We went to the beach a few weeks ago and I was looking for a project that I could do with my kids and their cousins. Being a homeschool teacher, my mind is always working to show the kids how what they’ve learned relates to the world outside their books. I also love to turn nature into art projects. As I was considering what to make with sand or ocean water, I decided to buy some jars from Hobby Lobby so that we can put sand in them. My aunt brought food coloring, so this project was an instant hit among the kids.
1. Gather together a few buckets of plain sand. We used small buckets, otherwise you would need a lot of food coloring…probably 2 boxes.
2. Use food coloring to color the sand in the different buckets. I knew it would take a lot of food coloring, but I was a little surprised that it took about the entire bottle of food coloring in order for it to really color the sand. Of course, I’m sure this varies depending on what beach you are at and what color the sand is originally. We were dealing with cinnamon-colored sand, so it took a lot more to color it.
3. Layer in the sand. This is where I let the kids choose the pattern they wanted. Don’t forget to add in some original sand that hasn’t been colored, too. It makes it more interesting than just collecting sand from the beach in a jar.
4. Add shells (optional). Out of the 4 kids who made these jars, one wanted to add in little shells. It gave it an interesting look, but I’d suggest to do it at the bottom or along with the original-colored sand.
Overall, this was an easy project that the kids (aged 4-7) could all do mostly by themselves. I did the food coloring because I didn’t want it on their swimsuits, but if you don’t care if they get messy then let them do that step, too. We added it to our bathroom decor so there’s less chance of the lid being opened and the sand spread throughout the house.