Collecting them seemed like such a good idea while you were at the beach.

Kids' Crafts With Seashells

by Jennifer Zimmerman

Maybe it's in your garage. Maybe it's in your car. Maybe it's in the back of your closet. But wherever that bucket of seashells from last year's vacation is, it's not doing you any good just sitting there. Fortunately, it's possible to kill two birds with one stone — get rid of the bucket and entertain your little ones for a while. There are kids' crafts with seashells for every family, from those love all things crafty to those who don't know how to mix paint.

1. Seashell Texture Prints

This craft can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Gather some acrylic paint, paint brushes, construction paper and your shells. Then let toddlers and preschoolers experiment with dipping the shells in paint, then "printing" the shells onto the construction paper. Older preschoolers can even try painting the shells with paint brushes and then printing onto the construction paper. You can extend the activity by letting kids try clustering their prints to make different shapes, like sea animals or ocean waves.

2. Shell Paintings

If you've got some larger shells and avid painters, you can try shell paintings. Preschoolers with solid fine motor skills can try painting simple pictures on the inside of the shells. Rainbows, suns, stars and flowers are some simple ideas that preschoolers might be able to do with a brush and some acrylic paint. If actual objects are too difficult, little ones can also just paint the insides of shells, or the outsides of shells, different colors.

3. Seashell Frame

Even toddlers can do this craft. You can use old picture frames or pick up cheap wooden frames and the craft store. Kids can squirt white glue onto the frames, then stick on smaller sea shells. Older preschoolers might try making a pattern of the shells, or predicting how many shells it will take to fill up the entire frame. Then you can put a photo from your beach trip inside the frame.

4. Beach Diorama

This craft can help you get rid of old shoe boxes, too. Preschoolers can use their seashells as part of a beach diorama. Together, you can cut beach pictures from magazines or cut out beach shapes like sand and palm trees and glue them to your shoe box. Then kids can glue sea shells in on top of the sand. For added fun, you can print and cut out pictures of yourselves from your beach trip, glue them to craft sticks and put them in your diorama.

5. Seashell Monsters

Still have leftover seashells? Let toddlers and preschoolers make seashell monsters. Pick up some googly eyes at the craft store and get to work. Help little ones choose a larger shell for the body and then glue on smaller shells for legs, tails, horns and whatever other body parts they'd like. Kids can decide how many eyes they'd like to use and glue or stick those on as well.

About the Author

Jennifer Zimmerman is a former preschool and elementary teacher who has been writing professionally since 2007. She has written numerous articles for The Bump, Band Back Together, Prefab and other websites, and has edited scripts and reports for DWJ Television and Inversion Productions. She is a graduate of Boston University and Lewis and Clark College.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images