Fine Motor: Art
  • Ocean Art: Draw / color ocean pictures with crayons, then paint over the entire picture with thin blue tempera paint or watercolors.
  • Starfish: Cut starfish from large piece of heavy paper. Cover with glue then sprinkle with sand. Remove excess sand.
  • Make a kelp mobile: Cut a paper plate into a spiral. Glue varying lengths of strips of green, brown, and yellow tissue paper to the edges of the spiral. Cut out fish and other ocean animal shapes and attach to the kelp. Add a string or ribbon to the top of the plate at the center to use as to hang the mobile from the ceiling.
  • Sand Castles: Make sand castles out of sand dough (1 cup cornstarch, 2 cups fine sand, 1 1/2 cups cold water. Mix and stir 5-10 minutes over medium heat until thick. Cool before using.)
  • Color / Sponge paint ocean coloring pictures.
Lanugage: Rhymes / Fingerplays
  • Octopus: An octopus has eight long arms (Hold up four fingers on each hand) / It lives in the sea, but don't be alarmed (Wave hands back and forth to show no worry) / He squirts out ink (Clap hands) when he is the prey / And grows a new arm when it’s torn away. (Hold up arm as high as you can)
  • Five Little Sea Creatures: Five little sea creatures / On the ocean floor; / The lobster walked away / Now there are four. / Four little sea creatures / Living in the sea; / The octopus crept away / Now there are three. / Three little sea creatures / Wondering what to do; / "Good-bye," said the starfish / Now there are two. / Two little sea creatures / Not having much fun; / Off swam the sea horse / Now there is one. / One little hermit crab / Sad and all alone, / Back came the starfish, / Back came the sea horse, / Back came the octopus, / Back came the lobster, / Then all five went home.
  • Five Little Fishies: Five little fishies, swimming in a pool (Wiggle fingers) / The first one said, "The pool is cool." (Shiver and hug self as if cold) / The second one said, "The pool is deep." (Spread hands out to show how deep) / The third one said, "I want to sleep."(Rest head on hands) / The fourth one said, "Let's take a dip." (Dive hands into “water”) / The fifth one said, "I see a ship!" (Look through hands as if looking through a telescope) / Fisher boat comes, (Cup hands together to form a boat ) / Line goes kersplash (Pretend to fish) / Away the five little fishies dash! (Hide fingers behind back)
  • One, two, three, four, five / I caught a fish alive. / Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, / I let it go again. / Why did you let it go? / Because it bit my finger so. / Which finger did it bite? / The little finger on the right.
  • Ocean Shell: I found a great big shell one day (cup hands) / Upon the ocean floor / I held it close up to my ear (raise hands to ear) / I heard the ocean roar! I found a tiny shell one day (cup one hand) / Upon the ocean sand / The waves had worn it nice and smooth / It felt nice in my hand. (pretend to roll shell between hands)
Language: Songs
  • Sea Fishing (sung to My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean): I took my boat out on the ocean, / I took my boat out on the sea. / I stuck my head down in the water / What a wondrous sight before me! / Star fish, sea horses, / Dolphins, kelp, clown fish in anemones. / Sharks, rays, and jelly fish, / And there’s still much more down there to see! / (Repeat tune of second verse) Shrimp, crabs and lobsters, / Coral and urchins and manatees / Squids, whales and octopi, / There’s so much to see in the sea!
  • I'm A Little Fishy (sung to “I'm a Little Tea Pot”): I'm a little fishy / Watch me swim / Here is my tail / Here is my fin / When I want to have fun with my friends / I wiggle my tail and dive right in!
  • My Octopus Song (sung to "Three Blind Mice"): Octopus, Octopus / In the Sea, In the Sea / To swim they use all 8 of their arms / Their color changes to hide them from harm / They live in the sea, not on a farm / Octopus
  • I'm a Big Whale (sung to "Clementine"): I am swimming, I am swimming, / I am swimming in the sea. / I'm a big whale and I'm swimming, / I am swimming in the sea. / I am singing... / I am spouting...
  • Ocean Creatures (sung to "The More We Get Together"): If I lived in the ocean / The ocean, the ocean / If I lived in the ocean / What creature would I be? / A whale or a dolphin, / A starfish or mollusk / If I lived in the ocean / I creature would I be?
Math / Science
  • Shell count: (my variation) Make two sets of cards -- one set representing the beach and one set representing the ocean. Number both sets of cards so that each set has corresponding numbers. Mix up each set (separately), then take a card from each pile. Put enough shells on each card to match the numbers on the cards. *Challenge: Take it a step further and talk about how many shells there are when you put both cards together. Discuss the idea of "adding" the shells from the two cards together to get the total number of shells.
  • Balancing shells: Provide a balance scale and shells of different shapes and sizes. Talk about which are the heaviest, lightest or about the same in weight.
  • Sort ocean animals according to similar characteristics (number of fins / legs/ arms, color, size, manner of moving, etc).
  • Go Fish: Make a fishing pole out of a short stick and a string with a magnet attached to it. Cut out different sizes, colors, and types of ocean animals and attach a paperclip to each one. Spread the fish out and see how many you can catch! Try to catch them in different orders (all of one color, all of one size, from smallest to biggest, etc).
  • Observe and compare a wide variety of shells. Talk about the differences in size, texture, color, etc and about the different kinds of ocean animals that once lived in each kind.
Gross Motor: Active Play
  • Flying Fish Socks: (my variation) Stuff a bunch of small socks with tissue paper, leaving just enough of the cuff to tie into a knot for the tail. (If the socks are too small for a knot, secure the "tail" with a rubber band or yarn.) Decorate the fish if desired. Designate a large container or mark off an area to be the ocean, scatter the fish around on the "beach", and then take turns tossing the flying fish back into the ocean.
  • Go fishing! Attach small magnets to lightweight ocean animal toys (such as those you might use for party favors) and to the ends of several lengths of yarn. Attach the other end of the pieces of yarn to small sticks to make fishing poles. Toss the animals into a wading pool of water and see who can make the best catch!
  • Feed the Pelican: Draw the picture of a pelican with it’s beak open onto a large piece of sturdy cardboard. Cut an opening where the back of the beak should be, then toss “fish” (bean bags, small plastic ocean animal toys, etc) into the pelican’s waiting beak.
  • Do the Ocean Motion: Move like different sea creatures. (Jiggle like a jelly fish / Creep like a sea snail / Soar like an eagle / Wiggle like an eel / Float like a sea otter / Bark like a seal / Walk forward, backward, and sideways like a crab / Swoop like a pelican...)
  • Hunt for seashells in the sand & water table.
  • Under the Sea Snack: Prepare blue Jell-O, adding Swedish fish or gummy fish before chilling to gel.
  • Sand Dollars: Spread peanut butter on round crackers. Sprinkle "sand" (actually Parmesan cheese and wheat germ) on top.
  • Fishing For a Snack: Fill a small cup with goldfish crackers. Supply pretzel rods for fishing poles and peanut butter to put on the ends to use as bait to snag the fish.
  • Seashell quesadillas: Layer cheese between two tortillas and melt (I like to use our Panini press, but 30 seconds or so in the microwave will also do the trick nicely!). Use cookie cutters to cut out seashells or ocean animals. (Sun dried tomato tortillas make great “lobsters” and “shrimp”!)
  • Octodogs: Cut the bottom of a hot dog into 8ths (using vertical cuts), leaving the top 1/4 intact. Boil as you normally would.

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