Seashell Tropical Birds: Fun Kid Craft

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Behold, we’re about to go to the tropics. Won’t that be nice?

Fun fact about me. When I was 12-years-old and studying for my Bat Mitzvah, I was asked to choose a Bat Mitzvah party “theme.” Everyone gets one, but I was in the know because my mom – a town artist/art teacher/event decorator – let me know that the sky was the limit. I believed her. I rose to the challenge. I said, “I want it to be tropical.” And then “Tammy’s Tropics” came to life, but please don’t ever call me Tammy. I was newly 13 then. Oh, how my mom transformed the yard!

I’d share photos of this big backyard Bat Mitzvah bash (alliteration, much?), but that would require long distance photo scanning, long distance photo emailing, and all of you seeing my teen perm and braces. We can’t have that now, can we?

I invite you all to imagine. Take a deep breath, and take in a fresh Tropical mist.

The DJ was pumping “Now That We Found Love.” It was 1993 in New Jersey. Cardboard cut-out palm trees swayed in the breeze. Wooden tropical birds hung on perches, and homemade, glittered styrofoam birds peered around corners. Magic!

And while I don’t have photos of that blessed event, I have something pretty awesome in my life. My mom. She’s the one who made “Tammy’s Tropics” come to life, and she’s still a talented art teacher to children. Cassidy and I were (ironically) at a Bar Mitzvah in NYC last weekend – my first in two decades, actually – and my mom and I set up a kid art project for when we were gone all day. Tropical birds! You just need fun craft supplies, and total imagination. My kids rose to the craft challenge.

And they got beautifully messy doing so – stay tuned for more on that!

Our seashells are from Cape Cod. The kids’ grandparents have had a beach house there for decades, and one of our greatest summer pleasures is spending time there. Summer time in Cape Cod is always too fast, but not too fast that we don’t get seashells. Des’ teacher, who has also led some great crafts, gave us some seashells too. She has gone to the same places we have enjoyed – in Florida and Cape Cod. We had all these beautiful shells and wanted to do something memorable with them.

A messy, fun, and beachy project, painting seashells and turning them into tropical birds and other tropical creatures only takes a little preparation, and goes a long way. My kids are four and six, but it can be tweaked for all ages.

Here’s what you need:

Seashells and other natural items, like sticks and stones
Sequins – we had all sorts of shapes, sizes, and occasions
Felt, paper, sequin, foam, card, etc. scraps and shapes
Buttons and other odds and ends your kids will love
Colorful craft feathers
Tempera paints
Elmer’s glue
Googly eyes

Here’s what you do:

1. Start by painting the shells with your craft paints.

2. Wait for the paint to dry, but you can also use a hairdryer to speed up the process.

3. If you have glitter glue, use it now!

4. Now is the time to transform the seashells into tropical birds. Look through the supplies.

5. Using feathers, googly eyes, and craft scraps or pieces of shell for beaks, go crazy!

I was so impressed with Scarlet’s creation!

Here’s my mom’s awesome sample one for the kids:

I also loved Des’ creation. He put love into the project.

Now, after all that paint, glue, glitter, and whatever else, you need all®! You know how much I love their line of products, because I write about them a lot! all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ is no exception! It isn’t only the trusted stain fighting power, but this is a whole sensory experience. I know it’s summer now, but when I use it year-round, it will remind me of the aroma of the tropics. It’s fresh and flowery – the new fresh, tropical scent provides the same powerful clean. I buy it at Stop & Shop.

I spend quite a lot of time there anyway, getting all the things to kick off summer.

With all®’s trusted stain fighting power to fight the toughest kid stains like grass, mud, and grape juice – as well as paint, glitter glue, and tropical bird craft feathers – it also costs 30% less than the leading brand. Powerful and fresh!

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About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


Seashell Tropical Birds: Fun Kid Craft — 56 Comments

    • Get some good ones for me! And I’ll be in Cape Cod a week later, actually, so I think we need to meet and make tropical bird crafts together. Obviously.

  1. Oh man this is too cute! Madison would LOVE to make this. We haven’t done any seashells craft but you’ve now inspired me. I just love summer and I love ALL. BTW Des’ creation looks just like Madison’s would. 🙂

  2. I would love to see those teen pics. 🙂 I love the kiddos’ creations!! And yours too. 🙂
    Great minds think alike, m’friend! The kids and I are going to make crabs/fish out of shells. 🙂

    • haha, when I go to my parent’s house next, I’ll find some photos to share with ONLY YOU. Holy cow, no one else.
      And I can’t wait to read about your crabs/fish!!

  3. These are super cute. JD loves crafts. He could do them all day long. I don’t. Fortunately, his dad is an artist – crafts and school projects are his responsibility.

    • YES. Cassidy is an art major. The three of them can do that stuff all day long. My eyes cross. I can write and edit photos for seven hours straight, though.

    • Or rather, I have the best mom, because she’s the one who sat and taught them the craft! I was out gallivanting in NYC.. so.. uh.. partial credit for knowing how to entertain my kids when I’m on a hot date?

  4. What a cute craft! My daughter would have loved that when she was little. Actually, I think she’d love it now. Scarlet seems to have inherited the creative gene. And Tammy’s Tropics is so cute!

    • My mom has a lot of luck doing this with kids, but also with seniors at a local center. And she used to do it with her mom. I know you like to do crafts with your mom, right?? It’s awesome.

  5. Awww, super cute art projects! We have lots of shells here too but didn’t get to using them for arts and crafts. I might try soon with Reiko.. 😉

  6. What a fun way to use that sea shell collection I have stashed away! I have the Grandchildren two afternoons a week and I’m always looking for creative ways to spend the afternoon. This is perfect – They will love it!!!! Thanks so much.

    • Oh, how lucky for you! My mom lives four hours away so doesn’t get to see them consistently but it’s always wonderful when we are together.

  7. Thanks for the coupon. Nothing cleans and freshens clothes like ALL. I can’t wait to try this scent.

  8. We’ve used ALL Free & Clear for years, though this scent sounds lovely for summer. Those seashell birds are so cute! I love all of them!

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