We usually rush off to t-ball after school but the practice was rained out and I was determined not to fill the time with TV although I really wanted to just chill and read too. So we went up to our messy playroom and while my son set up his playdough battleground again and my daughter played with her doll house I set up this ocean mural. We’ve been reading a lot of ocean books lately and this ties in to them perfectly while sneaking in some shape learning and writing practice too! Vertical surfaces like walls are fantastic for developing proper wrist muscles and form for writing so find ways to get your kids writing on the walls…or easels…or white boards… you get my point.
- Gather your materials. You will need some bright printer paper. You can use construction paper too but this peels on and off the contact paper easier. Contact paper, some good quality painter’s tape or cheap stuff and some thumb tacks, scissors and markers.
- Start by putting the contact paper sticky side out on your wall. I used painter’s tape which as long as you have good quality tape will work great. If you have the cheap stuff you may like me need to use some thumb tacks too.
- Cut out all sorts of shapes from the multicolored paper. This is great scissor practice for kids so have them cut some out too. My wee man was busy and playing well and I wasn’t going to interrupt so I cut them all out but there is no reason an adult has to do this step solo.
- When they are up to it invite the kids to play and create an under sea world.Immediately he started adding happy faces.
- He discovered that the blue marker made cool water when he colored the contact paper.
- My daughter wasn’t as interested as her brother but she did add a purple starfish and color it.
- I love seeing them work together even if it’s only for a few minutes.
- Now our playroom is brighter !
Barry the Fish with Fingers by Sue Hendra is a goofy fun book that had me wrapped around it’s fingers with the title, I mean a fish named Barry? And he has fingers?! I love it. Thankfully my judgment was smack dab on because the inside of the book was as funny as the cover. Barry isn’t just a fish with fingers he is a hero when his fingers save the day. The illustrations are so fun, the text is zippy and both my kids ( 4 and 10 months) loved it from start to finish.
The Seaside Switch by Kathleen V. Kudlinski is a book packed with information about tides and creatures in the sea. As a child I found nothing more fascinating than a tide pool and all the scurrying crabs and this book captures that. It’s main story is how the tide changes throughout the day and brings with it different animals. The book is too long for most toddlers but my son enjoyed pointing out the animals in the book.
Swimmy by Leo Lionni has been a favorite of mine for many years. I love Lionni and how he can weave multiple layers of meaning into a simple story for children. Swimmy is a story about a little fish who lost his family to a giant tuna fish and after grieving he was reminded of all the wonderful things there were to see and experience in the ocean. When he came across a school of fish just like his former one hiding afraid of the big fish he knew he couldn’t let them miss out on all the wonders of the ocean and he rallied them to work as a team. This is a great book for teaching children about the power of working as a group to combat challenges as well as conquering fears.
- Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, some paint , crayons or markers, scissors, glue and some tissue paper, or ribbon for the tentacles.
- Draw a big FAT O, it needs to be fat so when you cut it out it is strong enough .
- Have your child paint / color the O. Ask them about the letter while they do this or if they are younger you can name it a few times and see if they will mimic you. We are using paint dobbers, they dry fast and are not very messy!
- While your child is painting cut our 8-10 ( some may rip) tentacles, we are using tissue paper but ribbon or regular construction paper would do in a pinch.
- Cut out the O.
- Put 8 dots of glue on the back side of the O.
- Glue on the tentacles.
- Throughout the day oh and ah their beautiful O!!
- Gather your materials. You will need a paper bag, a magazine or newspaper, some paint, a brush and some tape.
- Start by painting your bag, open it up to paint all the sides. I like to use a few different colors to make a fun multicolored octopus!
- Paint the bottom of the bag last and let dry.
- Rip some pages out of a magazine and crumple them into balls.
- Stuff your bag and put a piece of tape tightly around the gathered bag.
- Cut the remaining bag into 8 tentacles. Add eyes by using a marker with younger children or googly eyes with older ones who are less likely to try and eat the googly eyes!
Oscar the Octopus
Oscar the Octopus has 8 legs
Oscar the Octopus has 8 legs
Oscar the Octopus has 8 legs
so swim Oscar swim!
Boom! Boom! Boom!
*Continue to 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 legs
and end it with ” Oscar is a fish!” after zero legs.
” Commotion in the Ocean” by Giles Andreae is a fun look at the different creatures in the ocean. The short rhymes for each creatures are all in all cute and somewhat informative as well! The illustrations by David Wojtowycz are bright , endearing and I think they steal the show! “Super Submarines” by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker rhymes along as it explains to the reader how a sub works, and all the ways we use submarines to explore deep down in the ocean! ” What it’s like to be a Fish?” by Wendy Pfeffer is a fantastic non fiction look at fish and how they move, eat and breath underwater! The text is too lengthy for toddlers and young preschoolers but older preschoolers will love it!