Shell Inspired Patterns and Pictures – Early Years Art Activity

In our video, Susie is inspired by the naturally occurring markings on shells to make patterns in sand and then on paper. Show the children the video to help them develop an awareness of their environment and learn how to look carefully at what they see. Then reinforce what they have seen by completing the project.

Download the accompanying PDF

For this activity you will need:

Plates to put the sand on
Sugar paper

(all items are available from our website)

Give the children some shells to examine and explore.

Encourage them to draw the markings they see on the shells in the sand.

Talk to the children about the marks they have made and ask them to show you which shell they came from.

You can stop there if you like. But, if you feel the children are sufficiently interested in what they are doing and old enough for mark making, ask them if they’d like to make a drawing using the patterns.

Let the children choose which colour paper and chalk they’d like to use. This will help them build confidence in the choices they make. Making choices is an important part of the creative process.

This project will get the children making different lines – straight, curved and round – a precursor to writing as well as making patterns which helps with maths.

Top Arty Tip: If you want to fix the chalk to the paper spray with cheap hairspray (it must be the cheapest you can get because the expensive ones have conditioners in them that mark the paper) . Do this outside away from the children.

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