Playing with an Ocean Theme is exciting for young children!  If you have a chance to visit an ocean, the activities below will offer fun extended learning and play opportunities.  If you cannot visit an ocean, the activities will help bring the “ocean” to your children!

5 Little Fishes – 5%20Little%20Fishes_Booklet.pdf

Book and Large Motor Game for Kids

Materials needed:  Assorted Wikki Stix and one booklet (printable file linked in blue above).

Print the book for the children and laminate for durability (clear contact paper will work if laminating supplies are not available).

Read the text to the children.  After reading the story, have the children make the fish for each of the pages (and Mr. Shark) from different colored strands of Wikki Stix. 

To make the fish:  have the children form and “X” from the two ends of each Wikki Stix strand.  Fold the two ends toward the center to complete the fish (see photo above).  The children can add black eyes or other fish features, if desired.   A shark shape may be a little difficult for very young children:  our 3 yr. olds made a basic fish shape (as above)  from blue Wikki Stix for the “shark” – the shark in the photo above was designed by a 7 yr. old.

As the children add their Wikki Stix creations to the booklet pages, have them repeat the text and count the number of fish that correspond with the text on the pages of the booklet.  The Wikki Stix will adhere to the pages of the booklet and can be easily removed for future play and “fishy creating!”

Extensions:  1.  Have the children make craft stick puppets with the Wikki Stix fish/shark.  Number the craft sticks and have the children hold up the corresponding numbered stick as the story is read!  2. LARGE MOTOR GROUP GAME – have the children form a large circle.  Say the words to the text while pretending to be fish swimming around the circle.  When “Mr. Shark” comes, have the children open and close their arms very wide to resemble a shark’s mouth getting ready to CHOMP its prey!

Ocean Sensory Explorations

Make an Ocean-themed Sensory Bin

Materials needed:  a large bin or drawer, ocean-themed objects of different colors and textures.  The bin above contains:  starfish craft shells, sand dollars, Ocean-themed scrapbook paper (laminated), plastic Ocean-themed animals, goggles, colored sand (scented with lime jello), and glitter/foam Ocean-themed cut-outs.

Show the children all of the items in the sensory bin.  As the children use their senses to explore and play with the items, ask the children what words might describe some of the items.  Help the children increase their vocabulary skills by brainstorming different words for the various textures/scents in the sensory bin (for example:  crinkly, prickly, soft, smooth, bumpy, shiny, hard, woodsy, slimy, gooey, sweet, coarse, lemony, minty, etc.)  As the children become more familiar with descriptive words, the sensory bin will provide opportunities for using the new words daily.

Be sure to check out the extra resources below for more Learning and Play this Summer!

Beach-themed Food Crafts

Beach Patterning, Play Dough Mats, Crafts, and More

Ocean-themed Mobile Tech Game for Kids

Ocean Scavenger Hunt and Beach Math for Kids