beach Toys' coloring book:

Illustrated by Isabelle Corlett

Feel free to download the 'Keep Track of Your Beach Toys' coloring book (with this link). It is in PDF format and can be printed two-sided on regular letter sized paper in landscape format: (11" x 8.5"). There is also a 'Keep Track of Your Beach Toys' list and pledge certificate at the end of the coloring book. When children take part in something important, such as helping to stem the flow of plastic pollution into our rivers and oceans, they realize that they have a voice, they are powerful and can create positive change in their world.

Here are a few sample pages from the coloring book and the words to the 'Keep Track of Your Beach Toys' song. You an also follow the tune by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page at end of the song words.

The 'Keep Track of Your Beach Toys' song:

By Teresa Espaniola and Tim Melon

Chorus:
I love my beach toys (beach toys beach toys beach toys beach toys)
I keep track of them
Where are my beach toys? (beach toys beach toys beach toys)
Are they buried in the sand?
Did I bring 5, did I bring 10?
I count and take them home again
My beach toys (beach toys beach toys beach toys beach toys)
I keep track of them

On my way to the beach today
I knew just what the wind would do
I knew how high the tide would be
And if the surf was bigger than me

'Cause all these things can take my toys
They slip away without a noise
They don't belong deep in the sea
Where all my favorite fish will be

Chorus:
I love my beach toys (beach toys beach toys beach toys)
I keep track of them
Where are my beach toys? (beach toys beach toys beach toys)
Are they blowing in the wind?
Did I bring 5, did I bring 10?
I count and take them home again
My beach toys (beach toys beach toys beach toys beach toys)
I keep track of them

I found out where my toys can go
And who will eat them deep below
Eating toys can make them sick
So keeping track will do the trick

And if my toys wash out to sea
I have my parent come with me
But if they get too far away
The lifeguard comes to save the day

Shouted out:

I love dolphins I love whales!
I love turtles and sea snails!
I love all the creatures in the sea!
I want them to live as long as me!

Listen to the tune here: 'Keep Track of Your Beach Toys' tune

 

The 'Ride the Wave for a Cleaner Ocean' project by Teresa Espaniola

With Roberta Dean & Rancho Santa Fe School

The 'Ride the Wave for a Cleaner Ocean' project was designed for grades 4-8 at Rancho Santa Fe School for the purpose of bringing awareness about ocean pollution problems, specifically plastics. The classes collected trash from the beaches and then sorted through the washed trash to examine what kinds of things end up on the beaches of Southern CA. Some of the responses were: "I found 17 lighters!" and "Look, a cell phone!" We gave the students 5 minutes to sort plastic bottle caps into buckets by groups and then count them. The total was over 1,300 bottle caps and there were still more in the pile. They were also surprised by the number light sticks, electronic equipment, flip flops, straws, chewing tobacco containers, plastic flatware, odd pieces that no one could identify, nylon rope, nets, cups and so much more. The students are now great beach trash detectives!


Here is the project under construction. The pieces were painted with a base coat and two coats of turquoise paint. That is mTeresa Espaniola painting the 'wave' onto the sides to give it some personality. There are two base pieces and two wave sections to accommodate the 8' surfboard, (donated by Mrs. Pam Alexander, teache/surferr at Rancho Santa Fe).

Frederick Zarndt did the harder job of the construction! There is wire mesh covering the back and front of the wave to hold the trash in. The bases are also covered with wire mesh and are filled with plastic bags which were collected by Rancho Santa Fe's 'Go Green Club' and by many of the students. The wave's top dowel has white plastic bags tied around it to resemble white water. As you can see, there is room for more beach trash in the wave.

The 4th - 8th graders go through the washed beach trash to get a hands-on concept of the problem. It seemed to many of them that it should be impossible for most of these items to ever have been in our oceans or to ever be found on our beaches. They are right.

When the wave was finished, it was presented to the school during two assemblies. Classes had the opportunity to pose together on the wave between assemblies. People also had a chance to pose on the wave during the last day of 'Ocean Weeks', where parents visited classrooms to discover the projects their children had worked on during the school year.