Calming Shell Painting Activity for Kids

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This calming beach shell painting activity is a lovely way to create something special with your kids beach shells. If you don’t have access to a beach then you can buy shells and connection to nature through this simple creative activity. Whether using your imagination or memories, you can picture the perfect, relaxing beach day as you paint your shells.

{Related Post: Pirate Themed Calming Activities for Kids}

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What Shells and Paint to use for Shell Painting?

Depending on the shells you have, you’ll need to pick a paint that will work. If you want to use watercolour then use very light coloured / white shells. If you don’t have white shells, that’s ok, just use a stronger coloured poster paint or acrylic.

Ready to get painting Shells?

Here’s what you’ll need:

Shell we get started?

First step is to gather or buy shells. We are lucky to live near the beach, so we collect them on our walks. The lighter the shells the better.
I then gave the shells a clean and set them out to dry.
I chose to paint with watercolour. I absolutely love Winsor and Newton tubes and pan watercolour paints. My son went for metallic acrylic paint.
If you are using watercolour, I wet the shell before I add any paint.
I used two colours on this shell. I started at the bottom with a lovely blue colour. It’s so calming watching the paint disperse.
Next I added a green colour at the top of the shell.
I then added some gold ink. I love working with this ink, it’s just the best!
I then tried out some other patterns and colours on a couple of smaller shells.
I left the shells to dry off on a piece of kitchen towel.
My son love painting with metallic acrylic paint. Especially as it makes the water all shimmery like a calm jar.
This paint is a lot thicker and vibrant in its colour, so was able to paint darker shells too.
I finished the shell by painting the inside with the gold ink and spraying with a clear protective topcoat spray. I love how they turned out ❤️
What you'll need
Winsor & Newton Watercolour Pan Set
Windsor & Newton Watercolour Tube Set
Krylon Crystal Clear Spray
White Shells
Winsor & Newton Gold Ink
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Be mindful as you paint and hear the ocean flow!

Before you begin to paint, take the time to explore the shells. Get your kids to notice the shapes, colours and patterns. What do they sound like? Get them to pop them over their ears, can they hear the ocean waves? Which shell will they pick first to paint? Why?

By getting kids to practice using their senses they are practicing being mindful. Being present in the activity and taking in all the positive feelings that come from being creative, curious and connected to people around them.

sea shell painting for kids nature craft

Imagine a Relaxing Beach Day

A lovely exercise to practice afterwards is called ‘A Beautiful Beach’. Ask kids to imagine what would their relaxing, beautiful beach day look like? What would they see, smell, taste, feel, hear and see? You could print off my imagery worksheet and the children could draw and write down what they visualise and how it makes them feel.

You can talk about even when they can’t be at the beach, they can look at their shells and imagine that relaxing, beautiful beach whenever they like.

I hope you enjoy this calming shell painting activity together with your kids, we really did love it and will definitely be painting shells again! Emma x

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