After collecting lots of shells and drift wood at the beach last weekend I brought them into Kindergarten, printed off some images of shells and as a small group I discussed with the children what we could do with all these beautiful natural resources. There were some great conversations, lots of listening to others ideas and opinions but in the end it was a unanimous decision – we were to make a shell wind chime.
Sorting and classifying the shells by shape and size.
We had a plan to work to, but we still had to do a great deal of problem solving and planning as a group. Our first problem occurred when the wood was much to hard for us to drill in a hole for the string to fit through. Plan ‘b’ was to make a hole by hammering in a nail and then pulling it out, this was unsuccessful too! Our children are very resourceful however and decided that plan ‘c’ should be using one of their favourite tools, the hot glue guns. This worked a treat; we wrapped the string around the wood several times, and then glued it into place – great thinking.
Plan 'a' - unsuccessful.
Plan 'c' - success!
Next we all patiently started looping, threading or tying the shells onto the string – different children had different techniques which all worked really well. This kind of intricate and detailed work is fantastic for improving our dexterity and for strengthening the small muscles in the hands and fingers (fine motor skills).
Encouraging the awareness of the natural resources in the area.
As we worked we looked carefully at the shells and talked about about their shape, texture, colours, the sea and the beach. All the shells I collected had holes through the middle – how were these holes made I wondered out loud to the children? Aimee told me, “They look like rings, jewels for the beach”.
Experimenting with ideas and materials helps develop creative confidence.
Finally it was finished and ready to hang. All the children wanted it outside so they would be able to hear the wind moving the shells and the gentle noise they make. I think it looks fabulous – well done everyone!
Dihansa, “It’s so beautiful”
Jivahn, “I like those shells. I love it!”