During our beach vacation every year with family friends, we come prepared to do a few fun craft projects with the kids. Midday when it’s too hot to be outside and the kids are running wild indoors, we take over the dining room table and make some fun beach souvenirs.
This year, we made rings, and shell-adorned letters – the first letter in each child’s name. For the first few days, the kids collected shells and the stray piece of beach glass, and then rinsed and dried them. For the rings, my friend Sara from Madison, WI, whose North Carolina beach house we stay in, had bought adjustable ring blanks to fit big and little fingers from an Etsy vendor. She also brought a glue gun and a few trinkets to use as “jewels” along with shells.
Sara made a ring for herself with a pretty round shell.
Liam made a funky rainbow ring.
Ana combined a flat sparkly “gem” with a shell on top.
Later we worked on the letters. We collected even more shells for this project. We had a cardboard letter on hand for the first name of every child. Sara had also bought these supplies ahead of time from a craft store in Madison called Hobby Lobby. I’m sure most craft stores of the Michaels variety or Paper Source sell them too.
The parents helped the youngest children with their designs and guided them on how to apply the glue.
They enjoyed chatting about their designs and picking just the right place for the shells to go.
The adults used the glue gun for the littlest children.
The older girls used the glue gun by themselves.
Both projects were easy for the youngest children but also fun and rewarding for the older kids. You could do these projects in the city too – instead of shells, you can use anything really to put on the rings and the letters. You could decoupage the letters with pictures from magazines, for example. You can use Mod Podge to add a glaze to the letters and make them adhere better too.
For beach trips, the supplies are easy to source and pack in suitcases ahead of time. We didn’t need to find any perfect shells on the beach – we used an assortment of shapes and sizes that the kids had fun gathering in their buckets. And everyone has some sweet souvenirs to bring home with them this year.