When kids discover the Oceans and the creatures who live there, they get excited about caring for the Earth. We've created this lesson inspiration for an Ocean Animals learning day to inspire the entire family.
Here's a quick guide to leading a fun-filled, Ocean themed learning day:
FUN FACTS (free printable)
Oceans are important to our planet. This read-aloud discussion guide sets the stage for your learning day with age-appropriate facts explaining why Earth needs healthy Oceans and how we can help take care of them. Print here
Create your own Ocean creature buddy with supplies you have at home! We had pipe cleaners and small paper cups which we quickly turned into a colorful, happy squid! Simply poke the pipe cleaners through the cup (OR a half ping pong ball OR a square of blue paper) and decorate. The kids named our Ocean buddy, "Squiddy", and he was our "expert guide" throughout the day.
Discover names and interesting facts about Ocean Animals with free resources: we printed out the free Ocean Animal Flashcards by Carla at Preschool Powol Packets and explored the interactive wildlife fact sheets available online at Ocean Conservancy It was a lively discussion with Sea Animal "props" meaning any toys, plush, action figures or picture books we had around the house.
Did you collect any sea shells last time you were at a beach? Explore the online guide at SeaShells.org to learn about the different types of shells, the creatures who live in them and identify your finds!! No shells at home? Find a local shell guide and plan to bring it along to your next beach visit! Shelling at the beach can be hours of family fun!
Surprise them on your Ocean learning day with our Sea Creatures chalkboard placemat for washable, reusable coloring that starts at breakfast as goes through dinner! Creativity during lessons will foster your child's love of learning. Coloring is key to develop the fine motor skills our young kids are working so hard to develop. Order here
Get scientific with this Active Sea Turtle Tracking tool from Conserve Turtles. We observed the movements of a turtle named, Leia, who's journey began in North Florida and led her all the way down to the Florida keys! Our kiddos got super excited to learn about these amazing sea creatures and experience live online tracking of their movements!
Designing an underwater vehicle will encourage their dreams to travel through the Ocean! Use Legos or any materials you have (sticks, blocks, cardboard) to create a one-of-a-kind underwater submarine explorer. Invite the children to talk about their vehicle and its features. Another option is to print pictures online of submersibles -- check out the Octonauts cartoon -- they have some of the most awesome (imaginary) Ocean-exploring vehicles around!
Plan a trip to the nearest aquarium and time the visit around your lesson day. Giving younger kids the opportunity to see (and maybe touch) live marine wildlife will greatly aid their comprehension and enjoyment of Ocean-themed lessons. Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) offers a free online tool for you to search by zip code for an aquarium near you.
Trash on our beaches and in our local waterways means opportunities for you to get involved in water cleanup events. Ocean Conservancy has a map of affiliated International Coastal Cleanup operations so you can help on your next trip to the coast. Or you can organize a cleanup day of your local waterways, lakes or rivers -- great resource for getting involved.