How to Teach Preschoolers About Seashells: 5 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Hit the beach for an endless supply of seashells for your activity.

Like pretty much all other small objects, most toddlers likely consider seashells simply fun things to throw (or put in their mouths). Luckily, there's a lot to learn about the many kinds of seashells--lessons even a preschooler can appreciate. Although seashells can make for a fun activity any time of year, they are especially fitting for early summer, giving kids many opportunities to show off their shell knowledge at the beach over the warmer months.


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    Have kids feel for their own bones (in their arms and legs, for example) and explain that this is their skeleton, inside their body. What is referred to as a seashell is actually the exo-skeleton of marine creatures called mollusks. Instead of having a skeleton on the inside, the way humans do, these creatures have their skeleton on the outside for protection and in some cases, to help them float or navigate terrain. Find a photo or website that has a picture of a mollusk still in its shell to help kids visualize the idea--super scientific language won't fly with preschoolers.
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    If you live near water, you can probably just go and collect a variety of seashells yourself to show the kiddos. And hey, why not combine the beach combing with a little swim or lounging on the beach--preschoolers can be exhausting, and you definitely deserve a break! If you don't live near the water, you can order shells from many stores online. Some high end craft stores may carry real shells as well. When you've collected enough seashells, you can either put them in the sand in a classroom sand table to allow the kids to "dig" for them, or simply lay them out on a long table. Let the kids feel the different weights and textures of the shells.
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    Once the little ones have tired of examining the shells, have them sort the shells into different groups, such as big shells and little shells or by color. If you have only a few different varieties, you can ask the kids to sort them by type of shell. Consider this exercise "complete" when your preschoolers start sticking the shells in their mouths or using them to pelt other children.
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    There are many picture books about seashells and the beach in general, such as "Seashells By the Seashore," "Hello, Ocean" and "What Lives in a Shell?" You can also sing songs about the ocean, or ask the kids if anyone has a story about going to the beach or about seashells in particular.
  5. 5
    Use the seashells to make an easy art project. Have the kids draw a beach scene, including water, sand and the sky. Then have them glue small seashells into the sand part of their picture. Supervise this project carefully unless you want to be spending your evening picking glue and seashells off of your table and chairs.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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