Beach Crafts from Our Summer Crafts Pinterest Board
Do your summer plans have you headed to the beach? Children find endless pleasure from hunting for and collecting shells, sticks, and all manner of marine life that has washed ashore. And parents or teachers who are spending time on the seashore can collect these treasures to use for natural loose parts in the classroom all year long. The Natural Start Pinterest page includes a board just for summer crafts, and seashells have emerged as a major theme. Here are a few of our favorites for creating creative crafts that will help children explore sea life in a whole new way.
Seashell Wind Chimes
Pinterest includes lots of examples of seashell windchimes. We've collected a few, like this one. Not only do these wind chimes let children express their creativity by sorting and selecting the shells that they'll use, but they also sound beautiful on a breezy day. Variations can be more or less complicated, but a simple windchime can be completed by selecting shells that already have holes, and simply stringing them up using knots to suspend them on twine, and tying the twine to a piece of driftwood.
Larger seashells can be painted to resemble all sorts of marine (and land-loving) creatures, including fishes, crabs, and ladybugs. Some, like the ladybugs, just require paint. Glue is involved with other designs, so will require that adults do some parts if you're using hot glue.
If you're on the beach, bring along a bag of plaster of paris, and mix seawater (or lake or river water) in to create your mix. Dig out a hole or other shape (or make a foot or handprint in the sand), and place your treasures inside. Pour the mix over top, and allow it to set. When it dries, you'll have a cast for a memory of a beautiful day spent outdoors exploring. The Artful Parent blog provides instructions for this and several other great beach crafts for children.
Seashell Stepping Stones
A crafting cousin to sandcasting, stepping stones are made from concrete and shells or other treasures that you bring home or to the classroom. Quickcrete is an easy mix to use for stepping stones. For the form, this post from Buzzmills suggests disposable aluminum trays from a dollar store. We've also seen used pizza boxes serve as great recycled forms for stepping stones.
Mandalas are often made from natural materials. Traditionally, they're made in concentric circles to represent the cosmos. Children often enjoy making mandalas because they can collect their materials (a variety of shells, sticks, stones, seaweed, or other finds on the beach); sort them by size, shape, and/or color; and arrange them in any way they choose to make a piece of art on the sand that will live on only in pictures. These compositions are not meant to last, but are a fun way to pass time quietly on the seashore. This is just one of many mandala pins on our summer craft sites, and there are many more examples out there on the web.
Do you have a favorite craft for displaying seashells, stones, driftwood, or other treasures from the beach? Post a comment below, or share them on our Facebook page. And see us on Pinterest for more summer crafting ideas.