Quest for seashells

Zhuhai is a coastal city. We have the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. Having the sea so close by has so many benefits: while we can’t really swim there for the pollution reasons (we have a large cargo port here), there are few beaches with nice sand and lots of seashells laying around. One of our favorite summer time passes is a quest for seashells. Once our daughter became older we started taking her to the local beach area to play with the sand and she’s been obsessed with seashells once she found out that “you could listen to the sound of the sea”!

Once at the beach, we go on a seashell quest: our daughter and my husband walk around and look for seashells that could be added to the collection and played with at the beach. Seashells are great natural toys to compliment playing with the sand!

So what can you do with all those seashells your child brings home? You can paint them! It is so much fun and we enjoyed this activity using regular tempura paints. Acrylic paint will do too. And depending on how smooth the shells are, you can also use regular paint.

Here are some tips on painting shells:

1. Wash them and dry well first. If you wish, you can polish them with sand paper as well if the surface if too rough (we actully enjoyed painting over the rough surface).

2. Mixing colours will only add to the fun!

3. Add some glitter into the paint or use glitter glue after the paint dries – they will have a lovely glow!

4. Painted shells are not suitable for fish tanks!

     

If you don’t have an easy access to shells, you can do the same with rocks! Our daughter is also obsessed with collecting rocks  – they are easy to handle and can be painted on as well!

Nature’s Touch

Who is a better at encouraging creativity than Mother Nature herself? Throughout my school years we were to make numerous herbariums during Spring and Autumn. We collected leaves, grass, flowers, petals. We made and decorated scrap books for herbariums and stitched or glued the collections there. Sometimes we had to do some observations and write journals.

Collecting leaves and flowers is very natural for children. Children bring home everything they find: sticks, rocks, sometimes live insects! Parents often meet these findings with a grumble and when the children can’t see, off all goes into the dust bin or back to the nature! I would know – I “fought the battles” forgetting I was a child once upon a time and brought home the same things!

So once I remembers, we turned these findings into a game and started making herbariums. Where we live the area is rich with various trees and flowers all year around.

Collecting pieces for herbarium is a supervised activity and it is also a naming activity which helps children with their language development!

Few tips for your herbariums:

1. Dry the pieces thoroughly before or after you place them on a paper or in a scrapebook.

2. Use quick-drying glue if you use dry pieces.

3. Laminating or using contact paper will help preserving your herbarium for a long time!

Enjoy getting in touch with Nature and thank you for reading my blog!