Below are activities that all have an Ocean theme. These activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving and engineering skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Each theme also comes with recommended literature and movie connections. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else!
For this activity, you’ll need to get out those watercolors, brushes, and crayons! If you don’t have watercolors, they are easy to make with a little bit of watered-down food coloring. *This project works best on paper that doesn’t absorb lots of water. It does not work well on construction paper.
- Using crayons, draw an ocean scene. Include things like seaweed, coral and anemone, as well as fish, crabs, squid, whales and of course, sharks!
- If your child is old enough, discuss the different types of animals – with a backbone and without. Mammals like dolphins, whales and seals, and fish, like angelfish, pufferfish, and even sharks have bones and are called vertebrates. Invertebrates, like starfish, squid, sea sponge, octopus, lobsters and crabs. Even coral is an invertebrate – not a plant!
- Once the ocean scene is complete, put the crayons away because it’s time for the paint! Using a brush, add some watercolor to the paper. Notice how the paint sticks to the paper, but not the crayon. This method of artwork is called wax-resist, because the wax resists the paint.
- When you have achieved just the right color for your ocean water, set aside your artwork to dry. When it’s dry you can put it on the fridge, or write a message on the back and send it to someone to brighten their day!
- You can also use this method to create pictures of outer space (yellow or white crayon for the moon and stars, black or blue paint for the sky) or to send secret messages (write the message in white crayon on white paper and paint to reveal).
Use the link below to view a cool science experiment about salinity and density. The ocean is saltwater. The colder the water, the saltier and denser it is. The experiment here plays with the salinity and density of the water to make a cool rainbow effect! Try it out for yourself.
Get some of those wiggles out while learning a little about the animals of the ocean. This is an “act it out” type of game. Set up a course of sorts where kids can move freely about but have a specific destination – a finish line, if you will.
Have children take turns moving across to the finish line moving like a crab, swishing backward like a squid, flapping like a stingray or waddling like a penguin. Time their race to the finish. Which animal do you think would travel fastest? Which animal method did you use to travel the fastest?
Conversation Starters and Research Questions
- How far is the closest ocean to you? Have you ever been there? What beach was it?
- Find the closest beach or a beach you have visited on a map, or on social media.
- When do you go to the beach? What do you do there?
- Check out some of the ocean animals in the deepest areas such as the Mariana Trench. Or the coldest areas like the Arctic Ocean. What do they look like? Why do you think they look like this?
Videos and Websites
Because we know you’re stuck at home with limited access to movies and books, we tried to compile a list that connects to today’s theme that you might already have in your collection or be able to access online. These include:
- Finding Nemo
- The Little Mermaid
- Dolphin Tale
- A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures
- Free Willy
- Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating
- Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
- A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
- The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
MusicFor some fun background noise, check out https://calmyleon.com/ and set it for Ocean Sounds and Ocean Waves. You’ll hear the waves and even seagulls! It will definitely make you feel like you’re at the beach!
Did you enjoy this activity? Let us know here.
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