Ocean Activities & Fun Ideas for Kids
You have come to the right place if you are looking for fun, engaging and exciting Ocean themed activities to do with toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Our activities are used by teachers, moms, dads, child care providers and more!
All our activities are available at no cost and are free to print and share. Select below to get started.
Ocean Arts and Crafts
Use broken up shells to create a collage on Styrofoam meat packages.
Finger paint with shades of blue. When dry, chalk draw different sea life.
Use sand (or salt- its cheaper) mixed with dry tempera (add a tablespoon at a time to the salt/sand to achieve the color you want.) Use clear jars and make sand pictures by layering the colors. Use pencils to create points around the edges. Fill in top with glue to keep sand from shifting when done. Let dry and put lid on.
Cut different sea shapes from Styrofoam and glue to wooden blocks or such. Use as stamps with paint on separate pages to create different groups of animals. Use a fish shape to make a ‘school’ of fish. Use a whale shape to make a ‘pod’ of whales and so on. Then hole punch and “sew” the different pages together to make a take home book.
Cut a bunch of stars out of sandpaper. Lots of different sizes and different grades of sandpaper. Give each child a plain sheet of construction paper and crayons. You can also tape the stars around the tables and the kids can walk around and rub on any star they want.
Preparation for this is best done a day before. Get a variety of colored powder paint and lots of oatmeal. Give each child a small sandwich bag with some oatmeal in it. Let them choose any color powder paint put about a tablespoon of paint into the bag, close and shake!!! Do this for all the colors you want. When you are ready to do the project give each child an octopus pattern and their choice of colored oatmeal, any and all colors. Spread the glue and put the oatmeal on.
This is a very simple project but kids enjoy it. Just cut a dolphin pattern out of light gray construction paper. And let the kids water color them. If you have never water colored on construction paper it is neat, because the colors blend into one another!
Find a pattern of a good size fish bowl, and cut it out of a paper plate. Paint it blue like water. Before paint dries sprinkle any color of glitter around the bottom of the bowl. Then after its all dry, glue on one big fish or lots of small fish, now you can cover this with saran wrap but don’t have to.
Finger paint with green, blue tinted shaving cream. Offer various “combs” to drag through and make ripples.
Paper Plate Oysters
Gather a paper plate and a cotton ball for each child. Also you will need gray and pink paints and glue. The kids should fold the plates in half and paint the insides of the “oyster” pink. When the pink is dried they should paint the outside of the plate gray. To complete they can glue the “pearl” into the center of the oyster.
Sand art either in a baby food jar or let the kids squirt glue in fun designs on paper and then sprinkle sand over the glue.
Sandpaper Print Beach Bag
(can do this on just plain paper as well)
Canvas beach bag (or any fabric – even construction paper works!)
Sandpaper (any grade)
Iron (Always have an adult present when using)
Wax paper and old towel
1) Draw on the sandpaper with the crayons. The drawing must be on the grainy side of the paper. You must press really hard with the crayon on the sandpaper.
2) Set the iron to high and remember to always have an adult present when working with the iron.
3) Lay an old towel on the ironing board. Put your canvas bag on top of it. Put the sandpaper, with the crayoned side down, on top of the bag. Iron the back side of the sandpaper. You have to iron until you see a waxy print on the sandpaper.
4) Lift the sandpaper! Wow! Isn’t that cool? Your sandpaper has left a print.
5) While the bag is still warm you can color on it with crayons. This is great for touch ups or just black-lining your design.
6) Lay wax paper on top of the design. Lay the towel on top of that and iron one last time.
The Ocean Is Full Of Beautiful Colors
How about tissue paper collages on fish shapes using a rainbow of different colors. Tissue paper can be cut or torn by the children to make various shapes and sizes. OR if you prefer not using the fish shapes, how about tissue paper collages on paper using the various ocean colors (blues, greens and purples).
In either project, paint on the tissue paper with liquid starch or diluted school glue to give it a “wet look” as the children create it and then a stiff texture when it has dried. The children may want to add fish to this “ocean”. If so, provide small rubber stamps of fish for the children to stamp on fish pictures or furnish more tissue paper in other colors for them to tear and cut their fish shapes. Do either of these when the ocean picture has dried.
If you want to use this as a sort of a printing experience, you can have the children peel off the tissue paper when they have finished painting it on and while their projects are still wet, and the colors will remain, kind of a watercolor look.
Take 2 paper plates & cut out the inner circle. Tape blue cellophane or clear plastic on to the inside of each plate. Glue fish, shells, sand & “seaweed” to the inside & then glue paper plate together to make an aquarium.
Cut large fish pattern from two pieces of colored cellophane & punch holes around edge. Stuff with small pieces of shiny paper & “sew” around the edge with ribbon. OR cut out two fish shapes from grocery sacks & stuff with newspaper. Decorate or paint.
Print with sponges shaped like under water creatures. Children could create any ocean creatures they like with any materials they like (have scissors, variety of paper, paint, markers, yarn, etc. available and put together on a group mural if desired).
Ocean Games and Activities
Under the Sea
Put 3 colors of cutout fish with magnet attached on pond on floor. Use fishing pole with magnet attached to catch fish in order or by color recognition. Or have different types of fish and fish by that.
Play pin the legs on the octopus – EVERYONE pretty much WINS!
Watch The Little Mermaid movie, then have a “beach party.” Let kids wear swim suits, bring beach towels, play with beach balls.
Ocean Recipes and Snacks
Freeze ice cubes made with water and one drop of blue food coloring per cube. Use warm water to prepare powdered lemonade drink mix and add one 12 oz. can of warm lemon lime soda pop. Add 8 drops of yellow food coloring to the lemonade/soda pop mix. Pour lemonade/soda pop mix into a clear plastic glass and drop in one or two blue ice cubes and stir.
Have blue jello – complete with gummy fish! – for snack.
Ocean Songs, Poems and Finger Plays
Crazy crabs walk sideways,
What a giddy way to go !
Snails slip slide forwards
And that is very slow!
Ducks waddle, waddle,
And that is funny too,
And what about the hopping
Of the big red kangaroo?
(Actions:Translate words into actions)
Five cranky crabs were digging on the shore.
One swam into a net and then there were four.
Four cranky crabs were floating in the sea.
One got tangled up in seaweed then there were three.
Three cranky crabs were wondering what to do.
One dug a deep, deep hole. Then there were two.
Two cranky crabs were warming in the sun.
One got scooped up in a cup.Then there was one.
One cranky crab was smarter than his friends.
He hid between the jagged rocks.
That’s how the story ends.
(tune of I’m A Little Teapot)
I’m a humpback whale,
I’m very strong.
I leap about
And sing a song.
I like to eat my fill
In the Northern Sea.
But in the winter,
South I flee.
I am a beluga,
I’m all white.
From head to tail
I’m quite a sight.
You can hear me singing
Way up north,
Playing and swimming
Back and forth.
I’m a mighty orca
Black and white.
In the sea
I’m a beautiful sight.
I’m not very big,
But I am sleek.
I hunt for my food
Cause I have teeth.
I’m A Big Whale
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 singing,
I am singing in the sea.
I’m a big whale and I’m singing,
I am singing in the sea.
I am spouting, I am spouting,
I am spouting in the sea.
I’m a big whale and I’m spouting,
I am spouting in the sea.
Dear Reader: You can help us make this theme even better!
All of our theme ideas have come from our imagination and from reader submissions. Please use this form to contact us if you have crafts, activities, games, recipes, songs or poems that you would like us to add to this theme.