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!

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