Whether you spend a few days or a few weeks surfside this summer, keep the memories alive with some easy beach crafts for kids.
A Few Beach Crafts for Kids
Children of all ages love to explore while on the beach. They look for seashells, starfish and any other treasure that is buried in the sand or trapped at the bottom of the ocean. However, once the trip is over, what will be done with all of these souvenirs? Instead of tossing them in a drawer -- or worse, the trash -- here are a few beach crafts for kids that are easy to create.
Every child leaves the beach with a bucket or bag full of seashells. They are different sizes and shapes, and some are probably even broken. But when put together in a craft, they become art:
- Picture frame: Decorate an inexpensive photo frame from a dollar store or yard sale with some of the seashells. Create a pattern or just glue them on randomly. Your child can give this crafted frame as a gift, or it can be used to hold a photo from the beach trip.
- Shells in a jar: Take your prettiest and most perfect shells and stack them in a clean glass bottle. Glue the lid on the bottle if you want to make sure the shells don't get lost. You can even decorate the bottle for additional flair.
Starfish and Sand Dollars
If you are lucky enough to find some beached starfish, collect as many as you can to use in some summer crafts:
- Holiday ornaments: It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas. After cleaning and drying your sand dollars and starfish, brush on some sand dollar hardener (found at crafts stores) and allow it to dry. Glue on some gems or other embellishments. Sand dollars have a hole at the top to string a ribbon through; however, you may need to drill a tiny hold in one of the arms of the starfish to be able to do the same.
- Magnets: Purchase adhesive magnets from any craft store and affix to the back of a starfish or sand dollar. Leave them as they are, or decorate these beach finds any way you want. You may need to add some glue to the magnet to get it to hold.
Typically, you want to make sure the sand you bring home from beach is relatively clean. If you want to sterilize it yourself, rinse it and let it dry. Then bake it in a 250- to 300-degree oven for about an hour. Once cooled, is it ready to be used in crafts:
- Colored sand: Fill a small bowl or paper cup with sand and enough water to cover it. Add your desired food coloring and mix. Let stand 15-30 minutes. Empty the water, and place the sand on newspaper or paper towels to dry. Store the different colors in empty baby food jars or other small plastic containers or baggies. You can also layer different colors of sand in a glass jar.
- Create a picture: Have your child draw his or her favorite picture on a piece of construction paper or poster board. Spread school glue over each drawn image and sprinkle sand on the glue. Allow to dry and shake off any excess sand. To jazz it up, add some glitter or colored sand to the mix.
Be Wary When Exploring
Great finds such as shark teeth, crab shells, driftwood and gooseneck barnacles also make good materials for beach crafts for kids. However, make sure you and your child know what types of critters to avoid while at the beach. Jellyfish, sharks, sea urchins and squids are only a few of the creatures that live in the ocean but can be dangerous to humans and pets. Your best bet would be to stick with critters and other things you child can easily find on the surface of the beach.