An Easy Handmade Christmas Gift
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They had Never Seen the Ocean
I have four nieces who live in North Dakota, who told me when I asked them what they wanted for Christmas, that they wanted to see the ocean. I tried to get some other ideas from them, but they were completely stuck on the fact that they wanted to actually see what the ocean was like.
All I could think of was books with pictures of the ocean, sea life and things, but that seemed like an awful boring christmas present, for I was certain that they had seen books and pictures of beaches before. I searched and searched but could not come up with a single idea.
Suddenly, like a light bulb had gone off in my head, I had it. I collected four different shaped jars, about the size of mayonnaise jars, and went down to the local beach and got a bucket of sand. I then spent several weeks on the beach collecting as many different shells, star fish, plants, seaweeds, and many other collectible sea things as I could find.
I took the sand, and washed it in a hose and bucket, overflowing it to get the silt and dirt out of the sand. I then poured it out on a sheet in the sun and dried it out, turning it over and over making sure that all of it was very dry and clean.
I then added the clean dry sand to the jars, filling them almost full, but leaving enough room so that when the jar was turned on it's side, and the lid was on you could turn it around and around, and there was always a space. I then sorted out the shells and other items I had collected, and added them to the jars of sand. It took quite a bit of collecting, so that each jar had a lot of different items to look at. then I glued the lid on each jar.
With this, now the child could turn the jar on it's side, around and around and with each turn different and new shells and bones, and plants surfaced, and each child had her own "piece of the beach" for Christmas. Not pictures, but the real thing. They loved it, and I have made them for other kids since in the Midwest.
It is a definate winner, and keeps the kids amused for a long time. Especially good for car trips or other quiet times.