Last weekend we went out to a beach on Vashon Island and explored tide pools at low tide. There were crabs under lots of the rocks, barnacles on everything, muscles and sand dollars all over, and we even saw some purple starfish. There were also the clams that squirted us. We have done this sort of thing before at different beaches around The Sound and we always see something new. Rubber boots and maybe a change of pants are all that are required. Why don't we take off our shoes and wade right in? Have a look at the picture. Barnacles are sharp, and the water is freezing. Being from Kansas, my idea of a beach is what I had seen on TV. Warm and sunny. I learned quickly that we don't have those beaches here, but what we do have is still a lot of fun. Various tools for making sand castles or digging around in the sand are helpful, but if you don't have them then the kid can always use a stick. We practice the Cub Scout ethic of "Leave No Trace" which is very difficult for an eight year old, but good practice. Sometimes we even stop by a park on the Sound on the way home after school and work. Even just a quick walk on the beach is a lot of fun.