One of our favorite places to go for vacation is the beach. It’s so relaxing and enjoyable, yet at the same time, the kids love to explore, build, and discover on the shoreline. This summer, I decided to use this opportunity to create a beach keepsake using their discoveries.
The supplies you need are quite simple for this craft: a bowl, a spoon, plaster of paris, a small bucket, and sand and shells from the beach!
First go shell hunting with your kids. Look for interesting yet small shells.
Next, create a handprint or footprint in the sand. Wiggle your little ones’ hand or foot in the sand so that the handprint/footprint is about 1/2 inch down into the sand. Then carefully pull the hand/foot off the sand.
Note: After making several of these, we’ve found that spreading our your fingers does not work well. So I would recommend a “fingers together” approach (the thumb can be either in or out). I would also recommend that you put your handprint in the wet sand near the water, and not the dry sand close to the dunes.
Then fill the bucket with ocean water. I prefer to use the ocean over the faucet, because it gives the plaster of paris an interesting texture and color that is unique to you and that particular beach.
Carefully place your shells into the handprint/footprint. Make sure the prettiest part of the shell is face down in the sand.
I poured about 1/2 cup of plaster of paris in the bowl, and I added just enough water so that it looked like thick soup. I mixed the ingredients together until it begins to thicken. At this point, make sure you are standing close to the footprint/handprint you created. If you are too far away from your print, it the plaster of paris will dry up in your bowl before you can pour it.
Carefully pour the plaster of paris into your print. Allow it to dry for at least an hour.
While it is drying, you can carefully carve your child’s name, date, and/or location on the back.
Once the casting is dry, carefully scrape around the sides until you can flip it over.
Now, you have a beautiful keepsake to take home with you. (Ours is kept in our shell and ocean nature box!)
Do you create special memories while you are at the beach? What other fun ways do you bring the beach home with you?