15+ Ocean Activities to Explore the Wonders of The Sea!

I have always had a keen interest in marine 🀿 biology πŸͺΈ since my childhood days. Moreover, my kids always prefer a vacation by the seaside πŸ– over the ones in the hill stations. 

Not only does visiting the ocean 🌊 mean we can enjoy a lot of water sports, but the amazing seafood πŸ› is also a favorite for my little ones.

We live in a bustling city, which makes my little preschooler miss the amazing view of the ocean quite often. My son loves diving into the world of submarines 🀿, quirky sea organisms 🐠, and adventures at the seaside.

Therefore, I have come up with a list of some amazing ocean 🌊 activities that I can enjoy with my kids at home or at the ⛱️ seaside.

Amazing Ocean Activities for Preschoolers

Here is a list of amazing as well as interesting ocean 🐬 activities you can engage in with your little ocean enthusiasts.

Sea Shell Scavenger Hunting Adventure 

My kids love hunting down the prettiest seashells 🐚 for me whenever we are on a walk by the seaside. 

After returning from vacations, my little ones and I love painting 🎨 these seashells alongside decorating them with glitters, craft papers, and stickers.

We usually utilize vibrant and bright acrylic colors for this purpose, with glitters in the shades of golden ✨️or silver. We also use marker pens to draw mermaids, dolphins 🐬, and even submarines on the surface of these seashells.

Moreover, I love hiding these seashells in different corners of the house for my little detectives to hunt down these shells 🐚 and collect them in a basket 🧺 for me.

Learn About The Marine Animals

The ocean is home to several spectacular marine organisms 🐑 that we never miss out on, leaving us awestruck at their existence.

Starting from wriggly octopuses πŸ™ to ferocious sharks 🦈 , my little preschooler loves to learn about them.

This ocean 🌊 activity takes my little one on an adventure to discover the marine buddies of the ocean while learning the English alphabet at the same time.

What you need- 

Cutouts of the outlines of different kinds of marine animals, cutouts of alphabets, marker pens, pencil colors, and a bowl.

Steps:

  • My little preschooler starts off by coloring the outlines of octopuses πŸ™, fishes 🐟, crabs πŸ¦€, dolphins 🐬 , and several other marine organisms.
  • I jumble up the cutouts of alphabets in a bowl and ask my little preschooler to spell out the names of the cutouts of organisms we had just colored.
  • My little one has a great time putting the alphabet πŸ”‘ together to discover the name of her favorite marine buddy.
  • I use markers to write numbers πŸ”’ on these cutouts and ask my little preschooler to arrange these numbers in ascending and descending orders, turn by turn.

Pro tip 

You can also teach your little one about marine organisms by making octopuses πŸ™, sharks 🦈, or turtles 🐒 using playdough.

Make A Submarine 

I am a big fan of scuba 🀿 diving because nothing feels more charismatic than meeting marine buddies 🦞 underwater in their natural habitat.

My daughter loves this mini version of a submarine that I created for her.

What you need-

A bottle of vinegar, a small amount of baking soda, an empty plastic bottle or plastic cup πŸ₯€, a straw, tape or glue, and a big tub filled with water.

Steps:

  • I carefully draw the outline of a submarine (big enough in accordance with the bottle’s dimensions) on a piece of art paper and ask my little mariners to color 🎨 it on both sides as they wish. 
  • I cover this cutout of the submarine with transparent tape or cellophane paper so that it becomes water resistant. 
  • I stick this submarine cutout on the body of a plastic bottle or plastic cup πŸ₯€ using glue or tape.
  • I carefully made a very small hole at the base of this plastic bottle, making sure that a straw could pass easily through it. 
  • I put a plastic straw inside this small hole, making sure that half of it is positioned outside the bottle’s body.
  • I proceed to fix this plastic straw in this particular position using glue or waterproof tape.
  • After this whole submarine setup dries up well, I place my thumb on the straw to close it and proceed to unfasten the cap of the bottle (similarly, you can take off the plastic cup’s πŸ₯€ covering or lid if you’re using a coffee or milkshake cup), and put baking soda into it. 
  • Following this step, I proceeded to add a sufficient amount of white vinegar and fasten the plastic cap quickly prior to removing my thumb from the plastic straw’s open end and positioning the submarine on the surface of the tub of water. 
  • The famous magical reaction occurring between the sufficient quantity of baking soda and vinegar proceeds to create carbon dioxide released swiftly in the form of an interesting fizz 🫧 through the straw’s open end. 

This release of the gas carbon dioxide 🫧 creates a sufficient pressure which pushes the plastic bottle submarine forward in the tub of water. 

My daughter is extremely amused 🀩 watching this whole setup resembling a self-powered submarine moving swiftly on the surface of the water. I add some toys or mini plastic models of dolphins 🐬 , octopuses πŸ™ , sharks, fishes, turtles 🐒, and mermaids πŸ§œβ€β™€οΈ in the tub too.

Important Note:

I will advise all parents to perform this experiment while keeping their little mariners under strict supervision. Please do not let ☠️your little ones carelessly play with baking soda or vinegar.

Read Books About the Ocean

Even though technical modernization is rising swiftly, a huge part of the ocean 🌊 is still undiscovered.

My preschooler is always curious to learn 🧐 about the ocean and its inhabitants. We read and go over a lot of articles, storybooks πŸ“š , picture books, encyclopedias, and activity books related to the theme of the ocean 🐠 quite often.

Here are a few ocean-themed books πŸ“š my little ones and I love to read:

Important Note:

I will advise all parents to carefully go through the contents of any book πŸ“– before allowing their little ocean researchers to read it just to be aware that the contents of the books are suitable βœ…οΈ according to the age group of your little ones.

Learn About Corals

Did you know that corals πŸͺΈ are extremely important to sustain the spectacular life in the oceans around the world?

There are numerous educational campaigns taking place all over the world to educate the next generation about the importance of conservation βœ…οΈ of coral reefs.

My preschooler loves to learn about the small fishes 🐟 that take shelter in the beautiful and mesmerizing spread of coral πŸͺΈ reefs.Β 

Ocean Sport Activities 

My preschooler and I enjoy engaging in wonderful activities like boating 🚒, fishing 🎣, kayaking, and other water sports available at seasides.

These activities help to improve my little ones’ motor skills and create wonderful memories.

Important Note:

Please keep your little ones under strict supervision during these ocean activities.

Watch Movies About Oceans

Starting from the Little Mermaid πŸ§œβ€β™€οΈ to SpongeBob, we have a lot of fantastic movies, series, and shows introducing us to the majestic beauty πŸͺΈ of the ocean.

Moreover, several documentaries about rare sea organisms are a wonderful piece of learning πŸ‘Œ for little preschoolers mesmerized by the oceans.

I will recommend watching Secrets of the Whales πŸ‹ with your little ones because it is an amazing piece of work.

Here are a few movies 🎬 we love to watch quite often –

Important Note:

I will advise all parents to carefully go through the contents of any movie 🎬 before allowing their little ocean researchers to read it just to be aware that the contents of the movie are suitable βœ…οΈ according to the age group of your little ones.

Learn About Tides

The world has always been fascinated by the tides 🌊 of the ocean occurring due to the gravitational pull of the πŸŒ• moon.

My preschooler was totally fascinated 🀩 when he learned about the scientific explanation behind high tides, low tides, and tsunamis. I have also taught her about the names of all the oceans around the 🌏 globe.

I often try to teach my little ones about these complex topics in a simple way. Pictures and videos explaining these phenomena come in extremely handy βœ…οΈ in this case.

Paint the Ocean

My preschooler dips her brush in vibrant shades of blue and white to create beautiful paintings depicting the ocean.

While portraying sunrise πŸŒ… or sunsets πŸŒ‡, we use shades of vibrant yellow, orange, and brown to portray the beautiful reflection of the sky on the surface of the ocean.

We decorate these ocean paintings with glitters, embellishments, and stickers of different marine πŸ‹ animals.

Play With Sand

Whenever I mention the ocean, my preschooler reminds me of the sand castle we had made by the πŸ– seaside.

At home, it is not possible to create one easily, so I used sand to create an ocean-themed sensory tub for them.

What you need- 

A tub filled with sand to half of its capacity, seashells, and plastic models of different marine organisms.

Steps:

  • I fill up half of the tub with sand and place plastic models of octopuses πŸ™, fishes 🐟, dolphins 🐬, turtles, corals πŸͺΈ, and seashells inside it.
  • My preschooler’s job is to search for all of her buddies using her hands in the sand as soon as possible. 

This ocean activity is a very simple yet impactful sensory activity for kids.

Pro tip 

You can also fill up a transparent bag with squishy ocean-themed slime and these plastic models of marine organisms πŸ‹ to create a sensory bag for your preschooler.Β 

Ocean In A Bucket

I just fill up a bucket πŸͺ£ with water and add blue coloring to it. I put inside plastic models of various marine organisms 🐑 along with seashells. My little one has a lovely time playing with her marine buddies in this tiny ocean-themed bucket.

Sometimes, I stick magnets to these plastic toys or models of octopuses πŸ™, fishes 🐟, crabs πŸ¦€, dolphins, and turtles. 

I tie another piece of a bar or horseshoe magnet 🧲 to thread or stick and ask my little preschooler to rescue all the marine buddies from the bucket by fishing them out.

You can also wrap up each toy with rubber bands and ask your little one to rescue them by removing the rubber bands.

Ocean Craft Activities 

There are endless ocean-themed craft activities we can engage in with our preschoolers throughout the year.

Starting from creating several kinds of marine buddies πŸͺΌ to beautiful corals πŸͺΈ, there is a lot for the little artists 🎨 to get busy with.

Paper Plate Marine Animals

Paper plates are wonderful supplies to create different kinds of stunning marine animals that can be used as wall hangings, too. We use circular paper plates and paint them like all the fishes 🐟 from the movie Finding Nemo. 

We add cutouts of fins and tails to decorate it, too. We cut paper plates into halves and attach streams or pieces of yarn to each half to create vibrant jellyfish and hang them on the wall. 

We also paint this semi-circular piece of paper plate cut into half like the shell of a turtle 🐒 and add the cutouts of other body parts.

Hand Painting

I ask my little preschooler to apply acrylic paint on both palms and form the shape of a butterfly πŸ¦‹ by putting the wrists of both arms together.Β 

We press this impression on paper and decorate it using markers by portraying the impressions of fingers as the tentacles of an octopus πŸ™ or as the claws and legs of a crab. We cut out the octopus or crab πŸ¦€ to hang it on the wall.

Cardboard:

My little preschooler loves to create big fishes using cardboard. I draw the outlines of a shark 🦈 or dolphin 🐬 on a piece of cardboard and prepare a cutout for my preschooler to paint 🎨 and decorate it.

Milkshake Cups:

I don’t throw away the milkshake or coffee cups because I use them to make a jellyfish or octopus for my preschooler.Β 

I ask my little ones to paint the cup as they like and overturn it. We add eyes πŸ‘€ and glue streamers to the open end of the milkshake cup πŸ₯€ to create the tentacles of the octopus.

Button Collage:

This is an amazing fine motor ocean activity during which my preschooler glues colorful buttons on the cutout of a fish 🐟 to decorate it. 

You can also ask your little one to thread the buttons on a piece of yarn before sticking them on the drawing of a fish.

Ocean-themed Food Activities 

My preschooler absolutely loves eating all kinds of ocean-themed delicacies πŸ˜‹ I make for her at home.

My preschooler is a fussy eater, so these cute delicacies 🀩 help me a lot while convincing my little one to have a bite.

Here are a few ocean-themed delicacies we love to relish:

Ocean Jar Cake:

My preschooler loves gp relish jar πŸ«™ cakes, but the ones that depict the different layers of the ocean are her favorite.Β 

I use creams and layers of cake sponges in different shades of blue and white to make this jar cake in a transparent jar. I put inside tiny candies 🍬 resembling different marine animals and corals πŸͺΈ along the walls of the cake.

You can also use star-shaped candies to showcase starfish lying on the topmost layer of this ocean cake.

Candies in The Sand:

I just crush my little one’s favorite biscuits in a bowl so that it resembles a bowl of sand.

I hide candies resembling octopuses πŸ™, fishes, and dolphins 🐬 inside them and ask my preschooler to look for them.

Vegetable and Fruit Ocean Platter:

Does your preschooler refuse to eat healthy veggies and fruits just like my little one? You can try to make this ocean-themed vegetable and fruit platter at home quite easily.Β 

To make a boat, I take a cucumber πŸ₯’ sliced in half, place it horizontally to serve as the boat, and insert a piece of sliced carrot πŸ₯• vertically into it. I add a triangular piece of cheese πŸ§€ to this slice of carrot that serves as a flag. 

I take a blue-colored plate and position this veggie boat ⛡️ on it. To decorate the plate, I create a starfish next to the boat by placing strawberry πŸ“ slices in the fork of a star.

I decorate slices of apples 🍎 oranges 🍊 like fishes, and create the eyes using olives and the fins using veggies cut in the shapes of dorsal and tail fins. 

Make A Pufferfish

Little ones love pufferfishes 🐑 and my daughter absolutely adores them. 

These cute little pufferfishes are awesome inspirations for making party decorations. 

I take an inflated balloon 🎈, draw eyes on it, and ask my preschoolers to stick streamers on it to make it resemble a funky pufferfish 🐑 hanging on the wall.

Dance Like Your Marine Buddies

My preschooler and I put on the ocean-themed songs and imitate the movements πŸ•Ί of several marine animals. 

You can move your hands the way an octopus πŸ™ moves its tentacles or the way a crab πŸ¦€ moves its claws.

You can also move your whole body to imitate the way a shark, dolphin 🐬, or fish moves its body in water. You can also practice dancing in slow motion to imitate a turtle. 

Here are a few ocean-themed songs you can groove to:

Important Note:

I will advise all parents to carefully go through the contents of any song 🎡 before allowing their little ones access to it just to be aware that the contents of the songs are suitable βœ…οΈ according to the age group of your little ones.

Conclusion 

These activities help my preschooler learn about the mysterious yet beautiful ocean 🌊 in several ways.

The marine animals 🐠 add delight to these activities, and my preschooler loves to take part in them, too. Moreover, these ocean activities also help to improve the motor πŸ’ͺ and sensory skills of my little ones.

Don’t forget to tell me in the comments below πŸ˜‡ which ocean activity your preschooler liked the most.

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