Educational Ocean-Themed Resources for World Oceans Day

“On World Oceans Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honour our ocean, which connects us all.”

To celebrate our blue planet, we have put together some fun ocean activities for you and your class or children to enjoy. These ocean-themed games are a great way to keep your kids entertained while learning and practising important skills.

Ocean Activities for Pre-Schoolers

Pre-schoolers are always up and ready to learn! They may stumble at times along the way, but it is important to be patient with them as they develop their skills. We’ve created downloadable activities for your pre-schoolers to enjoy and develop their cognitive skills. 

Ocean Patterns

Learning patterns are a great way for pre-schoolers to begin developing their brains. Believe it or not, they are able to recognise patterns before they even realise it. There are many different toys that use colour and size to represent patterns. Clapping and dancing along to the beat of songs can also help young kids understand patterns.

  ocean patterning activity

ocean patterning activity download button 

This printable helps younger kids practice recognizing patterns on their own. The activity consists of finishing a sequence of sea creatures with what fits best in the open space! You’ll need to print the worksheet, as well as find some scissors and glue. Work alongside your child and instruct them to pick the right sea creature for the end of the pattern.

For ages: 3-4 years old

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify and complete the pattern.

Skills Used:

  • Pattern recognition
  • Visual learning
  • Critical analysis

Sea Friend Connect the Dots

You may find it hard to believe, but connect-the-dot-puzzles are great ways to practice your maths skills. This is because pre-schoolers are exposed to the order of numbers and can practice counting when they connect the dots. These puzzles also come in handy for young kids who are working to develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination. 

It’s time for your little ones to get their pencils moving! Below, we have included an ocean-themed connect-the-dot puzzle for kids of all ages! Once you have the page printed, explain to your child how they should go about the puzzle. They’ll need to start at “1,” and then follow the numbers in a sequence to uncover their new sea friend! Once your child is done, they can even colour in what they’ve created. 

connect the dots printable connect the dots printable download button 

For ages: 3-4 years old

Learning Outcomes:

  • Successfully count numbers in a sequence.

Skills Used:

  • Counting
  • Sequencing
  • Number sense
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Motor skills

Freeze Dance Under the Sea

Freeze dance is often one of pre-schoolers favourite games to play. Not to mention teachers and parents also love it since they get a break after the kids are tired out! Dancing their hearts away is definitely a great way for the little ones to use up their energy! Freeze dance can also help kids practice self-regulation. Self-regulation is one’s ability to manage behaviour, emotions, and feelings depending on their current environment. 

However, keep in mind that freeze dance won’t automatically do this for your kids. Think of it as more of a relaxed and fun way to learn that we sometimes change our behaviour to fit the different kinds of situations we are in. 

In honour of World Oceans Day, play your game of freeze tag alongside some kid friendly ocean-themed songs. You can even purchase some fun ocean animal costumes and dance like your favourite animal! Shimmy like a fish or jiggle like a jellyfish! 

For ages: 3-4 years old

Learning Outcomes:

  • Practice managing behaviour and emotions.

Skills Used:

  • Self-regulation
  • Listening
  • Gross motor skills

Ocean Activities for Children Aged 5-8 Years

Children in this age group can participate in activities that involve critical thinking and more advanced skills than younger kids. The following are a couple of ocean-themed games that will put your young one’s brain to work!

Seashell Collecting Sequencing

Sequencing is the act of doing things in a specific order. Most of our daily activities are done with sequencing, some examples of sequencing in everyday life include  cooking, driving, or sharing a story. When it comes to programming, staying in a sequence is very important. Programmers require specific and clear instructions to successfully complete a task. Otherwise, their program will not work!

Many children in the five–to–eight age group understand how to do things in a specific order. The activity we’ve created below analyses to what extent a child understands sequencing from a programmer’s mindset.

Have your kids begin by outlining how someone should collect seashells at the beach. If you don’t go to the beach often, modify the instructions to write about how to collect rocks in the garden or park. 

Make sure your child describes every step in the collection process. Once this is completed, you will need to follow their instructions exactly. The point of this activity is to show your kids where they may have made a mistake or forget to include a step. For instance, they may have forgotten to include that you will need a container to hold your shells when searching for them.

This activity teaches them why sequencing is so important. Tasks are very difficult to complete if there are steps missing or they are out of order in the instructions. If you enjoyed doing this, have the child practice with other activities such as baking cookies or going down a slide at the park. 

For ages: 5-8 years old

Learning Outcomes:

  • Outline a complete set of instructions in the right order to successfully complete a task. 

Skills used:

  • Sequencing
  • Critical thinking
  • Working memory

Ocean Creature Symmetry

Symmetry is a great way for kids to practice their mathematics techniques. This can show them how and why maths is so important both in and out of the classroom. Symmetry goes hand-in-hand with learning about patterns and shapes. As they continue to grow, they will likely see symmetry again in school with art, maths, and science. 

The next activity allows children to practice symmetry by using a pencil to mirror the image of an ocean animal. Your child will need to duplicate the left side of the printed sheet on the right. After they are done, they should end up with a completed sea creature on the paper.

ocean friend symmetry activity ocean friend symmetry activity  

For ages: 5-8 years

Learning Outcomes:

  • Recognise symmetry out in their daily lives.
  • Create objects that have symmetry.

Skills Used:

  • Visualisation
  • Spatial memory
  • Hand-eye coordination

One Wacky Day at Sea

Fill-in-the blank stories are a fun way to develop a child’s language and speech. The game consists of picking a handful of random words to make for a very funny story. Your child will have lots of fun and laughs with this activity, while also learning how to develop more structured sentences.

You’ll need to print out two of our story outlines before getting started. Begin by asking your child to pick random words for the blanks without even reading the outline. Now read the story with your child. You most likely will end up with a very funny story and a nice little laugh break. Next, ask your child to pick words that fit with the story. Read the story over again together and see how different the first try is from the second.

ocean mad lib printable ocean mad lib printable

For ages: 5-8 years old

Learning Outcomes:

  • Find words to complete a story.
  • Recognising the context within a story.
Skills Used:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Creative writing
  • Grammar
  • Critical reading

Ocean Activities for Children Aged 9-11 Years 

Children who are 9 to 11 are ready to take on more advanced tasks to develop their skills. The following are a few activities that are more big kid friendly than the previous examples. 

Ocean Observations

Observation is a very important skill to have when playing the role of a scientist. Your kid may already be familiar with this if they have already been exposed to the scientific method in school. Observation plays a big role when it comes to performing experiments and testing hypotheses. 

For this activity, you and your child will take a look at how sea life is in an aquarium. A few famous aquariums have live streams of their animals, like the Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams and Aquarium of the Pacific Webcams. You may need to pick a few aquariums as some animals may not be as active in one aquarium compared to another

On top of having an aquarium live stream up and ready, you’ll need a pen or pencil and our printed worksheet. The following are the steps you’ll need to follow: 

1) Explain that you are going to take a look at how sea creatures behave. Encourage them to think more deeply about how the animals behave and interact. For example, do the fish tend to all congregate in one area? Are there a lot of plants in the tank? 

2) Play the live stream and give them five to 10 minutes to observe and write down their interpretations. While they do this, make sure you look at the live stream as well. This will help you point out things your child may have missed or not even realised.

3) After the allotted time has passed, have your child write down questions they have and want answers to. Do this with your child and come up with a few questions of your own. 

4) Now, discuss both your and your child’s observations with each other. Have them share with you first. After they are done, you can share your thoughts and what you observed that was different.

5) Next, bring up both of your questions. You can continue to dive deeper by asking your child what they observed that made them think of that question.

6) Have a few predictions for answers to their questions ready. There are no right or wrong answers! The goal in this activity is to use critical thinking and come up with logical answers.

7) Lastly, talk about how the two of you can find accurate responses to your questions. This can be done with some research and the help of the internet or books. You can let your child figure out the answers on their own, or work through it together!

ocean observations

ocean observations download button

For ages: 9-11 years old
Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand scientific observations.
  • Draw inferences based on existing observations.
Skills Used:

  • Observation
  • Critical thinking
Treasure Map Making

Today more than ever, we rely on our phones and applications to help us navigate where we need to go. Very rarely do we see people using printed out maps to get from point “A” to point “B.” However, understanding how to use a real map can be of great benefit to both kids and adults. 

Maps help us develop spatial thinking and understand size and distance on paper versus the real world. It’s also a good idea to understand how to use a map in case of an emergency. Sometimes technology can malfunction, leaving us feeling lost and confused. 

For this activity, your child will be making their very own pirate treasure map based in your backyard or a local playground. Materials for this project include paper, coloured pencils, a pen, a plastic sheet covering, and a compass. Continue reading for instructions on how to complete this activity:

1) Look at an example of a kid-friendly map online before getting started. If you have trouble finding an example, it may also be easier to use an existing app such as Google Maps for inspiration.

2) Teach your child how to read the symbols on a map. Examples of symbols you’ll want to mention include trees, houses, mountains, and stores. After you’ve talked about the symbols, explain how to correctly understand a map’s key.

3) In order to use the map efficiently, they will need to know the cardinal directions of the compass. Remember the compass always points north and it’s the tool that will help you use a map correctly. If you don’t have a physical compass, there are plenty of apps that can act as a substitute.

4) Pick an area to use the map in. This can be your backyard, the beach, or even the park. Anywhere outdoors will suffice!

5) Get familiar with the area you’re mapping by walking around together. While walking, make correlations with what the map shows and what it represents in real life. 

6) Now, let your child play with their creativity and draw their own map of the area you both chose. Remind them to include the map key and cardinal directions!

7) Place the map in the plastic covering. This will protect the map as you continue to use it over time. Other options for protecting the map include laminating it or placing it in a zip-top bag. If none of these materials are available to you, make some photocopies in case anything happens to the original map. 

8) The most exciting part of the activity has arrived! It’s time to hide the treasure. Once you hide the treasure, mark an “X” on the map for your child to see. He or she will work to decipher the map they’ve created and find the treasure. 

9) To put a fun spin on things, flip the roles! Have your child hide the treasure from you this time, and mark an “X” on the map! This will give them even more practice when interpreting and understanding how maps work.

treasure map printable

treasure map printable download button

For ages: 9-11 years

Learning Outcomes:

  • Create an accurate map of a small area.
  • Learn the cardinal directions in relation to your current area.
  • Use a compass to find the cardinal directions.

Skills Used:

  • Spatial thinking
  • Navigation
A Day at the Beach

This activity is much more relaxed and laid back as it consists of asking the child to write about a time they have spent at the beach. When describing, have your child use their five senses to describe the picture they’ve created in their minds. The goal of this activity is to have the young person show and describe their experiences, rather than tell it. Describing an experience is a skill that they will be using deep into their adult lives and academic careers. This is what will be asked of them when completing essays, applications and even participating in an interview! 

Set the scene for them and play the sound of waves in the background to help their mind travel to the beach. If you have the means, you can also make this activity a fun outing by taking them to the beach.

For ages: 9-11 years old

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop their own descriptive story. 
Skills Used:

  • Creative writing
  • Visualisation
These ocean themed activities are fun and exciting ways to get children learning. Experiencing the ocean and outdoors first hand can also teach children things they may not learn as well when in a classroom setting. In Kent, we are lucky that we are always close to the sea but if you aren’t close to the beach, consider planning a day trip for your class to interact with the beauty the ocean holds.

The original article can be found on the Florida Panhandle website.

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