We love to collect tons of seashells at the beach and bring the home with us!  How about adding them to your next math lesson with this measuring seashells math activity invitation! The beach is a wonderful play full of learning opportunities of all kinds. A sensory filled environment, the ocean is an amazing resource for hands on learning activities. Read all about hands-on beach and ocean learning ideas for families.

Measuring Seashells Math Activity
Seashells Math Activity for Kids

Next time you are at the beach, collect a bunch of shells. We specifically spent a morning hunting for different sizes of the same kind of shells. It made for a great scavenger hunt to try to find different sizes. Our beach has tons of scallop shells and clam shells! You can see what we collected while we were on the beach. This simple measuring seashells math activity was also a terrific, unplanned math activity!

Check out our entire Ocean Themed Activities collection for more great ideas!

Seashells Math Activity Sizing Shells from biggest to littlest

At home I set out our seashells and a mini tape measure. Together we measured the shells and put them out in order of size. Some were very close in size, so I showed him how we use the spaces between the numbers on the measuring tape. I had the opportunity to introduce 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 increments.

Seashells Math Activity Order Of Size with scallop shells

We also gathered clam shells of all sizes and measured those for our measuring seashells math activity.

Seashells Math Activity measuring clam shells

Measuring the shells and deciding which was smaller or bigger than the last one turned out to be a perfect simple math activity!


Measuring Shells Math Activity Order of Size Activity

He also wanted to line up various size shells and see how long they all were together. He enjoyed exploring the shells and tape measure in many ways of his own choosing which made it a very playful math activity for him. We discussed a few easy math facts, but I was happy to let him explore and discover on his own. At his age, I enjoy sharing a love of the math activity as much as learning something specific from it.

Measuring Seashells Math Activity

There are so many fun ways to use the items around you to create a simple math activity like these seashells!

Measuring seashells math activity for ocean STEM

Make sure to check out all the great ideas during this Math Made Fun with Manipulatives Series from School Time Snippets!



Ocean science activities fro kids Beach activities and Summer STEM


  1. This is such a great way to incorporate math into your summer! Thanks for sharing, there are lots of ways to “do math” with seashells and this is so simple, but so engaging. Glad this was fun, feel free to find other fun math activities on my site! 🙂

    Bethany @ Math Geek Mama

  2. This is a really good idea because we will be treating measure too…and with the seashells I believe my children will love it.

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