27 Ocean Activities For Preschool

27 Ocean Activities For KidsWe live on an island and going to the beach is a pretty common outing for my kids, but learning all about the ocean is still exciting. The creatures, the sand, finding beach glass… it’s a new discovery every time we go. When we can’t go to the beach we can still explore it with fun at home activities. I have gathered our favorite ocean activities for kids in one spot for you to find some fun too!

fish craft for preschoolPaper Roll Fish Craft 

Shell Sorting

Shell Sorting 

ocean-shapes-mural

Ocean Shapes Mural

paper plate and pom pom octopus craft for kids

Paper Plate Octopus Craft

sea shells alphabet activity

Shell Play Dough Letters

star fish craft

Bubble Wrap Star Fish

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Ocean Sensory Play  

ocean themed crafts

Paper Bag Jellyfish

ocean15

Bubble Wrap School Of Fish

seahorse

Seahorse S 

classic letter fishing game

Alphabet Fishing Game 

ocean sensory tub

Ocean Watertable Play 

math games for kids shell game for 3 year olds

Shell Memory Math Game

jelly fish craft

Cupcake Liner Jellyfish

ocean66

 

Beach Sensory Tub 

letter crafts

Octopus O

beach activities

Shell Picture Frame 

kids crafts

Paper Plate Crab 

mod podge melts counting beach glass sensory bin

Beach Glass Sensory Play ( safe for little hands)

Shaving Cream Puffy Paint Fish

Puffy Paint Fish 

painting beach sea glass

Painting Sea Glass 

Walnut Shell Turtle

Walnut Turtles 

Paper Plate Jelly Fish

Paper Plate Jellyfish

Finger Print Fish Craft

Fingerprint Fish 

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Toothpick Sea Urchin 

Fish Craft for Kids

Fish Suncatcher 

snadpaper craft for kids

Magnetic Sandcastle 

 

Toilet Paper Roll Fish Craft

fish craft for preschool This is such a fun craft. My daughter and I each grabbed some toilet paper rolls and originally I thought we’d turn them into butterflies since my daughter adores butterflies but when I cut one as an experiment we both said ” It looks like a fish!” then grabbed the paints. I like to try to make crafts like this fish craft as exploratory as possible. Yes there are way more boundaries with them than open ended art and but you can adjust that in many ways. I added the glitter to add texture to the fish but also to add some more mixing and hands on creation for my daughter.

Gather your materials.You will need some toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls cut in half, paint, glitter, dishes for the paint, paint brushes, scissors, glue and googly eyes … you may want more than one per fish if your kids are like mine!paper tube fish craft

Start by putting the paint into containers and adding glitter. I try to give my daughter as much choice as possible so she chose the paint colors and glitter colors too. She added a lot and I was struck speechless when she didn’t choose pink immediately.glitter paint fish craft

Mix them up if you add as much glitter as my daughter did you might need to add a little more paint after to make sure it will still spread.glitter paint fish craft for preschool

Paint the tubes. I used a plastic lid as a plate for painting and drying.toilet roll fish craft for preschool

I loved the colors she chose and how they blended. Let dry.toilet paper roll fish craft for children

When dry push in the sides of one end of the tube to make a point.paper roll fish craft

Squish the whole tube down.fish craft for preschool

Make two diagonal cuts in the end of the tube and then in the middle.cardboard roll fish craft for kids

Time for glue and goggly eyes.cardboard fish craft Let dry.fish craft for daycare

books about ocean animals

Need some sea animal books? We have a bunch. Click on the image to be taken to the post with full reviews.

Paper Bag Jellyfish Craft (and color mixing too)

ocean themed crafts Last week my son was in a super cool day camp and I took some time to have good one on one time with my daughter. We have a ton of jellyfish ( or sea jellies ) around where we live and we can see them floating in the water as well as all over the beaches.  After a trip to the beach we decided to make this simple jellyfish craft. We ended up making a whole family of paper bag jellyfish, the color mixing exploration was not planned but very much an added bonus.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need one paper bag per jelly fish, some googly eyes, glue, paint brushes , a mix of paint colors, glitter glue, and scissors ( pinking sheers are a plus! ) ocean crafts
  2. Start by painting your paper bags. My daughter jumped right in and started making pink, but her exploration of color mixing led to green and blackish brown too. This is one reason why I try ( although fail miserably sometimes) to only do a project when I have a good block of time. I didn’t intent for her to make a whole family or to spend as much time color mixing as she did but both were awesome and having extra time allowed me to sit back and enjoy the ride. color mixing
  3. She painted the first pink and then made a Bubba ( her pet name for her brother) with blue and yellow which of course resulted in green , and a daddy one with the jumble of colors that ended up a deep purplish dark brown. paper bag jelly fish painting with color mixed paint
  4. She ended with herself a pretty pink. We are very very very much in a pink stage. All her clothes that are not pink haven’t been touched in weeks. Do you know how many cute clothes she has that are blue? That’s a story for another day. Back to the craft… paper bag jelly fish craft painting with pink paint
  5. Next add glitter. Everything even jellyfish are better with glitter. We used glitter glue which is only a fraction as messy as loose glitter. paper bag jelly fish and glitter glue
  6. Let dry – we had lunch, picked up her brother and played school while we waited for them to dry.paper bag jelly fish let dry
  7. Cut. I cut the bags with pinking sheers and did it roughly so there would be some movement. Older kids might love this, my daughter likes cutting but was unsure about cutting painted paper. paper bag jelly fish cut
  8. Add glue. Like the new but also pink dress ? paper bag jelly fish craft for toddlers
  9. Add the googly eyes and let dry again. paper bag jelly fish family

Books About Ocean Animals

comotion in the ocean

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae is a happy book full of rhymes about all sorts of sea creatures, including jelly fish. Each page has rhyming text that goes along with the animal. The book is cute and the illustrations are bright and bold. My son enjoyed it pointing out the animals. That said it’s not a must buy, more like a great to have on hand when you are specifically learning about the subject.

Hooray For Fish

Hooray for Fish!  by Lucy Cousins gets are huge “Hooray” from our house. I thought my son would think this book was a little young for him. He’s started saying board books are for babies, and he’s a big boy and even though this isn’t a board book it’s simple, big and bright like one. Nope, he loved it. Little Fish takes the readers on a tour of all the different kinds of fish , the bright fun illustrations are so interesting to look at , and choose your favorite fish on each page. The rhymes are fun and when we finished reading my son immediately asked to read it again! Edited for 2011 – now that he is almost 5 he flatly refused to read this with me but his sister who is 14 months liked it!

Way Down Deep In the deep blue sea

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck is about a little boy swimming in the “deep” looking for treasure. Along the way he encounters different sea animals. The cute kicker is that all along the little boy is really in his bath tub and the animals are just toys. I liked the twist and so did my son who then requested a laundry basket to play bath, funny how he didn’t actually want a bath… a mom can dream! Edited for 2011 – My son re discovered this book as we were setting up the playroom in our new house. It’s still a hit with him after 2 years.

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Paper Plate & Pom Pom Octopus Craft

paper plate octopus craftWhen I took stock of all my craft supplies and shared the progress with my facebook community members I was shocked at how many pipe cleaners and pom poms I had.  I immediately wrote down in my brainstorming journal to do a craft that would use some of this stock up.  After a trip to the aquarium where we saw an octopus I knew just what to do. These paper plate and pom pom octopus crafts were big hits and they also worked on a handful of important skills like fine motor , eye hand coordination and counting!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper plates, pom poms , glue, googly eyes, a single hole punch and pipe cleaners. If you are doing this with a child who is still eager to put small things in their mouth skip the pom poms and instead paint or use crayons to color your octopus!paper plate and pom pom octopus craft supplies
  2. Start by punching holes in the bottom of your plate. I did this for my daughter but my son did it himself.paper plate octopus craft
  3. Thread your pipe cleaners through until the short end can be twisted around the long one. paper plate ocotpus working fine motor skills
  4. Next glue on the eyes.paper plate octopus
  5. Add more glue. paper plate octopus adding glue
  6. Add pom poms. Pinching and placing the pom poms is also great for fine motor development. As they added the pom poms they counted them and my daughter compared sizes as well. paper plate octopus craft for kids works on fine motor skills
  7. Let dry . paper plate and pom pom octopus craft for kids

Does your little one love octopuses? Check out some of the other octopus crafts we’ve made over the years. Click the image to check them out.

more octopus crafts

Ocean Sensory Tub

ocean sensory binAnyone who thinks that sensory play is just for toddlers needs to see this post.  Since making the swamp sensory tub last year my kids have asked to do another one just like it.  I didn’t mean for so long to go by but we finally got around to it and this time made it into an ocean sensory tub with blue gelatin.  Play like this is fun and simple and perfect for summer . We leave ours out covered in our yard for a day or two and observe how the gelatin changes throughout the day. Please note that we live in the PNW in warmer climates leaving it out may not be a good option.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a container to make the gelatin in, a large container to play in, some fun sea animals and glass pebbles, plain gelatin ( I used 5 boxes) and some blue food coloring. You will also need a little bowl, scissors, many cups of water and a pot or kettle for the boiling water.ocean sensory play for kids
  2. Start by pouring all the gelatin into a little bowl – 5boxes = 20 packets of gelatin.ocean sensory play
  3. Boil 5 cups of water . Add a few drops of blue coloring to the water.
  4. Pour 15 cups of cool water into your container.
  5. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let rest for one minute.ocean sensory tub for kids
  6. Pour the boiling water in and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
  7. Hide in your fridge behind yogurt. Well that’s what I did because the last thing I wanted was blue gelatin all over my kitchen . When I made the rainbow gelatin sensory tub I spilled some blue and it it forever to get that stuff off.ocean hiding behind my yogurt
  8. When the gelatin is set about 3 hours ( ours was a little under done but the kids were eager) grab the sea animals and get the table prepared.ocean sensory bin set up
  9. They explored the gelatin before putting it in the table. Touching and tasting it. ” It tastes like zero, nada, nothing .” ocean sensory bin tasting it
  10. Then we added the gelatin.ocean sensory play dgd
  11. Play!! Clearly the 6 year old was into it. Literally.ocean sensory tub with gelatin
  12. Because ours was a little under done it was stickier than normal and required more washing off – so they ran to the water in our yard and cleaned themselves off.ocean sensory clean up