Beach Casting Activities for Kids Not Just for the Beach

We love the beach, so why not take some of it home with you?  This is a great activity to do at the beach with kids.  They’ll enjoy a different twist to a regular beach.

This is a fun beach activity.

I run a summer camp program, and every year, we do this activity at the beach with the young children, and they love it. I also do this beach casting activity with my children.

This beach casting activity is perfect for all ages. Toddlers and older children love collecting seashells on the beach.

Don’t live by the Beach? 

If you don’t live by the beach, you can purchase sand (sandbox sand) from Home Depot or Toy Store and buy shells at Michael’s or any craft store.

Any small objects will work if you don’t want to use shells. Put the sand in a shoe box  or any small box and follow the directions below:



Shells/beach glass/driftwood, sand, plaster of Paris, water, beach shovel, plastic bucket

Materials needed for beach casting

Sand Cast Shells

Step 1: Dig a shallow, even, sized hole on the beach. You can make it as big or small as you like. I believe that 5 inches squared works best.

Step 2: Add in shells, beach glass, and driftwood

Shells in the sand waiting to be cast

Step 3: Mix the dry plaster of Paris with water (use salt water from the beach) and stir. You can use a stick to stir it. I usually take a paint mixing stick from Home Depot to mix it.

Step 4: Pour the plaster of Paris over the shells and wait for them to dry. You can cover up the back of the plaster with sand or leave it. If you cover it with sand, I recommend putting a flip-flop over it, so you remember where you buried it. I remember several times we lost out on the project in the sand. I recommend doing this when you first get to the beach so it takes a while to dry. It takes about an hour to dry. If you pick it up too early, it can break.

Plaster of paris on the sand

Step 5: Once dry, pick up from the sand and take it home

Beach Casting Finished Product

Kids Play and Create Tips

This activity can also be done with a handprint or footprint.  Have the child place a hand or foot in the sand, fill the imprint with plaster of Paris, wait until dry, and lift from the sand

*Have older children create patterns with their shells when beach casting.  They can also use small shells to form words and sayings.

Don’t feel like working at the beach?  

No problem, bring sand and shells back from the beach and create this project outside at home. Put sand in a shoe box and follow the above directions.