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We have been on a beach and ocean theme here this week, mostly because mama is really missing the beach right now. I decided to bring the beach to my daughter since she has yet to experience it. We set up a beach-themed water table outside and for inside we did this really fun seashell washing practical life activity.

My daughter loves anything to do with water and she has also been obsessed with cleaning lately (for reference, she is 33 months old). She has her own broom and dusting set which she uses all the time to sweep the floor (or my walls, haha) and she has also been getting rags and cleaning her table and also the floors.

So I took the opportunity to mix these two things together with our seashell washing practical life activity station.

Items for Seashell Washing Activity

  • Large wooden task tray
  • 1 metal tray (I used a medium size cookie sheet with sides)
  • One medium-size bowl for holding the water
  • 1-2 towels
  • Real seashells
  • Shaving cream
  • Sand
  • 2 wooden bowls

Set up:

I placed the seashells in a separate bowl at first and added a little shaving cream and then sand on top and mixed it all together. This was our “dirt” for the cleaning aspect of the activity. I placed the shells on the metal cookie sheet and then put that on top of the wooden task tray.

Next, I placed the bowl of water next to the shells and then on the other side a folded up towel and also a smaller hand towel so she could also dry the shells after washing them.



I went through the motions myself showing her how to pick up the shell, dip it in the water and wash off all the “dirt” with her fingers and then placed it on the towel. I emphasized that the shells were dirty and needed to be cleaned. I also showed her what to do if one was not completely cleaned when putting it on the towel (putting it back in the water until all the dirt is off).

Then I picked up one shell and dried it with the hand towel and placed it in a separate basket (or a small wooden dish if you have one).

We did this out on the porch so that it would a little less messy inside. However, you can definitely do indoors or outdoors for this.

Need more ideas like this one? Check out my resources below.

In Every Parent Can Teach Their Toddler, 20 teachers, parents, and bloggers have come together to make an awesome resource for parents and caregivers to understand the basics of educating toddlers. We have gone through and discussed the most crucial aspects of what it means to teach and how toddlers can and do learn through play. The best part is that no family is the same, so the many ideas can help you find an approach that suits your toddler, your family, and your lifestyle.

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