Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Seashell Wind Chimes

In the past few months we had two lovely trips to the beach. Our time at the coast was really wonderful, and my three-year-old and I enjoyed exploring the sand and searching for shells. We brought a lot of our seashell treasures back home and ended up with a big collection. Here is just one project we tried to make some use out of our shells.

We enjoyed turning this project into a mini science lesson, and talked about what shells are made of, how they are used to protect creatures, etc. The book What Lives In a Shell? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld was a great resource for this topic. We also checked out a shell guide from the library to look at the photos and learn the names of our shells.
ACTIVITY: Seashell Wind Chimes
This particular project was geared just toward my three-year-old, and a bit too complicated for my 18 month-old. And I will admit upfront that it did take 2 days and some work on my part to complete. But it provided us with a nice little memento of our shell collection.

Steps 1 & 2 for Grown Ups:
1. Find a plastic container. (Medium-sized plastic tub would work best. Margarine, sour cream, old Tupperware, etc. Ours was an olive container.) Drill 8 small holes, spaced evenly, along the bottom of the container. Then drill 2 small holes into the center top of the container.

2. Cut 9 strips of yarn (each about a foot long). Use hot glue gun to adhere one strip of yarn to the inside of 8 seashells. Let dry completely. (The last strip of yarn is used to hang the wind chime.)Steps 3-5 for Kids:
3. Paint the plastic container and let dry.
4. Decorate the plastic container. We had foam fish stickers that my son used as well as markers and glitter.

5. Decorate the seashells. My son opted to paint glitter glue on each of his. He also tried markers, and paints would work well, too.

Steps 6 and 7 for Grown Ups:
6. Once everything is dry, tie each seashell onto the plastic container. Then tie the remaining piece of yarn to the top of the container.

7. Hang somewhere where you'll get an occasional breeze to hear the sounds of the shells clanking softly.


  1. we are really enjoying ours. need to actually find a better place to display it, so glad for the reminder!

  2. What type of paint did you use? We used washable tempera and as I was adding the strings to the bowl the paint flaked off.

  3. What a bummer! I also used basic tempera paint, but I didn't have flaking trouble. So sorry!

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