Inside: This compilation of toddler and preschool ocean activities is all about animals that live in the ocean. Lots of fun art, fine motor, and sensory ideas!
Teaching about animals in the ocean is, personally, one of the most fun and interesting topics.
With the majority of the ocean still remaining unexplored, there is a never-ending amount to talk about! So many unique and interesting animals that young children have likely never seen before!
In order to figure out where to even begin explaining the variety of animals that live in our ocean, the list below provides some great recommendations for themed sensory activities, art projects, fine motor activities, and more.
Converse with preschoolers during the activities about these fascinating creatures, such as what the animals eat, where they sleep, how they move, and more.
Toddler and Preschool Ocean Activities
Related: Come see how we set up our toddler and preschool classroom: Beach Themed Classroom
Toddler and Preschool Ocean Art Activities
Starfish with Cheerios – Glue cheerios onto star-shaped paper to look like their tube feet. (Wanderlust)
Potato Masher Crabs – Dip a potato masher into red paint to be the body of a crab, adding on paper arms and legs. (Happy Toddler Playtime)
Clown Fish Painting – Place lines of painter’s tape down over an outline of a fish for toddlers to paint the fish orange, revealing white stripes when the tape is removed. (Toddler Approved)
Contact Paper Jellyfish – Attach ribbons, string, and yarn to jellyfish-shaped contact paper to hang in the window. (Juggling with Kids)
Oysters with Pearls – Fold a painted paper plate in half to become an oyster and add beads to be the pearls. (Things to Share and Remember)
Rainbow Fish – Paint and decorate a paper plate to look like The Rainbow Fish from the book by Marcus Pfister. (A Little Pinch of Perfect)
Shark Suncatcher – Use contact paper, tissue paper, and paper silhouettes of sharks for a fun suncatcher. (Buggy and Buddy)
Marbled Fish – Place a cutout of a fish on top of marbled shaving cream for a swirled effect. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
Puffy Paint Starfish – Make your own puffy paint to cover cardboard stars with. (I Heart Crafty Things)
Toilet Paper Roll Octopus – Cut and decorate a toilet paper roll to become an octopus. (Busy Mommy Media)
Bubble Wrap Jellyfish – Utilize your bubble wrap by turning it into a jellyfish, complete with pipe cleaner tentacles. (Crafty Kids At Home)
Ocean Slime – Follow the recipe to create sparkly blue ocean slime. (STEAMsational)
Beach and Sea Squish Bag – Fill a ziplock bag with blue gel and sand along with other beach-themed materials. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
Frozen Shaving Cream Ocean – Freeze a bin of shaving cream mixed with blue food coloring and explore the interesting texture. (Hello Wonderful)
Sensory Bottle – Put sand and colored water in a bottle along with various plastic ocean animals. (A Little Pinch of Perfect)
Blue Soap Foam – Add water, soap, cornstarch, and blue food dye to a blender to create sensory ocean foam. (Views From a Stepstool)
Find Bags – Use the printable inside of a bag to make a sensory ocean i-spy bag. (Mama of Littles)
Blue Sensory Spaghetti – Dye spaghetti noodles blue to be the base for this ocean sensory bin. (Montessori from the Heart)
Fine Motor Activities
Frozen Ocean Rescue – Freeze a bowl of water with plastic ocean animals inside, providing toddlers with bottles of water to squeeze and melt the frozen ocean. (Mama Papa Bubba)
Cut and Glue Shark – Preschoolers will practice their scissor skills by cutting out the pieces of this shark and gluing them down. (Pegihotel)
Pipe Cleaner Fishing – Twist pipecleaners into the shape of fish for preschoolers to try to hook. (Best Toys 4 Toddlers)
Math and Cognitive Activities
Ocean Counting Playdough Mats – (Royal Baloo)
Sea Animals Memory Game – Kids will try to remember where certain animals are and match them together. (Adventure In a Box)
Shadow Matching Cards – Match each ocean animal card to the correct silhouette card. (Arbeitsmaterial)
Ocean Animal Bingo – Play a fun game of ocean animal bingo using these printable cards. (Free Homeschool Deals)
Matching Sea Animal Cards – Preschoolers will match together the cards that have the same sea animal on them. (Simple Everyday Mom)
Fishbowl Color Matching – Place the fish onto the fishbowl of the same color. (Life Over C’s)
Oyster Color Matching – Match the same color pom-pom to the oyster printables to be the pearls. (Kindergarten Worksheets and Games)
More theme ideas:
Toddler and Preschool Ocean Lesson Plans
We’ve done the work for you! We now have interactive thematic lesson plans for toddlers (18-36 months) AND preschoolers (3-5 years)!
I helped create these lesson plans along with a talented group of early childhood educators and home schoolers.
Easy to follow lesson plans include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners.
These activities come in a digital format. That means after you make a purchase, the links to the activities will arrive in an email.
For more information, click on the graphics below: