- Sea Shells (from your beach visit) or Store Bought
- Acryllic or Craft Paint
- Hemp Cord
- Drill to Make Holes in the Shells
- Embroidery Hoop
- “Mess Mat” (shower curtain)
- Plastic Plate for Paints (use as a paint pallette)
- Cup Filled with Water for Rinsing
- Paper Plate (Optional)
We just visited Sanibel (the Sea Shell Capital) and my son had a wonderful time collecting and noticing the different sea shells, each one unique. After visiting the beach, making Shell Painting Chimes, can be a great nature craft to make with your preschooler. However, if you don’t have any shells at home, try picking some up at your local craft store or you can order them online.
To start with, allow your preschooler to look through the sea shells and notice the different textures, shapes, and sizes. Let him look through the shells and choose which ones he’d like to paint. Begin by drilling a hole in each shell (prepare before if you’re able to).
Painting with a toddler can get a little messy therefore it’s important to protect the floors or a table when it’s time to paint. Try using a Mess Mat for an easy clean up. Paint the shells using an Acryllic Paint so that they’re able to get wet outdoors. This will be a great time for your child to get creative and practice his fine motor skills as he grips the paintbrush. Once the shells have dried, you can place your painted shells on a paper plate or other surface to dry.
Meanwhile, tie on 4 equal strings to an embroidery hoop (any size will do). Then, tie the 4 strings together at the top where the chimes will hang from. Add as many strings as you’d like with various lengths around the hoop where the shells will be added. We used hemp, but you can try a different string as long as it fits inside the sea shell hole.
Now that the painted shells have dried, use the strands that you added to the embroidery hoop to tie on the shells. This will take some concentration for your little one to aim the string through the tiny hole in the shell. Tie a knot onto each shell to hold them in place. On some strings we added more then 1 shell.
Finally, hang your Shell Painting Chimes near your front door or on your patio to remind you of the special shells collected on your beach visit.
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