Learn about the deep blue sea. Discover an underwater world of adventure. Try some of these ocean-themed activities that build essential preschool skills.
Math & Science
Observe real sealife in your very own aquarium. A small aquarium (or just a fishbowl) can be cheap and easy, and preschoolers love being responsible for feeding their fish.
Demonstrate how long a blue whale can be with a long piece of rope, about 100 feet. Then cut a rope as big as your child and see how many it takes to make a whale.
Learn about sea life along with your child by looking at the beautiful photos in the book Ocean, published by The American Museum of Natural History.
Visit an aquarium near you to see the creatures up close. To find an accredited aquarium near you, search for your city at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums website.
See more Math & Science activities.
Language & Literature
Read some of these ocean themed books.
Reading & Writing
Practice word recognition with these free ocean-themed word cards from Pre-K Pages.
Fish for letters (or phonetic sounds, or words) with paper fish and a magnetic pole. See some great instructions on making the fish at No Time for Flashcards.
Arts & Crafts
Create an ocean scene with Blue Jello Fingerpaints (it’s just jello and glue!) and some paper, like shown at Strong Start.
Make an adorable sea creature – head over to Totally Tots for a terrific list of links to ocean craft ideas, including whales, starfish, sharks, jellyfish, rainbowfish, and crabs.
Order one of these ocean themed craft kits – perfect for the parent who is short on time to organize and gather materials for art projects (me!).
Music & Movement
Print free Ocean Animal Movement Cards over at Toddler Approved – there are some wonderful ideas for having fun and getting active while learning about ocean animals (or any subject, really).
Limbo like a sea creature. Set up a bar, then slither under it like an eel, crawl under like a crab, or wriggle under like a fish.
Prepare a ocean-themed snack with blue jello and gummy fish, like shown here at I Can Teach My Child. You could even add some crushed-up graham crackers on the bottom for sand.
Stage an ocean play scene in your sensory table or bin, complete with water, sea creatures, sand, rocks, and whatever else you can come up with. Have you ever seen a Toob? They are collections of small figurines, such as these ocean themed ones – fantastic for imaginative play! (Dolphins and Whales, Coral Reef, sharks, and Baby Sealife Toobs are also available.)
I found so much great content on ocean themes, it was impossible to include it all. Thanks to all the parents and teachers who come up with these great activities. As always, if you know of a learning activity related to the ocean theme, please leave us a link in the comments.