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Your Kids have Collected 5,000 Seashells. Now What?

If you have ever taken a vacation on the Outer Banks, you have seen the beauty of thousands of sea shells up and down the beach. There seem to be shells and seaglass of every shape,color, and size. Both children and adults love hunting and collecting the shells, but kids seem to focus on quantity in their efforts. So, now your vacation rental home has gained as occupants more sea shells than you can possibly fit in the car to take home with you. What can be done with this abundance of shells? Anything you put your mind to.

We hope that you have not a hint of rain during your Outer Banks vacation, but if there is rain, that is a perfect opportunity to turn these shells into gifts, knick knacks, or memorable keepsakes. Here is an arts and crafts idea we have seen and used over the years. We’d love to hear more of your ideas too!

Seashell painting – collage

  1. Start by putting a towel, sheet, or tablecloth under the paper, or posterboard that will be the canvas for this art project.
  2. Work on a design. With pencils, crayons, or anything else that is handy, envision what your shell picture will look like, and draw it out.
  3. Sort your shells by colors, shapes and sizes.
  4. Have one that is nearly perfectly round and yellow? Make it the sun!
  5. Spread glue where you want shells to stay in place, and arrange the shells by color to correspond with your design. Lastly, let the glue dry.

You now have a tangible, and lasting memory of your family beach vacation. Obviously, there can be many variations in this craft activity, again the possibilities are endless.

Seashell Picture Frame

  1. Wooden picture frame.
  2. Spread glue around the frame. Remove the glass so nothing gets on it.
  3. Sprinkle sand and let it stick.
  4. Put glue on seashells and and stick them on top of the sand.
  5. Put your family picture with the year possibly written on the sand.
Sea shell sand frame by the beach.

While working with seashells, try to learn what type they are, make your activity educational for your kids.

The next time you find your beach vacation home filled with sea shells, use this idea for a family activity that can be as challenging as you’d like it to be. Perhaps you can have a competition, or start a vacation tradition to last for ages. Enjoy the beach!