Well we arrived home with, what, ten Ziploc bags full of shells? Not just the kind you buy in the store, you know those beautiful ones you find displayed on tropical islands. No, these are the ones that are pieces of pieces--ones that look like "long fingernails," parts of "beautiful" clams, the shell of the month--about a hundred of the same colored scallop shell, and the list goes on and on. Oh well, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
First and the easiest, is to find some empty jars and fill them with those "lovely" shells for a great knickknack for the special someone's room. If it's for someone special you can find some lovely jars, or even old vases at some thrift shops. Now if it is for your little ones room, maybe you could wash out that mayo jar, or pickle jar-good luck with the smell. Anyway, it is easy for them to do and it makes a neat decoration.
Another idea is to make some beach scenes with these shells. For this project you will need--glue, sand, cardboard, tacky, shells. I used a piece of cardboard from the side of a cereal box for this project because using the sand and shells on paper just doesn't hold up well. The cereal box was a bit flimsy. First, have the child paint the piece of cardboard with the glue. Then pour sand over the entire piece of cardboard, now you have a sandy piece of board. Next find the shells that will accentuate the wonderful piece of art work. Use tacky to adhere the shells to the "beach." I use tacky because it holds heavier objects better. You can either put globs of tacky on the board and let your child glue down the shells, or put the glue on the shells and let the child place them on the board--you need a lot of glue. If you would like, hot glue would probably hold the shells down too.
Some of you may be much more creative and be able to make some shell animals, or other creations--good luck. I hope you have a good time finding some uses for those shells.
UPDATE: I've gotten some great comments, thanks so much. Take a look for other ideas. Thanks.