Ocean Preschool Activities
There are SO MANY ideas for ocean activities for preschoolers. We had so much fun exploring ideas that are already out there, as well as coming up with our own fun, engaging, and book-based ocean printables of our own. Below you will find a mix of links to other ocean themed activities that my preschoolers and I have done together, as well as several invitations to join my NEW Reading to Discover Membership Site! The RtD Membership Site is where you will find ALL the exclusive alphabet activities and printables I have created and offered so far- with new ones being released every week.
Blueberry Beach Cupcakes
These blueberry beach themed cupcakes have a delicious flavor and are topped with a cream cheese frosting. I am craving one as I write this! They are definitely a treat, but hey, everything in moderation, right? We topped the blue frosting with coarse brown sugar and it looked just like a beach! The kids were all so excited to make them… and eat them!
The kids especially loved helping to make them. Whenever I’m in the kitchen, my kids are begging to help me. I have a love/hate relationship with this as I have a system when I’m cooking or cleaning, and for whatever reason, I have a hard time getting myself to enjoy having their “help.” Designated cooking times seem to help everyone get what they need. Brooke is amazing at cooking with the kids, so I leave it to her on preschool days.
Preschool Books About the Ocean
The Rainbow Fish books– These books are classics that my kids are drawn to over and over for the shiny, sparkly fins on the rainbow fish. I love the stories and the variety of friends the Rainbow Fish has.
The Pout-Pout Fish– This is a book we come back to again and again. It’s on steady rotation for nightly reading, even when we aren’t doing an ocean-themed unit. The Pout-Pout fish encounters a variety of fellow sea creatures that try to cheer him up, but only one succeeds! We even did a craft project about this book and used it to explore emotions. (link to the project coming soon!)
Big Fish Little Fish– A fun, interactive book with fish shapes cut in each page, revealing the next page’s fish. My kids love it because it’s has a fun look and different texture.
Atlas of Adventures– I’m going to go out on a limb and call this one of my favorite children’s books. I bought it while I was still pregnant with our first. I couldn’t help it. It is oversized and has beautiful illustrations that make me want to travel the world. I am hoping to instill a travel bug in my kids, and this book is helpful. For this unit, we are using it to look at the different oceans and seas around the world and how much of the earth they make up. The kids love it, also!
How to Hide an Octopus– This is a book I had when I was little, and my kids love it also. They think it is so funny that animals can camouflage themselves and love “finding” the animals, even though at this point it’s no challenge for them. It is a fun, engaging book with interesting content and illustrations.
Whales and Dolphins– When I was younger, I was obsessed with dolphins. I loved whales too, but dolphins were where it was at for me. My daughter is showing the same affinity for both whales and dolphins and this is a fun, fact-filled book about both.
The Visual Dictionary of the Earth– Another classic from my childhood. It is packed with a ton of information about the earth. This week we are focusing on the sections about the oceans, but it’s one we come back to for other information.
First Encyclopedia of the Seas and Oceans- Amazing photographs and illustrations combine with interesting text to illustrate the basics of our planet’s animals, what’s out in space, and much more.
Baby Whale– Anything involving babies is a hit for my kids right now, and they are especially fascinated that baby whale’s drink milk from their mama’s, just like they did. This book is interesting and fact-filled but has enough of a storyline to engage the kids.
Above and Below– The innovative split-page layout of this book allows readers to literally uncover a hidden world of nature, as they turn the book’s half pages.
My Very First Book of Seas and Oceans- This is one for the younger child. It is an informative picture book for young children that explores the amazing world beneath the waves. Explore kaleidoscopic coral reefs, frozen Arctic waters and the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean floor.
Big Picture Book of Planet Earth– This is a large, sturdy book full of pictures that introduce the world in a large, unique format, perfect for little learners.
1001 Things to Spot in the Sea– This fun book is filled with things to find, count and talk about, this fun and interesting book provide hours of puzzle-solving fun. I use it for when I don’t necessarily want to read a story, but I want to spend some time looking at books with the kids.
Any search on Google or Amazon will result in many ocean book recommendations for preschoolers. We have a few family favorites that we come back to for fun, inspiration, and information again and again.
These books are also part of our morning basket routine.
We don’t read all of them every day, but they are always available to the kids. I also rely heavily on them when things start getting wild. My favorite thing to do is calmly sit down on the ground and start reading a book aloud. It changes everyone’s attitude and focus long enough to reset the mood in the house and enables us to get back to our activity.
Pout-Pout Fish Preschool Activity
We did a fun Pout-Pout Fish craft to work on identifying feelings as part of the unit this week as well. It turned out so well and the kids loved it. You can view the directions and materials for that one here.
Rainbow Fish Counting Activity
I have a tendency to focus mostly on reading and books for our lessons, so any activity that uses a book to work on math skills gets a big yes from me. This Rainbow Fish Counting Activity was a big hit. It held everyone’s attention, was easily scaled to accommodate all skill levels, and was easy to set up and clean up.
Ocean Sensory Bin
I set this Ocean Sensory Play activity up in my laundry room because we have wood floors and I knew this was going to be a messy (but fun!) activity for my kids. I was interested to see how my 2.5 year old son would react to it. I knew he would want to play, but he isn’t a fan of having his hands wet or messy. Apparently, the chance to splash and play in the water was enough for him to overcome his dislike.
We also had so much fun playing, I completely forgot to take additional pictures before I put it away. I was so bummed! But, it’s still a fun picture and I have linked to everything I used, as well as some other fun ideas I looked at when I was planning this activity.
Setup was simple, I just grabbed a big tub and threw everything I had for the bin in it. Here is what I used:
The kids splashed and played in their ocean for a few days, and when it was time to clean up, I just scooped everything out onto towels to dry, drained the water, and then let the sand dry on the bottom. After it was dry, I poured it into a jar to reuse again.
Ocean Sensory Activity Inspiration
There are so many adorable and fun ideas for an ocean sensory activity, that I wanted to include some additional ideas. They are linked below and look like so much fun!
Ocean Activity Roundup
Ocean-themed activities and crafts from around the web!