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"I Sea (shell) You" (a great summer craft)

By Amber Ray Snyder, creator of The Eclipse Show

 


2016 was a year of a lot of humans not being seen. There were constant protests that year in Chicago. How do you talk about discrimination with your kids? You really can't ignore it in a city like Chicago, eventually something will need to be said. Young minds are always watching and taking mental notes on the scenery. I often try (and I'm not always successful) to teach by example. Start at the roots of "how did we get here". That's how I came up with this craft.


YOUNG MIND: Why are people marching in the streets?

GROWN MIND: Because they are not being seen in this country and it's not right.


This is just one example of how one might come up with this "I sea you" craft. I honestly don't remember what conversation I had with the kids I was caring for that day. Probably something along the lines of "no one should be made invisible in their own home" or "If you see something wrong, say something to an adult". Being seen was a major theme of 2016.


So we made the shells! We made them rainbow, we made up our own colors, we made them whatever we felt was comforting. Then we added googly eyes to "see" and with a permanent marker, we added our message on it's underbelly, "I sea you". The "sea" was a fun joke. Humor is important. After making about 10 shell friends we packed them up in a convenient reusable bag that we left in the car. Why did you leave them in the car, you say? Well, that way we always had them on us when we went out and about. We left them for people to find on our way to museums, the playground, leaving school... it was always so fun to see if they were still in their place after we left our destination.



Guardians, these shells are also a brilliant way to get your kids excited about an outing!!


GROWN MIND: If you come to the grocery store with me we can leave some shells for people to find!

YOUNG MIND: Okay but I want to leave three shells this time!


Then as you leave the store, you walk past where you left the shells and see if someone picked them up. It is very exciting when they're not there anymore. While you were just wanting someone else to feel seen, you in turn feel seen too!


Now it's a mindful bribe when using this to get your kid to run errands with you, right? Haha! Yes, okay, we're bargaining here but with what? Gifting a stranger a smile? Seems pretty great to me. The healthy dose of self worth that hits you when you see that someone picked up the shell you left in the parking lot before you headed in to buy milk, feels so good. You're teaching generosity in a form that does not require receiving anything in return. A true gift. Just putting some "good" out into the world. In other words, being of service to others. That's also what we're teaching. Hopefully this is just a stepping stone (or shell) to other community involved things. Fingers crossed!





WHAT YOU NEED

Purchase a bag of shells from your local craft store OR find them on a beach near you

Acrylic paint is best and is non-toxic but still be mindful of paint near mouths

Paint brushes

Googly eyes

Hot glue gun for eyes

Permanent marker for "I sea you"












 

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