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Eco-island: Sandy Mile activity 4

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Make eco-friendly gifts for a beach souvenir shop

Pebbles

Key Stage 1

Curriculum links: PSHE 1a; 2g. Art 2a-c.

What to do: Talk to the children about the need for beaches to attract tourism without endangering wildlife or the physical environment. Gift shops are a major tourist attraction. Either visit a typical seaside souvenir shop or look at some online. Many souvenirs are made of shells and coral, but the collection of these items is endangering plants and species. Giant clam and conch shells in particular should not be bought. Think of alternative seaside gifts that could be handmade and sold in a seaside souvenir shop. One simple but effective idea is to decorate pebbles.

Collect some pebbles from a beach or your local area. (Alternatively, you can buy bags of polished pebbles in a garden centre very cheaply.) Ask mums, sisters and aunties to send to school any old, unwanted bottles of nail varnish, as this is the best thing to use to paint the pebbles. Alternatively, you can use poster or acrylic paints. Paint seaside pictures on the pebbles, keeping the designs simple, and then add glitter while the paint or varnish is still wet. The children may want to paint their own names on the pebbles – personalised gifts are very popular!

The pebbles take a while to dry, so make sure you leave them overnight before you touch them. Then, set up your own little seaside gift shop in the classroom and display your pebbles for the ‘customers’!

Key Stage 2

Curriculum links: Geography 5a-b; PSHE 1a, 2a; Art and design 1a, 2a-b.

What to do: Talk about the need for beaches to attract tourism without endangering wildlife or the environment. Elicit that gift shops are a major tourist attraction. Many seaside souvenirs are made of shells and coral, but the collection of these endangers plants and species. Debate the financial gain made from selling these items against the risk to the environment.

Think of alternative souvenir ideas, such as decorating pebbles from the beach, local area or from a garden centre. Use nail varnish, poster or acrylic paints to decorate pebbles. Paint simple seaside pictures and add glitter if desired. The children may want to add their names – a popular idea for souvenirs. Set up a souvenir shop in your classroom to display the pebbles.

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