This is another great idea that I did not come up with on my own. This was something that my amazing mentor teacher used in 1st grade while I was student teaching. I just took the idea and simplified to fit a preschool level.
First, you need will need:
one paper plate, make sure it it an old-fashioned, flimsy, non-coated paper plate
two rectangles of white construction paper
glue (or if you're in a hurry, a stapler)
"jewels" (I had these on hand, from Lakeshore, but you could use cotton balls, toy coins, colorful glass pebbles, etc.)
Have your little one color the top of the plate red (or pink). This will be the inside of the oyster's mouth. As you can see, we were "bored" with the red paint, and decided to give this oyster a more colorful mouth...
After the top is dry, turn the plate upside down and paint the bottom black. This will be the outside of the oyster.
Wait until both sides are completely dry, then fold the plate in half to form the mouth.
Cut the top two corners of your rectangles to make the eyes. Color the centers. Fold the bottom of the rectangle down about an inch and glue (or staple) the eyes onto the oyster.
If you're ready to stop here, glue a cotton ball into the mouth for the pearl.
For more fun, don't glue in the cotton ball. Take your treasure and fill up his mouth. Let your little one enjoy hiding things inside the oyster. Take several small treasures and line them up. Have your little one close their eyes while the oyster eats one. Have them guess what was eaten.
You can use magnetic letters and put the letters to your little one's name outside the oyster, close eyes and have the oyster eat a letter. Have your little one tell you what letter is missing.
Put the letters to your little one's name, or a simple word they know inside the mouth. Have them open the oyster and arrange the letters to make the word.
This is a great way to help your child learn math facts in a fun way. First count out a small number of jewels (I would start with two, then add one more as your child can confidently complete the task) together. Then, have your child close his or her eyes as you place some of the jewels in the mouth. Have them tell you how many there were first, then how many there are now, then decide how many are missing. Open the mouth and check to see if you are right. Try and use all the different combinations for your number at least once, twice is better. For example, if you are working on the number three, you would try putting 0 in and 3 out, 1 in and 2 out, 2 in and 1 out, 3 in and 0 out. Then, you can switch roles and let your little one be the hider while you tell how many are missing.
Remember, "the world is your oyster" go out and explore!