G loves collecting shells at the beach and bringing them home, spreading them out, and creating a story for his favorites. I decided to take this enthusiasm and become shell museum curators for the afternoon.
We have been to numerous museums, but I am not sure we have fully explored everything that goes into running a museum. We talked through artifact acquisition, restoration, display, marketing, ticket sales, collecting tickets, tours, and clean up. Whew. A lot of work for a 4 1/2 year old. We decided that C would become his 11 month old intern. Very enthusiastic, but not necessarily able to take on many of the big tasks.
Restoration: Our supplies for the restoration were a bowl of water, a paintbrush, and a muffin tin. G put the shells into the water, then brushed them off, and placed them on the muffin tin to dry off (in this heat, drying did not take long!).
Display: I created a display, using 2 cereal boxes (simple tutorial on that below). G decided how to position each shell within the box.
Marketing/Ticket Sales: G cut out tickets, and then wrote on them (he just wrote random letters, we aren’t at the writing full words stage yet). Writing is definitely not something that has been easy, and I try to work it in as a fun activity anytime it’s possible. G then pitched his exhibit to his grandparents, father, and great-grandmother (they were not hard sells).
Collecting Tickets/Tours: G told everyone that the museum was open, and stood by his display, and collected tickets. Then he described each artifact.
Clean-up: Not too arduous for this activity. The water was already spilled by the time we were done, so we brought in the bowls, and G put the shells back into his bucket.
Below is my take on making a display box:
First, I cut the top off of the cereal box, leaving a little bit of of rim around the edge.
I cut the side panel of another cereal box to use as a divider down the length of the cereal box. Placing this divider separated the base into two halves, length-wise.
I then cut the top of the cereal boxes into 2 pieces, which I would use as dividers across the width of the base of the cereal box. I cut an opening down the middle of both pieces, so that they would fit over the middle line divider.
I also cut a small slit in the base, to position the dividers.
A few additional steps: I lined the base with white crepe paper, so that the shells would stand out a bit more. I also made a “Shell Museum” sign, and taped it to 2 popsicle sticks. G then helped out by making a ramp, so that people could access his museum!