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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18 Books About Sea Animals

books about ocean animalsThis week was aquarium week for us. My son’s kindergarten class visited the Seattle Aquarium on Wednesday and yesterday my parents and I took my daughter to our little local one.  It is only fitting for us to showcase some of the many great picture books about sea animals today.  Do you have a favorite that didn’t make the list ? Share in comments!

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.

secret Seahorse

Secret Seahorse by Stella Blackstone is a fascinating and beautiful board book. The story follows a little seahorse that hides on each page as it makes it’s way along the ocean back to it’s family. The illustrations are felt, fabric, sequins and other fun and very beautiful hand stitched creations. I am never ready for the next page because the present one has so much to look and marvel at. Kids like finding the seahorse on each page too!  My son and I re read this tonight to my daughter and she liked it but he was still loving it, which is pretty impressive for a board book. It’s just so pretty!

house-for-a-hermit-crab-

A House for Hermit Crab  by Eric Carle is a book I have owned for many years. It offers so many learning opportunities for young readers and doesn’t lose any of the entertainment in trying too hard to teach. The hermit crab feels drab and each month he asks different sea creatures to help decorate his shell . As the shell is getting more and more beautiful it’s also getting more and more snug. The book teaches about sea creatures, months of the year and moving. More than moving it teaches about change . Change is  difficult for all of us but a little trickier for most preschoolers which makes this book so valuable.

seahorse

Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle is a story about the most involved fathers in the sea. Mister seahorse isn’t the only fish that takes care of his eggs until they hatch , in the book we meet other dads that do too. I didn’t realize how many people don’t like this book until I read some reviews on amazon when ordering the book a few months ago. Many parents are off put by the father fish who announces he is “babysitting” his own baby fish. It never really bugged me even though when a parent says that in real life it irks me. All the positive daddy fish outweigh that one comment for me.

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!

fish eyes

Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Elhert is a classroom favorite in every school I have ever been in. The colors are so bright and the eye cut outs that give readers a sneak peak at what colors are coming next is fascinating for babies and kids alike. I have used this book for various themes like under the sea, shapes and of course counting.

Ordinary Amos and the amazing fish

Ordinary Amos and the Amazing Fish by Eugenie and Henry Fernandes is a funny book that forces readers to look at pet fish in a whole new light. Amos gets caught by a family of fish and they keep them as a pet. This book was a favorite of all my classrooms, children love to imagine other worlds and one where they are the pet is both a little scary and really silly too! I love the message of empathy, and kids grasp it. They see that Amos once caught is sad and depressed in his bowl and that it’s no fun being caged up.

O is for Orca

O Is for Orca: An Alphabet Book by Andrea Helman is a book about the nature of the North West packaged in an alphabet book.  Each page is dedicated to one large photo and a animal, plant or other part of North West nature.  My son was reluctant at first wanting to read a Star Wars chapter book but only a page or two in he was engaged. Many of the letters represent sea animals like sea stars, urchins and of course orcas. There are a lot of facts in this book and if I were reading it to my toddler I’d skip the paragraphs and go through the alphabet and each photo only. That is what I love about books like this you can adapt them so easily to your audience.

Barry the fish with fingers

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.

fish

Fish Is Fish  by Leo Lionni is a cute book that not only talks about friendship but it also explains the transformation of a tadpole into a frog in an entertaining way . I have used this book in classrooms while doing animal life cycles and kids always love how the fish in the book imagines people as fish with legs. The story of friendship between the little tadpole and minnow can’t be ignored either, it’s a great message about change and the way true friendships can withstand change.

Swimmy

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 is reminded of all the wonderful things there are to see and experience in the ocean. When he comes across a school of fish just like his former one hiding afraid of the big fish he knows he can’t let them miss out on all the wonders of the ocean. He rallies them to work as a team and face the big fish head on.  This is a great book for teaching children about the power of working as a group to combat challenges as well as conquering fears.

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.

Fish School

Fish School by Nancy Poydar is a really funny book that also manages to teach the reader a lot about fish.The story is about Charlie who gets Wishy a goldfish for his birthday and then sets off to teach him all sorts of things. When his class takes a field trip to the aquarium guess who Charlie pops into a ziploc and into his backpack. My son loved the silliness of this book as well as the information that is shared as the class progresses through the aquarium. Lots of giggles and learning with this cute story.

baby

Baby Beluga by Raffi is a classic children’s song cleverly illustrated into a beautiful book. I grew up on Raffi in Canada and am still shocked when moms don’t know who he is, if he is new to you go to your library and check out one of his cds. When my son was a toddler he loved this book and all the sea creatures inside. I must say that I am unable to read this without singing the song. It might be a good thing to read it before listening to the song .

Little Shark

Little Shark by Anne Rockwell is a great non fiction book from one of our favorite authors. Readers follow a shark from birth until it’s full grown in this book filled with fascinating shark facts. I like that it reads like a story because it sucks the reader in instead of just spouting off cold facts about these cool and scary ( to me) animals. I loved that my son was rather shocked that sharks don’t stay with their moms or their many siblings, and are instead solitary. I loved how it explained a little bit about the food chain in the ocean and how we get oxygen from air but fish get it from the water. Add this one to your shelf.

Trout Trout Trout

Trout, Trout, Trout!: A Fish Chant by April Pulley Sayre is not a story but a chanting book. It lists a number of fish found in the United States in a rhyming text. Along with Trip Park’s funny illustrations the book works although my son didn’t ask to read it again after  our initial reading. I like the facts at the back of the book about each type of fish inside and think that any child into fishing would probably be more interested in this book than my son was.

Amos & Boris

Amos & Boris by William Steig is a touching story about the power of an unlikely friendship and helping others. Amos is a mouse and sailor who is rescued by Boris a whale when he goes overboard in the middle of the ocean. After the rescue they develop a tender friendship despite their obvious differences and go their separate ways with full hearts. Many years later though it is Amos’ turn to rescue Boris and we are all reminded that size does not equal ability to help a friend.

sea animal books

Ten Little Fish by Audrey and Bruce Wood . The book is a rhyming countdown story about 10 little fish and what happens to them one by one. The illustrations look like an animated movie, and the rhymes are well thought out. My one wish is that the numbers were shown as digits not simply words, so that younger children who can recognize the numbers in digit form but not yet by reading the word could more easily follow along. The ending made me giggle, and you’ll have to grab the book to find out why !

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Sea Animal Crafts & Activities

As our archive of kids crafts and art project ideas continues to grow I like to take a day each week (or so) to do a round up. They help you find what you need fast! Here are 15 sea animal crafts and activities for you to try with your kids.

Paper Bag Octopus
Bubble Wrap School Of Fish
Sea Urchin
Sea Horse
Sticky Fish Sun Catcher
Walnut Shell Turtles
Paper Plate Jelly Fish
Alphabet Fishing Game
Finger Print Fish
Puffy Paint Fish
Paper Plate Crab
Simple Starfish
Ocean Sensory Tub
Bubble Wrap Starfish
Cupcake Liner Jelly Fish

 

DIY Puffy Paint Fish

My daughter loves fish and I have been wanting to make another batch of homemade puffy paint so I decided to combine the two. We love this paint because it dries puffy even the big globs! I was planning on doing this just with my daughter but when my son heard we were making puffy paint he put away his Lego and ran to the play room. Making your own puffy paint is so simple and this time we mixed in some colored glue which added a lesson in color mixing into the fun.  If you are making a big fish like we did make sure you have a place for it to dry away from little hands for a good 48 hours. Smaller puffy paint creations will dry faster.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some craft paper ( paper grocery bags cut open work great), shaving cream ( plain jane variety), plain white glue, colored glue , a marker, tape, a bowl and some spoons. If you are adding a face you will also need some googly eyes and a pipe cleaner for the mouth.
  2. Start by taping down your paper and draw a big fish.
  3. Now spray some shaving cream into the bowl. The official recipe I like calls for 1/2 cup of glue and 1 1/2 cups of shaving cream. I just eye ball it now we do it so much. My son loves spraying it.
  4. Add glue.
  5. Stir.
  6. Pop it on the fish.  She hated getting her hands dirty – I had an old towel and baby wipes handy.
  7. Add colored glue.  I was very impressed she didn’t try to eat it.
  8. Explore.  Both my kids opted for the spoons. They take after their dad, I was eager to mix it with my hands.
  9.  We popped it in my master bath that is never used. It was a perfect place to be out of my daughter’s reach for the two days. But first we added two eyes and a pipe cleaner mouth.
  10. Let dry. Ours dried for 2 days then I cut it out.

 

Over at my other blog I have a fun fish themed idea for children just starting to recognize their colors. Check it out.

 

Books About Sea Animals

Secret Seahorse by Stella Blackstone is a fascinating and beautiful board book. The story follows a little seahorse that hides on each page as it makes it’s way along the ocean back to it’s family. The illustrations are felt, fabric, sequins and other fun and very beautiful hand stitched creations. I am never ready for the next page because the previous has so much to look and marvel at. Kids like finding the seahorse on each page too!  My son and I re read this tonight to my daughter and she liked it but he was still loving it, which is pretty impressive for a board book. It’s just so pretty!

O Is for Orca: An Alphabet Book by Andrea Helman is a book about the nature of the North West packaged in an alphabet book.  Each page is dedicated to one large photo and a animal, plant or other part of North West nature.  My son was reluctant at first wanting to read a Star Wars chapter book but only a page or two in he was asking not to skip any of the text and we were discussing the information about the sea animals and he was eager to make a nest in our apple trees for the spotted owls who we read were endangered. Many of the letters represent sea animals like sea stars, urchins and of course orcas. There are a lot of facts in this book and if I were reading it to my toddler I’d skip the paragraphs and go through the alphabet and each photo only. That is what I love about books like this you can adapt them so easily to your audience.

Baby Beluga by Raffi is a classic children’s song cleverly illustrated into a beautiful book. I grew up on Raffi in Canada and am still shocked when moms don’t know who he is, if he is new to you go to your library and check out one of his cds. My son loves this book, there are so many sea creatures to point out, it’s great for toddlers. I must say that I am unable to read this without singing the song. It might be a good thing to read it before listening to the song .