Jun 14

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Beach Camping Activities Sand Dollars

Beachcombing and looking for Sand Dollars is a great  activity for kids and adults that like nature.  Sand Dollars don’t wash up on all beaches, but if they do it’s worth the time and effort to go look for them.  Kids love this activity, and it lets them run around, be loud, and get some of their energy out.

Kids Camping Activity looking for sand dollars.


Looking for Sand Dollars

If you are, or will be, camping by a beach find a tide chart.  The best time to look for sand dollars and other treasures is during low tide.  They wash up and get left on the sand as the tide goes back out.  Sometimes you can just walk at the waters edge, and sometimes you might want to walk in the water. If you see a purple colored one with small hairs, don’t take it.  That is the color they are when they are alive, and the white or gray colored ones aren’t alive.

I found 21 the first day, and 41 the next time I went.  These were whole sand dollars, not broken ones of which there was plenty.  Even the broken ones can be fun for a child as there are 5 little “doves” inside each one.


Collecting Sand Dollars


Cleaning Sand Dollars and Making Crafts

Collecting sand dollars is fun, but what do you do with them after you leave the beach?  You will want to clean them, and then you or your children can make crafts with them.  Me, I am making some earrings and necklaces for my grandaughter.  Because I need to have a hole in them, I will rinse them off with water, but not dry them.  They need to be wet to drill without cracking them.

Let kids use their imaginations when making crafts with their sand dollars and other beach treasures.  Even little kids have fun with some paint and glue.  Older kids might like to know the legend of the sand dollar as well as make something.

Teach kids to respect the ocean and it’s gifts.  Don’t take more than you will use, maybe even throw back some of the ones they find if they have too many.  If I wasn’t making so many different crafts with mine I wouldn’t have taken so many.  I also am gifting some to a friend that makes beautiful crafts.

You can also gift the sand dollars to people with the poem, in a small bag.  Most people will love this, and if they are religious, then the religious version of the legend of the sand dollar, along with one of your sand dollars will be a memorable gift.

Children’s Arts and  Craft Ideas

  • handpainting- paint an ocean scene or whatever you desire
  • jewelry- make necklaces
  • home decor-frame them
  • clean and save for a beach memory jar of your trip
  • make ornaments
  • string them with other shells
  • glue them onto a collage



Cleaning Sand Dollars


The sand dollars above don’t have the holes that the Christians believe are symbolic of the crucifixion.  In fact I noticed that each of these is a bit different and none of them is the size I am used to seeing.  Guess that’s another good thing about traveling, seeing different things.

If you want to drill a hole to make a necklace in this type of san dollar…do it after you clean them and while they are still wet.  Use a very small drill like a Dremel.  Other sandd dollars already have holes in them.


The possibilities of what to do with your sand dollars and other treasures are endless.  Whatever craft idea you come up with, have fun!




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1 comment

  1. Virginia Allain

    I look for beach glass that has been shaped by the sand and wave action. Some I found in Maine, but I also have some from the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

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