Play the Beach Game of Holy Seashells
A wonderful way to break up a day at the beach is to play some games. With the beach game of Holy Seashells, all items required to play can be found right there. Part of the fun of the game will be in creating the ‘board’ and ‘finding the pieces’ for players to use. So in addition to swimming, sunbathing, building sand castles, and jumping over waves, why not spend some time creating and playing a game together.
The first part of the game is for players to search along the beach for seashells to use as their game pieces. Children love to gather up seashells, so this may have already been done before game time. If so, players can choose to pick some game pieces from the various different shapes, sizes, and colors of shells already collected, or players can decide to go find new ones. Each player will need seven shells.
The next part of the game is to construct the game board or ‘church’. The object of Holy Seashells is to be the first player to throw all their seashells into a hole from a distance of about six feet or so. Depending on the age of players, this distance can be moved closer or further to the hole.
The game board is created by digging a hole and constructing a ‘church-like steeple or tower’ behind the hole. The hole is where the seashells will be tossed into, and is imagined as the seating area of the church. Players can be creative and design their ‘church’ any way they want. Walls can be built or decorations made from nearby seaweed or other shells can be applied. Each player can make their own hole and steeple or they can build just one board together. (If each player is creating their own ‘church’, they should be next to each other for the forming of a row to all throw shells from.)
From the hole(s), measure and mark a line in the sand for players to throw from. This mark varies to the age of the players. Too close, and the game is not challenging enough. Too far and the game becomes difficult. Six to ten feet usually works well.
The final part of the game begins by each player taking turns trying to throw their seashells into the hole. The youngest goes first. Once all players have thrown their shells in hand, players go and pick up the ones they missed and start again. Some players (if they have more in the hole) run out of shells to throw before another player. When this happens, they wait, and turns continue with those with shells, until all shells are tossed. Players all go gather the missed shells at the same time.
Throwing continues, until the first player to successfully throw all his shells into the hole, yells, “Holy Seashells!” and wins the game.