I am so excited to be teaming up with My Nearest and Dearest, Nothing if Not Intentional, Buddy and Buddy, and Play Trains for Summer Play Days! We’ll each be sharing fun summer ideas Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Be sure to check back each day! Today, I’d like to share a bit of summer art for kids to create with shells.
During a preschool ocean theme, the kiddos made colorful shells with liquid watercolors. After the shells were dry, we decided to use them for this art project.
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summer art for kids with colorful painted shells
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Air Dry Clay
Bits and Bobs from our art center
How the Kids Created
Oh, boy, did the students have such fun with this art project! As usual, they exceeded my expectations with their creativity. I set lumps of clay on wax paper, along with the children’s shells. Then I let all of them create to their hearts’ content.
Some of the children enjoyed making shell impressions with the clay. Others just loved poking the clay with their fingers for a while. Once they’d explored the clay, they started creating.
The shells were added to the clay in a variety of ways. Some were pressed down into the clay, while others were used in more vertical ways.
A few of the children decided their sculptures needed more pizzazz, so they raided our art supplies. Purple craft sand was brought in, along with sequins, pompoms, buttons, and sequins. Needless to say, some of their creations were seriously blinged-out!
Once the kids were happy with what they’d made, we left the shell art to dry. The thicker creations took a few days to dry, with the thinner art drying faster. We kept them on display for a few weeks before the end of the school year. After drying, the sculptures were a bit fragile, so we had to handle them with care.
My students were happy using the air dry clay, as they really liked the texture. I think Model Magic, or something like it, would have been a good alternative. The sculptures would end up less fragile that way, but the expense of the project would have sky-rocketed.
What summer art for kids are you going to try in the next few months? I’d love to hear all about your ideas in the comments below.
Be sure to come back Tuesday and Wednesday for more Summer Play Days! While you’re waiting, why not pop by my partners in summer fun —
Play Trains! – Toy Surfboard Craft
Buggy and Buddy – Fine Motor Sun Craft
Nothing if Not Intentional – Summer Sunshine Air Dry Clay
My Nearest and Dearest – Ocean Cloud Dough
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
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Ann @ My Nearest and Dearest says
So pretty and so fun to make! Love this idea, Mary Catherine!
Mary Catherine says
Awwww, thanks so much Ann! You always leave such sweet comments. 🙂
Jessica @ Play Trains! says
I love the combination of the painted shells and the colorful sand!
Mary Catherine says
Thanks, Jessica! My preschoolers just loved that colorful sand this year! They managed to incorporate it into sooooo many activities!
Natalie PlanetSmartyPants says
Terrific idea! Makes me think of beach days… except that we are off to Alaska in a week 🙂