Summer is here and even if you aren’t headed to the beach the warmer weather is a good excuse to teach your preschoolers about the ocean! The ocean is so fun to teach about because there are countless plants and animals for your preschooler to learn about and identify.
I always find that with my preschoolers hands on activities are the best way to learn and everyone ends up having a great time. Not only are hands-on activities great for learning, but they are also great for teaching fine and gross motor skills, team building, sensory building and getting the kids outdoors.
Let’s dive into some fun ocean themed activities for preschoolers!
What Should You Teach Preschoolers About the Ocean?
While you’re creating beautiful ocean masterpieces and crafting your child’s favorite sea animals, it’s a great time to give them a little lesson about the ocean. There’s so much to learn and explore that your preschooler or toddler will love hearing all the new concepts about the ocean.
When teaching about a new topic I like to focus on simple questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? And How? This allows your preschoolers to speculate and engage in the discussion.
You can ask the following questions to see if they know or simply just teach the concepts and ask them if they remember later on:
- Who are the animals that live there?
- Why is the water salty?
- What do they eat?
- How do they breathe?
- How do the animals move?
These are all really great questions to ask and discuss while engaging in activities with your preschoolers. I love to listen to their answers and see what they already know about the ocean.
- Where do they sleep?
- How much of the ocean takes up the earth?
- What are high and low tides?
- How can you be safe in the ocean?
- Where do shells come from?
1. Ocean Themed Sensory Bin
In this fun activity preschoolers get to be hands on and you have the simplicity of using items your preschooler probably already has! All you need are ocean animals and water beads.
You can have your preschooler sort the sharks from the fish, discuss how sharks can breathe underwater, but whales cannot. The conversations are endless!
2. Sea Creature Rescue
This activity would be so much fun to do on a hot summer day. All you have to do is freeze plastic sea creatures in a muffin tin and then let your preschooler dissolve the ice with salt and a little bit of water.
There are sure to be lots of giggles! You can even have a friendly competition to see who can rescue the most animals.
3. Jellyfish in a bottle
How cool is this jellyfish in a bottle? Your preschooler will have such a fun time making this jellyfish.
This activity would be a great way to show how a jellyfish moves, discuss the different parts of the jellyfish and if your kids are anything like mine they will be blown away that jellyfish don’t have eyes!
4. Ocean Themed Sensory Bath
A noodle bath is what preschooler dreams are made of! In this activity you use noodles that are dyed different shades of blue and green to make ‘seaweed’.
You can toss in a few plastic sea creatures and talk about what kinds of plants there are living in the ocean and what kinds of sea animals use them for homes and hiding places. This ocean themed activity will be a huge hit with your kiddos.
5. Ocean Playdough Surprise
Who doesn’t love playdough? Playdough is a great way to help develop and strengthen the muscles in children’s hands, all while creating and learning.
Simply take some plastic sea creatures and roll them into the playdough. Ask your preschooler to identify what animal they found!
6. Squishy Fishy Bags
Your preschooler is sure to love this fun ocean themed activity. Making these squishy bags is very simple and will provide tons of fun.
Tape the sensory bags to the window for added light.
7. Under the Sea Slime
My preschooler absolutely loves slime and this fun activity is fun for little hands! Make ocean slime for under the sea fun!
8. Ocean Scene Jello Dig
Little ones love to get messy! Add some ocean themed toys to blue jello and wallah, you have a fun sensory activity that provides lots of giggles and fun.
9. Soap Foam Sensory Bin
Let your preschooler go crazy with this fun ocean soap foam sensory bin. This activity is best to do outside and perfect for summer!
10. Alphabet Shells
Help your preschooler learn the letters of the alphabet and dig for shells. Your preschooler will love digging for shells in this ocean themed activity!
11. Ocean in a Bottle
How fun is this mini aquarium in a bottle?! Help your preschooler engage in sensory play and identify different ocean animals.
12. Ocean Process Art
I absolutely love this ocean process art project. Painting with q-tips is great to help further a preschooler’s grip on smaller objects!
13. Ocean Themed Coloring Pages
My kiddos love these ocean themed coloring pages. After you are done cut the images out and string them up in their rooms for an under the sea display of their art!
14. Paper Plate Tropical Fish
Make some fun and vibrant tropical fish with paper plates. The best part is that your kiddos can be creative and decorate their fish however they want!
15. Octopus Handprint Craft
I love handprint crafts. They are a fun keepsake for you as a parent and my kiddos love seeing their hands as part of their artwork.
16. Jellyfish Craft
Let your kiddo enjoy some fun self expression with this jellyfish craft. I always enjoy seeing what colors kids like to choose when they are in control!
17. Shark Fin Hat
Baby shark do do do do! This shark fin hat is so simple to make! Turn on the baby shark song and let your little ones dance!
18. Paper Plate Seahorse
Seahorses are one of the most fascinating sea creatures. This paper plate seahorse is so cute and your kids will love learning about these amazing creatures.
19. Handprint Crab
This handprint crab is so cute and easy to do for kids. You can mix it up with some different colors of paper, stamps, etc for more fun!
20. Suncatcher Jellyfish
Your preschooler will love being able to see their craft hung up in the window for all to see if you do this suncatcher jellyfish craft.
21. Handprint Fish
If your kids like the movie Finding Nemo, they will love this clownfish craft. Let them color in the background for added fun!
22. Cardboard Fishy
If you have some extra paint and toilet paper rolls laying around this craft is for you! Ask your preschooler to come up with their own color scheme and fish scale pattern!
23. Whale Craft
Whales are such cool animals and I think teaching about them is just as cool. Your preschooler will be amazed to know that some whales can stay underwater for as long as 90 minutes!
24. Clothespin Shark
Your preschooler will love this fun clothespin shark craft. You can even use different size clothespins for smaller and larger sharks!
25. Glow in the Dark Jellyfish
This jellyfish craft is a cool way to help preschoolers learn about bioluminescent animals like jellyfish.
26. Paper Plate Pufferfish
Kids love puffer fish, and let’s face it.. They are really fascinating. This paper plate puffer fish craft will be a great conversation starter about puffer fish.
27. Beach Themed Pudding Cups
These beach themed pudding cups are so much fun anytime, but especially perfect for summertime ocean learning!
28. Gluten Free and Vegan Goldfish
Your kiddos will love this vegan, allergy free, and grain free goldfish recipe and you will love how healthy they are!
29. Cucumber Boat
Sometimes it can be hard to get your kiddo to eat their veggies, but who would be able to resist this cucumber boat?
30. Shark Chocolate Bark
If your kiddos are shark obsessed this treat is definitely for you! This shark bark is easy to make and your preschooler will love getting to help!
31. Ocean Themed Turtle Snack
Enjoy this ocean themed turtle snack with your preschooler while discussing fun turtle facts like the bottom of the turtle’s shell is called the plastron.
32. Shark Bait
This shark bait snack would be perfect for watching a sea themed movie. Your kids will love the salty and sweet combo!
33. Ocean Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is one of my preschoolers favorite games. I love this hide and seek worksheet that will help your preschooler develop their investigative skills.
34. Cutting Practice
Cutting is an important skill for preschoolers to develop. Your little one will love this fish themed cutting practice worksheet!
35. Paper Plate Scallop Shells
Did you know that scallops can have up to 100 eyes?! This paper plate scallop craft is perfect if you have some extra paper plates lying around!
36. Fine Motor Fish Collage
Help your preschooler perfect their pincer grasp with this fun fine motor fish collage!
37. Ocean Themed Sorting and Threading
I love this activity for fine motor skills. Have your preschooler add different animals to the pipe cleaner. For an added challenge have them add the animals in a pattern!
38. Rescue the Sea Creatures!
Let your little one be a hero and rescue the sea creatures! Simply wrap up sea animals with pipe cleaners and rubber bands and let the fun begin.
39. Fine Motor Jellyfish Craft
Make this simple jellyfish craft with items you have around the house! You can use those leftover jingle bells from Christmas time to add some pizzazz!
40. The Rainbow Fish
The rainbow fish is one of my favorite books. Even if you don’t have the book, this activity will be so fun for preschoolers to make their own rainbow fish!
41. Beach Themed Printables
42. Ocean Themed Yoga
Yoga is always a hit in our house. This activity is perfect to engage your kids into stretching their little bodies and having fun while learning about different animals that live in the ocean.
43. Ocean Animal Movement
Get your little ones moving and grooving with this ocean animal movement activity. Show your little ones how to walk like a crab, jump like a dolphin and sing like a humpback whale!
44. Ice and Salt Experiment
This activity combines science and art, which is always so fun! This experiment will help kids learn how salt helps to melt ice!
45. Tide Pool Experiment
Help your preschooler learn all about tide pools with this fun ocean themed activity!
46. Sounds Underwater
Are sounds louder underwater? This activity is great for teaching preschoolers about sound underwater and how animals communicate using high pitched sounds.
47. How do Arctic Animals Stay Warm in Cold Water?
When I think of the ocean, I always think of warm sunny weather. This activity will help to teach preschoolers about the cool part of the ocean and how the animals that live there survive and keep warm!
48. Ocean Zones
Let’s learn the names of the zones in the sea! This activity will help kids to learn about where certain species of animals spend most of their lives and how they live and eat.
49. Float and Sink
My kiddos are always asking about whether different items are able to float or sink while playing in the bath. This activity would be so fun to help preschoolers learn about density and an object’s ability to sink or float!
50. Ocean Song
Teach your preschooler this ocean themed song to the tune of ‘Take me out to the ball game’. If your kiddos are anything like mine, they love learning new songs and rhymes.
51. Ocean Dot Activities
This set of ocean dot activities includes ten pages of FREE printables for dotting. You can use dot markers, stickers, stampers, or whatever else you want to complete these fun dot activities.
52. Ocean Themed Printable Bundle
Everything you need for your preschooler or pre-k child to learn while having fun! These low-prep activities are perfect for centers and beyond.
Teaching dozens of math and literacy concepts, they will never get bored!
It doesn’t matter which activities you choose to do with your preschooler, he or she is bound to have a blast and learn so much! If you try any of these 50 ocean themed activities let me know in the comments which is your favorite! Happy learning!