I have always loved collecting shells and have bowls and jars of them scattered through the house. In an effort to scale back I often choose just one thing to collect on a trip: pieces of coral, sea urchins, fish bones, etc. On our trip this year we visited a shell museum that really inspired the children. It is run by a man in his nineties who has collected shells for his entire life. It is amazing to see thousands of shells, collected from around the world, but it is also inspiring to see how he displays them. Some in glass cases, others displayed in little boxes. It is also to fun to get a sense of how rare some appear to be, or how varied others may be. There was one huge case of scallop shells that were in a beautiful array of citrus colors.
After we left the museum the kids were even more committed to their own growing shell collections, and it was fun to see how it inspired them...Owen became a more careful editor while the others became interested in quantity.