Shells, Shells, and More Shells

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Summer is almost here and since we live at the beach I thought it would be good to start learning about all the wonderful things around us. Maybe you are taking a trip to the beach this summer, or want to bring the beach inside for the kids to enjoy. Here are a few ways you can.
The boys are learning about shells. The differences in Univalve and Bivalve shells, and how many different shells are out there. We also used our ipad to look up more information on the shell cards we had.
The boys did a great job figuring out which shells are univalve and which are bivalve. All of the cards you see can be found here free from Montessori Print Shop. This took some time but it was well worth it. It’s amazing how slight some of the difference’s are.
O yes, they are typical fun loving boys (smile)
Welcome to Seashell City
What a great field trip to include in our study of shells. We are blessed to have one of the largest shell stores/museum’s around.
This wonderful place was lined with rows and rows of every type of shell and sea life.
One of Blazey’s favorite things at Sea Shell City was all of the creative things made out of shells.
We explored so many different great things here, from Sea Sponges, to Sea Urchin, Sharks teeth, and Coral. It’s amazing how much you can learn from just visiting a place and spending time there.
So much to look at and lot’s of little hands to keep track of.
A look at our Nature Table 
The perfect book for our reading center and/or nature table for this study was Seashells Crabs and Sea Stars. We also enjoyed What lives in a Shell, Our Ocean Home, and Shell.  Above you see the Montessori Shell cards the boys are using, a basket of Shells, and a shell chart.
Here I have filled two mason jars, 1 with several different types of shells, the other is filled with sand and shells. The chart is a reference for Univalve and Bivalve shells. If you would like the chart and cards they can be found here.
Check out our new family members.
We have Shelly, Braxton H, and Tom&Jerry (that’s Little B’s pick)
Blazey really enjoyed classifying each shell and figuring out how many of each one we had (graphing).
The perfect little starfish for our table.
We added our Ocean in a bottle, and a few learning cards.
Make sure you read A House for Hermit Crab with the kids, they will love it.
The boys really enjoy having living things (plants and animals) to watch and explore.
I love having a nature table/area, it has brought so much enjoyment into each day. I usually change our table around every two weeks to go with whatever we are interested in at the time. If it’s a season change, a unit study, or our on going nature study, I try to incorporate some of what we are learning about  into our nature center. I also try to put things of interest for all of my kids ages. I want the little ones to be able to explore everything yet I want to make sure the older children are excited and interested in the items I display as well. So far the nature center has opened up a whole new exciting world for the older children to learn about. It has given them the motivation to learn and research about birds, types of rocks, wild berries, leaves, and so much more.
If you are looking for ideas for your nature center, or you would like to set up a nature table check out my Pinterest board here.