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Shell Play Ideas

Shells  🐚 

The texture, the colours, the shape, the sound!

Sometimes nature really delivers and if you are looking for an open-ended activity for your little one, then look no further than a tray of shells!

It’s funny how nature and sometimes the simplest things bring the most joy. In my experience nature toys engage children for longer than the store-bought ones!

Here are some nifty shell play ideas that you can do this Autumn!

🐚 Firstly, pack up the car and head to the beach! The ultimate play day is to be had with little toes in the sand. If you are a Sydney sider, one of our favourites is Mona Vale Beach. With its baby-friendly ocean pool and a large rock shelf, it is the ultimate beach for fun and exploration and a great place to find and collect some beautiful shells.

🐚 Shell Washing. Fill up a bucket with water and ask your toddler to pour the shells in. Watch the shells sink, sparkle and come alive. Throw in a toothbrush or scrubbing brush and ask your little one to scrub and clean all those nooks and crannies. Use large tongs to remove them from the water and leave them to dry on a towel.

🐚 Patterns. Look at the beautiful patterns on shells using a magnifying glass. Talk about what your child can see. Does your shell have spots? Stripes? What colours can you see? Which shells have the same patterns?  

🐚 Textures Talk. Similar to the patterns above, discuss how each shell feels. Are they rough or smooth? Is your shell round? Mine is pointy. These words are increasing and building your childs vocabulary and ability to communicate freely. 

🐚 Listen to the ocean. Each shell has a unique sound. Encourage your child to hold a shell to their ear and close their eyes, what can they hear? Try a variety of shells. Which shell has the loudest sound? 

🐚 Playdough shells. Roll some playdough out flat and stamp your shells into the dough. Look at the beautiful pattern it leaves behind and compare these patterns to other shells.

🐚 Counting Shells. Why not use them as natural counters. Count how many shells you collected or separate and count them into different containers. As you count you can include activities that require children to sort and classify. Count how many shells have stripes? How many are small? Sort them into containers or muffin tins. 

 So many ways to play with natures treasures! We would love to see your little one trying these activities at home. Don't forget to tag us @beesybags. Enjoy!

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