As any child can tell you, one of the pleasures of the summer beach season is combing for shells. And even if you don't live near a beach, craft stores sell lovely bags of shells that can still give a child a taste of the sea world.
Here's a science craft project that also happens to dovetail with a common topic in kindergarten science: ocean life. Invite your young marine biologist to practice some key science skills of identification and categorization, and emerge with a treasure box to keep for years.
What You Do:
- Start by pouring the shells onto a clean surface. Invite your kindergartener to sort them, and enjoy the process. She may sort by size, by type of shell, or by color. Any of these will work just fine; just talk about it as you go.
- Keep a shell book handy. How many kinds of shells can you identify?
- Now pull out a craft box and craft glue (if you have one, you might also want to use a hot glue gun, but be prepared, as an adult, to help extensively).
- Invite your child to lay out a mosaic pattern with the shells. She'll need to pull from the “like” piles to create a pattern. When she's got her pattern all arranged, help her glue it down.
This activity helps your child practice key beginning science skills with a bonus: next time you find a new shell, you'll have a lovely place to put it, too!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.