"What did you do on your holidays?" is a common topic in early September, but "what will you do...?" makes a good July discussion.
Holidays: Why do people go away on holiday? For a change (do they then do the same things as at home?); a rest (do they exhaust themselves?); sunshine (does it rain?); or to visit people? Where are popular holiday destinations at home and abroad? Find Brighton, Blackpool, Benidorm, Majorca, the Caribbean on a map.
Art ephemera: Sand castles are washed away when the sea comes in, so what things do we enjoy that don't last (flowers, birthday cards, food)? Create some "art ephemera", thinking carefully about the visual effect, for instance, a flower arrangement; flower heads, leaves floating in a bowl of water; a collection of twigs and stones; ribbons and other decorations on trees.
Sand: What is sand made of (ground up rocks, minerals, soil, sea shells, marine skeletons, hence its different colours and textures)? What is sand used for (making glass and abrasives; filling egg timers; making cement and concrete)? Why do we like playing with it (runny when dry, can be shaped when wet)?
Writing: Write a story about you and your friends walking along the beach and entering an enormous sand castle. Describe how you meet the Sand People who live in the Sand Kingdom.
Ted Wragg is professor of education at Exeter University