Rainbow Resource Room
OCEAN AND SEA THEME
Mermaids & Mermen SongThere are 2 black & white printable pages available for this theme. Use your BACK button to return to this page.
Jennifer B. helps youngster develop singing skills as they sing this song to the tune of I'm A Little Teapot.
Literacy: "Mermaid Story" A Lesson on FriendshipI'm a little mermaid,
With this story Diane R. teaches children about friendship and that it's more fun if we all play together.
Description: Have all the children come to
circle time. Tell them that you
Once upon a time there was a mermaid named
One day as she was swimming she came across
This made ____ the mermaid very sad.
This made _____ the mermaid even sadder.
________ the mermaid was so sad she swam
into a cave and hid.
The fish, sea horses, & dolphins all
heard _____ the mermaid crying.
_____ the mermaid was so happy. All
the fishes, sea horses, & dolphins were
After the story we sing The More We Get Together & talked about how everyone in our classroom is our friend.
The story can be changed to fit into any theme or used as a part of a friendship theme or as a lesson on diversity.
Comments: I was having a problem with some
of the children in my class telling
Materials: Eye droppers, wet construction paper, different color liquid tempera paints.
Description: Ahead of time, put several
different colors of paints in shallow
Comments: Talk with the children about what happened when colors were mixed and what they think would happen if they did the same activity using dry paper.
A. shares this idea for a game: Instead of "Duck, Duck, Goose"
Play: The Beach
Materials: Goggles, beach ball, inner tube, beach chairs, picnic basket, a blue sheet, shells, sunglasses and a beach umbrella.
Description: This is great for the dramatic play area . Set up the blue sheet to represent the ocean. Then set out all the beach goodies along with the lawn chair. Play some good beach music and you are ready to go to the beach.
Play: "Under the Sea"
Materials: Appliance box, blue paint, pictures
of sea animals, creatures and plants,
Description: Actually I painted the box to
save time because this was used for a
Materials: Green construction paper, small paper bowls and glue.
Description: First what you will need to do is pre cut the sea turtle's flappers, back feet, and tail from your green construction paper. Have the children glue torn pieces of green construction paper on the outside of the bowl. This will be the turtles shell. Then have them glue the flappers, head, legs, and tail in the appropriate places. Let youngsters draw their own faces and you have a Sea Turtle.
& Ocean Keepsakes
Materials: Large clam shells or a plastic shell mold (Pollo tropical has a perfect small one or try a art & craft store), sand, plaster of paris, tiny shells, coral, sea weed, star fish etc.
Comments: We did this in summer camp last
year. We also used cocktail umbrellas
Theme Bulletin Board
Materials: Various art materials of choice.
Description: Discuss with the children ahead of time what a 'school of fish' is and during story time read Swimmy by Leo Leoni, it's a great book for this!
Then have the children each make their own
fish, but remember to tell them the fish
Little Fish Swimming in the Sea
Materials: None or teachers can make a flannel graph of this song. Cut out 5 fish shapes and one shark shape. Teachers can also cut out other ocean items.
Description: During circle times, transition
times or even swinging outside,
Comments: You could increase the language of this lesson by making a book with the children about the song. Also allow the children to play with the ocean pieces during center time.5 little fish swimming in the sea teasing Mr. Shark,
Materials: Clear bucket, coffee can, saran wrap, beach sand, shells and starfish.
Description: Fill the clear bucket about
1/4 full with beach sand add shells, starfish,
Comments: I have used this with my toddlers and they love it! I suggest putting the bucket on the floor for the younger ones. They are able to see better.
Materials: Various shapes of choice.
Description: At my school we do calendar every morning. I use the calendar number pieces to teach the children about something related to our theme. For example, when we are learning about the ocean, I cut out a clown fish and sea anemone and number each one, making a pattern (2 clown fish, 2 sea anemone). We count the days so far in the month, say our pattern and then I ask them about clown fish and sea anemone. They love this and can't wait to see what the next month will bring! This could be done with any theme. The possibilities are endless!
Board: "Under the Sea"
Materials: Various shapes of underwater things cut out of construction paper, such as sea weed or kelp shapes, starfish, different fish shapes, rock shapes etc., sand, blue Saran Wrap, glue and white or gray construction paper.
Description: Have your children glue the shapes onto the white paper in any fashion they choose. Add glue and sand at the bottom for the ocean floor. When they have their paper the way they want it, cut a sheet of Saran Wrap large enough to cover the entire picture and lightly glue it down (or you can use clear tape, if that is easier). And Voila! You have an instant under water scene!
Comments: After we did this as a class, we hung the pictures very close together on the windows, for a interesting "collage Bulletin Board". The kids loved it!
Decoration: "Under The Sea"
Materials: Blue garbage bags, tape, scissors.
Description: Teachers take each individual garbage bag and lay it flat the long way (so it looks like a long rectangle). Cut the bag every two inches till it almost cuts through the other side (two inches from the top). Tape the bag on the ceiling every six inches or so apart so that the cut pieces hang down. It looks just like water hanging from the ceiling and it moves like waves when air is blown across the bags (from an open window).
Comments: What a way to add to a theme!! Hanging these bags from the ceiling actually gives a wonderful calming effect to the children and the area that we did this in was the most popular for as long as we had it up. The children that had a difficult time at rest time, rested much easier when they were "under the sea"
Board Idea: Seahorses
Materials: A picture of a seahorse copied on different colored construction paper, glitter and glue.
Description: Preschool children use the glitter
glue to decorate their seahorses in any
fashion they like. Comments: These seahorses
come out beautiful and make a great
Materials: Paper, fish, boat out of cardboard box and a fishing pole.
Description: The children and I talked about
what lives around the river. We talk about what we can do at the
river and we discussed safety. The children talked about what they do at
the river. We also read books about water and rivers. In classroom we have
life jackets and a boat made out of a card board box so they can pretend
they're fishing. The children make fish out of construction paper. We put
paper clip on them and a magnet on the fishing pole. Since we have a rocking
boat for outside, we pretend that we are fishing at the river and sometimes
camping. Then we go into camping
Comments: The children love doing this theme. They learn a lot and share ideas with their parents.
a "Fishing Game"
Materials: Poles: Chop sticks, hot
glue, shoe laces and magnets.
Description: Teachers tie the shoe laces onto the chops sticks and then hot glue them for extra staying strength. Hot glue a magnet to the bottom. Children cut out fish or ocean life shapes and color them. Use clear contact or laminate them before putting paper clips on the end. Paint a box blue to use as an ocean, and to keep the activity in one place. Have fun fishing!
"Ocean Chalk Animals"
Materials: Sidewalk chalk and a large flat outside surface.
Description: For our preschools ocean unit I use sidewalk chalk and draw a whale (90 ft) on the parking lot. Beneath the whale I draw a shark (15 ft) and on our way to the playground the children get to step 'inside' the animals. Big surprise how huge the whale is and how small the shark. How many children fit inside the whale? Inside the shark? If it doesn't rain it lasts several days and we give the children chalk and let them color in the animals.
Materials: Business size envelopes, crayons or markers, scissors and clear tape.
For nursery rhymes and finger plays about fish, frogs, ducks and turtles take a look at Animal Rhymes.I'm a Little Fishy
Materials: Sturdy paper plates, hair net, assortment of dried sea life (starfish, sea horses, small crab shells, sea shells, even gummy fish work), masking tape and glue.
Description: Take paper plates and glue items to the plate. Then take a hair net and place over the plate and tape it down on the back. Talk to the children about how fishermen throw their nets over the boats to catch fish and other sea life for us to use.
Materials: Large block of wood with hole in it, a long piece of plastic tubing, duck tape and a sheet.
Description: Teachers can get the tubing
at a local plumbing supply store. Get a large piece of wood, 12"
x 6" by 6", from a local lumber yard or from a nursery (landscaping timber
pieces work well). Drill a hole large enough to insert the tubing
in place. Duck tape the tubing to something on your ceiling (a cross
piece of dropped ceiling), we had a ceiling fan. Tie a knot in two
of the corners of a twin sized
sheet. Then tie the other two corners together into a larger knot.
Secure the two small knotted sides to the pole. Spread out the "sail"
and tape it to the side of cabinet. Beware, some duck tape can leave residual
Materials: Absorbent paper towel, cartridge paper, edicaol dye, paint brush or eye dropper, spray bottle with water and dark card for mounting .
Description: As a science activity as part
of rain or water theme. First discuss
with children and show them waterproof materials. Cut
out maple leaf shapes (or raindrops or the like) from the absorbent
paper, and also from the non-absorbent paper. Next,
Sail by the Shore
Materials: A picture of a sailboat
on construction paper, sand, blue tempera
Description: Let each child paint the picture of the sailboat, tell them to leave the water and the sand uncolored. Once they've colored the boats, let them put glue on the sand area. Then sprinkle sand over the glue abundantly and let dry. Next, let the the youngsters paint the water blue. Let the picture dry and put up for display.
Materials: Colored sequins, glitter, construction paper, glue and child safety scissors.
Description: In advance, cut out shapes of fish, or let the children draw their own fish and cut them out. Have the children glue sequins and glitter to the fish to make them sparkle. Tie fishing line to the fish and hang them from the ceiling to give the room an "Under the Sea" look.
During story time read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. For more picture books take a look at Preschool Books Listed by Themes
Materials: 2 liter bottles (1 per child), cooking oil, water, blue food coloring, rubber cement, laminated ocean life pictures to put inside.
Description: Teachers give each child a bottle to fill with water. Put drops of blue food coloring in each bottle. Fill each bottle with water and take to a creative table. Have materials for children todrop into their wave machine. e.g.; sparkles, beads, pasta, seashells, sequins and sand.
An adult covers the caps with cement glue
and screws on the lid tightly.
Put in the sun to dry for a day. Children take their wave machinesoutside
to watch how it catches the sun, or they can take it home to play
Materials: Paintbrushes, cups, water, food coloring, salt, and paper.
Description: Teachers add food coloring to cups half filled with water. Add a few tablespoons of salt to each cup and stir. Ask the childrento paint with the brushes onto either white or colored paper. Comments: This form of painting is a lot of fun for the kids. I always use it when we are studying the oceans and ocean animals. The "paint" dries and the salt makes the paper sparkly in a very natural way. The paintings always turn out to be so beautiful!
Fresh Water vs.Saltwater
Materials: Saltwater, freshwater and a small cup for each child.
circle time teachers set a cup of fresh water
Give each child a small
amount of saltwater to taste and talk about
Materials: Paper mâche, glue, old newspapers cut in small stripes, small balloons, paint, silk paper and little plastic eyes.
Description: First, you blow the balloons. Then, put a first line of glue and paper. Wait till it's dry then do another one (you'll have to put three or four layers). When it's dry and hard, take a needle and push through to pop the balloon. Paint the body of the fish with bright colors then use silk paper to do the fins and the tail. Glue two plastic eyes to add realism. These are great if you attach them on the ceiling behind a sea picture. Comments: This is a long project, but worth the time.
Mâché Ocean Animals
Materials: Pictures of various ocean animals, stories of ocean animals, newspaper, water, elmer's glue and tempera paint.
Description: This would be a nice activity to wrap up a unit on Ocean Animals and Sea Life. At the end of the unit, recap with the children all that they have learned about sea life and the various animals that live in the ocean. On a large piece of chart paper put the title "Our Favorite Ocean Animals." Have each child share with the class what their favorite ocean creature is and why. After all of the children have had a chance to share, ask them to draw pictures of their favorite animals. After the pictures have been drawn, tell the children that they will now begin the process of making sculptures of their favorite animals.
Begin the Paper Mâché Process: Each child helps to strip the newspaper. Soak newspaper overnight in water. Strain newspaper and mash together with Elmer's glue. The children love helping in this process. After the paper mâche mixture has been made, children can begin sculpting their favorite ocean animals. Allow animals to dry for 2 -3 days, then paint with tempera paint. Help children to label their animals and display throughout the room.
Comments: I have done this activity with 4 - 5 year old children. I think it would also be appropriate for 6 and 7 year olds.
Five Little Seashells
Five little seashells lying on the shore
Materials: A collection of large, medium and small seashells.
Description: Put out a large collection of seashells for the children to examine and explore. Ask the youngsters to sort the seashells into groups of small, medium and large shells. They can also be sortedby color, shape, texture (rough or smooth).
Next, put some shells in the water table along with a mild detergent and a scrub brush and let the children wash the seashells.
Finally, put out a chart, poster or book of seashells, and encourage the children to match up the seashells they have to the seashells in the pictures.
Sea Shells Paper Weights
Materials: Palm size sea shells, paint and glitter.
Description: Encourage children to paint
shells and while still wet shake glitter on them.
Materials: Picture of starfish, colored sand (can be made by adding food color to clean sand), glue and paper plates.
Description: Make your star fish the size of the paper plate so it can be glued onto it. Cover starfish in glue then add colored sand. When dried the starfish will have a sandy texture. Using different colors make for a very colorful display of stars.
Materials: White construction paper (with a picture of a starfish), sand, child safety scissors, a long piece of blue glossy wrapping paper (to act as the water) and finger paint.
Description: You will need to mix the finger
paint and sand together. Give each child a picture of a starfish.
To grasp the feel of the different textures this project can be done with
the hands. Tell each child to paint their starfish with their finger
paint and sand mixture. When the starfish dries let the kids cut out their
picture. Apply tape to the back of the picture and let them put up their
blue paper. Let the children put their starfish on the paper.
in a Bottle
The kids think this is great and it is very calming for kids with ADD or ADHD.Comments: Add silver glitter to the bottle or tiny plastic fish.
Materials: A ziplock bag for each child, blue hair gel, artificial leaves (seaweed), small plastic fishing tackle (in the shape of little octopus, fish, crawfish, etc.) and silver glitter. Joanne suggests including gummy fish.
Description: Have the children fill their ziplock bag with blue hair gel, 1/3 way. Then add a spoonful of silver glitter. Allow the children to choose about 4 leaves and 5 tackle pieces to put in. Close up the ziplock bag (tight), and give to the children to squish, squish, squish! This makes a great sensory activity that the children can take home, and it looks cute too!
a "Fish Tank"
Materials: Ozarka water bottle, aquarium rocks, plastic fish, glitter, blue food coloring and string.
Description: Before school: Hot glue string (4 inches) with fish hanging from it to the inside of the lid. In class: Put 1/2 cup of aquarium rocks in the water bottle. Next, fill it with water and let students count the "drops" of blue food coloring. Let the children put in some glitter. You could also put in a small plastic plant.
Description: Get a fish bowl. Add a layer of blue Jell-O, then add grapes, then add the blueberries and then add the gummy fish. Repeat this until it reaches the top of bowl. Once complete shine a flash light on to the bowl to see the underwater adventure. Eat it when you want.
Comments: This was excellent and the children loved this idea. I received this idea off the Rosie Show!
Cooking: Edible Oceans
Materials: Ziploc sandwich bags (the kind that securely close), blue Jell-O, ocean gummy animals and spoons.
Description: Pour blue Jell-O into a ziploc bag and let set. Then give each child an "ocean" that they can populate with their own sharks, fish, etc. Close and squish around askingthe children how it feels making their fish swim. Give out spoons and eat!
Materials: Shoe box, shoe box top or styrofoam
meat tray, blue cellophane and items
for the diorama:
Description: Kids can assemble their diorama in the box or tray. The teacher will cover them with blue cellophane. All done, each is unique and special.
Extension: You can also make a Blue Jell-O Ocean in a clear plastic cup. Make quick set blue Jell-O, spoon it into the cup. Add a few gummy sharks and enjoy! We made individual ones in the plastic cups for the children to take home. We also made a big one, that we devoured, in a small fishbowl.
Resist: Ocean Fun
Materials: White construction paper, white crayons, multi colored crayons, blue paint (watered down a little is best) and aquarium rocks.
Description: Draw some pictures on a piece of white construction paper of an ocean scene with multi colored crayons. Include white crayon drawings of fish. The children paint over the whole piece of paper and are really surprised that the fish show up. After it dries, let them glue the rocks to the bottom for the ocean bed.
Materials: Clip art program or picture of flamingo, heavy pink paper (card stock), yellow paper, tape or glue and yarn.
Description: Print picture on paper then cut out the body and neck. Make fan folded strips for legs and add yellow feet. Tape or glue to body then hang from the ceiling.
Comments: More prep work is needed for the younger ones, these turn out really cute.
Materials: Scissors, glue, felt, small amount of sand, wiggly eyes, old imitation pearls or beads, washable paint & brush, blue dividersthat fresh fruit such as apples, pears and oranges are delivered in (separate items in shipping boxes).
will need to cut the blue cardboard in strips, 2
oyster shapes connected for each child. Paint outside and inside
of cardboard, let dry. Fold in half and crease like an oyster shell,
on bottom half with a small amount of sand and a pearl on top offelt. Add
wiggly eyes on outside.
Materials: Top of egg carton, black paint, orange construction paper, white constriction paper, plastic eyes.
Description: Paint egg carton black and let dry. Cut out a large white oval shape to cover lower half of egg carton, which makes the penguins tummy.Use black oval shapes for wings and glue to left and rights sides of egg carton.
Materials: Brown paper 2" x 18", blue and green crepe paper, yarn, scissors, hole puncher, colored markers, glue and sea animal patterns.
Description: Staple the strip into a circle. Punch holes opposite of each other on the circle. Color and cut out eight sea animals, shells and starfish, (laminating will make the project more durable for outside hanging). Glue green and blue strips of different lengths (ocean waves) to the inside of the circle. Staple the animals to the strips (like they are swimming in the sea) and put yarn or thin rope through the holes in the circle and hang to enjoy.
Comments: Fun for the children to run outside with these in their hands.
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