Sadly, we won’t be going to the beach this summer. But I have wonderful memories of the few vacations we were able to take when the boys were younger. I used to be much “craftier”, and made a couple of super-cute beach vacation mementos that still have a place of honor on our bookshelves. I am pretty sure both of these ideas are straight out of issues of Family Fun from fifteen years or so ago.
Plaster of Paris Footprints
Here are footprints from both boys at age six. Aaron’s, although seven years older, is much lighter because his was made at Panama City Beach, and evidently the sand there is (or was) much whiter than the sand at Gulf Shores, where John’s was made. The process is super-simple: Buy a packet (or a tub if you’re doing multiple kids) of Plaster of Paris at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Mix it up with a little less water than directed. Pour into a nice deep footprint your kiddo has made in slightly moist (not wet) sand. Let dry while you play in the sand. Very carefully lift out and let dry overnight before you brush sand away from the toes. We tried doing hands, but the fingers always broke 🙁
These are Beach Preserves from approximately thirteen years ago. Notice how the water is still clear and the shells still have their color. Super-cool, right? If you are staying in a beach house or condo you can make these while you’re there. Otherwise you’ll have to haul saltwater and sand home to do it. Use pint jars. Fill about 1/4 full with sand, add some saltwater, and arrange shells. Gently add saltwater until it almost reaches the neck of the jar. Wipe the neck dry, attach clean, dry lid and ring, and submerge in boiling water for ten minutes. Let cool and you can do other cool things like smear the lid and ring with Elmer’s glue and sprinkle with sand, and wrap the neck with twine onto which you’ve threaded a shell with the year marked in Sharpie (mine fell off at some point). Happy crafting!