Estimation Station
I got this boat set which included 3 different sized boats and several fish shapes after attending Region 4 Early Childhood conference. The items are from Lakeshore. We put the three boats in water and then estimated how many of the fish would sink each boat.

I left this out as our water table for a month. The kids loved sinking the boats in different ways.

Follow Me on Pinterest



Materials: paper plate, construction paper cut into claw shapes, pipe cleaners, and paint. Cut the paper plate in half and paint. Add construction paper claws and some pipe cleaner for antennae.


Tissue paper collage on paper plate with one foil piece for the shiny scale.


Materials: Blue construction paper cut into a bowl shape, die-cut fish in different colors. Children tear construction paper into strips to make weeds. Glue the weeds on the bowl. Then add the fish.


The kids loved doing these. They colored their octopus (or just added facial features and hair as this boy did) and then glued on 50 cheerios for the suckers. (Good activity for 50th day too).


Die cut fish were decorated with glitter and then glued onto finger painted ocean scene.


Yogurt crabs
You need
1 yogurt container (the little ones for kids are good)
pipe cleaners
paint google eyes
claws cut out of paper.
Children paint container which becomes the shell.
Masking tape six cut pipe cleaners to the underneath (legs)
Cut out claws and stick onto sides of container, sticking out to the front. Attach google eyes and there you have it a crab!
CD Fish
You need
1 old CD per child (you can pick these up cheap from recycle shops)
Template of fins and tail
google eyes
Children cut out templates of tail and fins. Use clear tape to stick onto disks. Glue on eyes or draw on with permanent marker. Children add glitter. Suspend from the ceiling for beautiful shimmering rainbow fish!
Children are given template of seahorse, cut out decorate add glitter. Then fringe spine of seahorse. Bend first tab one way, second tab created stay straight, then third bends the opposite way to the first! Looks really real! Great using colored paper!

Under the sea cave drawing
First, tape paper to the under side of a low table. Then tape green crepe streamers (water plants) to the edges of the table, side by side, all the way around. They can hang as long or as short as you want them to be. Children may "swim" under water, through the "water plants" and lay on their backs and draw sea/ fish pictures on the paper (cave walls). A mat or air mattress to lay on would add to the under water experience. Of course, children could   add stickers, use ink stamps or stencils,  or glue precut out pictures to the papers also, depending on how experienced the children are with these type materials, or how adventurous the teacher is!

Variation: Instead of using a table, use a big, big box as the cave. Turn it over so the opening is on the side. Children may paint it blue and hang the streamers on the cave's opening. Decorate the inside with fish and other sea creatures.

Take me out to the ocean, 
Take me out to the sea, 
There goes a starfish and sand dollar, 
I'm having such fun, 
I've just got to holler 
Oh, it's swim, swim, swim, underwater 
Catch a ride on a whale, 
Don't fear, For the sea animals are our friends 
Let's give a great big cheer! 

Take me out to the ocean,
Take me out there right now.
Show me the sand and some sea shells, too.
I hear a seagull and boat that goes toot.
There are surfers riding the big waves.
And, I'm glad that I came.
Oh, it's one, two, three; build a castle
At the ocean today.

Take me out to the ocean
Take me out to the sea
Show me the foamy waves rolling there
As I breathe in the salty sea air
Let me swim, swim, swim in the ocean
See the sea and explore
Cause its so much fun from the sun
To the ocean floor!

Take me out to the ocean.
Take me out to the sea.
Show me the foamy waves rolling there,
As I breathe in the salty sea air!
Let me look, look, look at the ocean,
See the sea and explore,
For it's fun to dive from the top
To the ocean floor!

Take me out to the ocean,
Take me out to the sea.
Show me the currents and ocean tides!
Let me see where the seaweed resides!
When you look, look, look at the ocean,
Look at all it is worth!
For the ocean covers three-fourths
Of the entire earth!

Submitted by Vennessa
Big fish..little fish
 Cut out a big fish out of many different colored construction paper, along with the same for five little fish. Have the children match the correct color little fish to the big fish. Children are learning the difference between big and little, and their colors

Submitted by Jillian
1.Need two paper plates (small or large)
 2. Have children paint them the color of shells
 3. Place the two plates face to face(the same when you   make paper plate shakers)only staple on one side .
Do not staple completely around the plate.
4. glue a sm/lg painted ball in the center.
Viola! you've just made a clam
For a variation (and open house) you can place the child's picture in the center instead.

Submitted by Chari
Materials:  blue playdoh, seashells, rocks, swedish fish candy or fish crackers,rubber fish acquired at fishing shops, onion/fruit netted bags (cut up into squares), ocean stickers, plastic greenery,colored sand, anything associated with the ocean etc. that can be pushed in the playdoh.
Aquariums are easy to make with shoe box tops.  We always start out the school year with blue playdoh. If you make playdoh like us every month, don't throw it away keep it for the aquariums.  Let children spread as much of the blue playdoh on the inside lid as much as they want. Next let them push fish, shells, rocks, greenery and netting into the playdoh, even stickers. Sand can also be patted down. If you want to really get fancy cover the box with blue saran wrap. Great individual project with lots of creativity!!

Submitted by Karen
The children used squeeze paints (Elmer's Glue now has large bottles of paints that are very easy for young hands to squeeze and use.) to decorate two fish that were drawn on half a sheet of white paper.  Once the paint was dry, I cut the fish out and let the children use a glue stick (once again, easy to use and no mess) to attach the fish to a half sheet of blue construction paper.  I had cut "waves" out of the top of the construction paper, so, we made "fish in the sea".

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white glue
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons borax
Have you ever wondered what fat looks like? Make this recipe and find out. Combine the first two ingredients. In a separate bowl combine the next two ingredients. Pour the glue mixture into the borax mixture stirring constantly.

Submitted by Sue
Needed: Blue napkins, small cups, pretzels, gold fish crackers,
peanut butter

1. Open up napkin and place fish in the middle -- the napkin is the ocean.
2. Have peanut butter in the cup -- this is the bait cup.
3. Use pretzels for fishing rods. Dip in bait (peanut butter) and catch a fish.
4. Eat fish and bait. keep fishing until all the fish are eaten.

(sung to the tune of
“The Wheels on the Bus”)
The fish in the ocean go swish, swish, swish, (Make swimming motions with arms and hands.)
Swish, swish, swish,
Swish, swish, swish.
The fish in the ocean go swish, swish, swish
All through the sea!

The lobsters…snip, snip, snip (Make pinching motions with fingers.)
The sharks…chomp, chomp, chomp (With one forearm on top of the other, make clapping motions with hands.)
The skates…flap, flap, flap (Move arms in slow, flying motions.)
The crabs…skit, scat, skit (Run in place.)

Submitted by Marilyn
(tune: I'm a little teapot)
I'm a little fishy,
I can swim,
here is my tail (wiggle fingers)
here is my fin (wiggle thumb)
When i want to have fun
With my friends,
I wiggle my tail
and dive right in (motion hand diving into water)

This fall I am using the Ocean theme to start school.  I cover my windows with blue cellophane to look like water and make fish and sea-animals to put on the windows.  I made big sea-animal posters to hang over the centers.  I
will put fish posters, sea shells, sponges, books about the ocean and rubber fish in the science center.  We will do ocean art projects, making fish out of paper plates, jelly-fish with curly ribbon and yarn tentacles, star fish with cheerios and paper, sea-horses, etc. to decorate our outside bulletin board.

From Mailbox Magazine
Here's a school of fish your youngsters can create in a flash! To make a fish, cut a triangle from a colored paper plate. (If time permits, paint a white plate the color or colors of your choice, and allow it to dry before cutting.) Glue the tip of the triangle to the opposite side of the plate. Glue on (or draw) a black circle for an eye. Suddenly you've got a school of fish for a special summer display.

a finger play
A whale is not as small as us (shake head and finger)
Most whales are bigger than a bus! (stretch arms out wide)
A whale is not like a fish in the sea (shake head and finger)
A whale breathes air like you and me.(take deep breath)
A whale can't walk upon the ground (shake head and finger)
A whale must swim to get around (make swimming motions)
A whale is a mammal just like you and me, (nod head and point to self and children)
But his home is in the deep blue sea! (make wave motions with hand)

Submitted by Renate
 (to tune of "sing a song of sixpence")
Sing a song of seashells,
There's clams and oysters, too.
Some of them are shiny,
Some are white and blue.

When you pick a shell up,
Hold it to your ear.
If you're very quiet,
What do you think you'll hear?

Get in the swim of things with these fun-to-make edible aquariums. To make an edible aquarium, add a few drops of blue food coloring to a container of softened cream cheese. Spread some of the cream cheese mixture atop a piece of melba toast; then press on a few tiny goldfish crackers. These snack sensations are sure to make a splash with your youngsters!

To make a bag of fish, turn an airtight, clear plastic bag inside out. Cut out and decorate several small, construction
paper fish. On one side of the bag, near the bottom, glue some of your fish cutouts. When these have dried, turn the bag over and glue the remaining fish to the other side. When this glue has dried, turn the bag right side out. Puff air into the bag, trapping it with a rubber band. Display these fish with a sign that says "Fish for Sale--Five Cents Each."

Lake water vs. Ocean water
Submitted by Mary
In class talk about the differences between lake and ocean water. Discuss where drinking water comes from.
For an experiment have students sample lake (tap) water and ocean (tap water with large amounts of salt and blue food coloring in it)water. Have stds. predict which will taste the best. Graph the outcome. Have a digital camera ready to catch their expressions when they taste the ocean water.

(I got this idea off the internet from The Judy and David Page (Keyword to: http://judyanddavid.com/index.html))  It is sung to the tune of the Adam's Family.  My kids have been singing every day several times a day since we did our lessons on "Life in the Sea".

When they get into the notion
They jump out of the ocean
With tail fluke locomotion,
The Dolphin family
Swim in the sea, eee eee
Swim in the sea, eee eee
Swim in the sea
Live in a pod
Swim in the sea, eee eee

I bet you didn't suppose
Their blowhole was their nose
And in and out the air goes
The Dolphin family
Swim in the sea, eee eee
Swim in the sea, eee eee
Swim in the sea,
Live in a pod
Swim in the sea, eee eee

Gather a package of paper plates, glue, streamers and scissors.  Cut each
plate in half.  Give each child 1/2 of the plate.  Cut a long strip of crepe
paper and mark into sixteen 6" sections.  Instruct the kids to cut the crepe
paper on the marks and then glue these pieces onto the bottom edge to look
like tentacles.  Use crayons to make a face on the plate.

Gather a paper plate and a cotton ball for each child.  Also you will need gray and pink paints and glue.  The kids should fold the plates in half and paint the insides of the "oyster" pink.  When the pink is dried they should
paint the outside of the plate gray.  To complete they can glue the "pearl" into the center of the oyster.

Allow each student to press his hand in tempera paint and then carefully press it on a piece of paper.  when the kid's paper is dry have him make an ocean animal using the hand print.  They could make fish, octopuses, crabs, etc.  Create an ocean scene using the hand prints.

Take 2 paper plates & cut out the inner circle.  Tape blue cellophane or
clear plastic on to the inside of each plate.  Glue fish, shells, sand &
"seaweed" to the inside & then glue paper plate together to make an

Take a card board box open on one side and have the children paint the inside  blue and then give each child a precut fish (or have them design their own) have the children decorate the fish with glitter, sequins, feathers, whatever
is on hand.  Then suspend the fish with fishing wire from the fish tank.  It will look like the fish are swimming.  Allow the children to add things to the tank like rocks, plants etc.

Submitted by Shirley
Using colorful cereal have children glue on pre-cut shapes.  Attach a yarn for hanging.  Fish shapes are especially fun to decorate.

Activity : Pipe Cleaner Fish

Materials Required :
pipe cleaners

Instructions :
This is a really quick and simple to make fish for small children to play with. Take one pipe cleaner and bend it in half, create a point at the halfway point.
Open it back up a little and arch the edges keeping the point in the Centrex of the pipe cleaner in tact. Cross over the open ends and twist to create a tail for the fish.

Submitted by Laura
My kindergarten class made octopuses. We traced an octopus tracer onto colored construction paper and glued on Cheerios for the tentacle suckers. They looked great!

Submitted by Deborah K.
Take contact paper and cut our two jellyfish shapes. Pull off one and let children add yarn as part of the body and then lots of long yarn arms. Let the arms hang down. Place two eyes (wiggle ones work) and peel off paper from other piece and place over work. Trim if needed.

Submitted by Sue
(Variation of 5 Little Monkeys Teasing Mr. Alligator)
Five little fishes,
Swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark,
You can`t catch me,
Along comes Mr. Shark,
As quiet as can be...

Four little fishes,
Swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark,
You can`t catch me,
Along comes Mr. Shark,
As quiet as can be...

Three little fishes,
Swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark,
You can`t catch me,
Along comes Mr. Shark,
As quiet as can be...

Two little fishes,
Swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark,
You can`t catch me,
Along comes Mr. Shark,
As quiet as can be...

One little fish,
Swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark,
You can`t catch me,
Along comes Mr. Shark,
As quiet as can be...
No little fish left swimming in the sea.

Fill a clear plastic 2-litre bottle one-quarter full with water.  Add a few drops of blue food coloring. Blow up two small balloons, release most of the air and tie the ends closed.  Push the balloons into the bottle. Put glue around the rim of the bottle and screw the cap on tightly. Let a child hold the bottle on it's side and gently rock it back and forth to make the
balloon fish swim.

Submitted by Betty
Ocean Motion ( to the tune of Hokey Pokey)
You put your crab claws in,
You take your crab claws out,
You put your crab claws in,
And you snap them all about....
You do the ocean motion and you turn yourself around,
That's what it's all about! (Make wave motions with the hands as you turn around)

continue with the following or be creative and add your own:
Swish your eel's tail in..out....sting it all about
Show your shark's teeth...bite them all about
Put your star fish up......down......flop it all around  (spread hand wide to be the star fish)
Reach your octopus arms out..in....hug them all around (hug self)
Put your clown fish stripes on...off...swim all around.

I just make these up as we go and the kids just love it. Sometimes they think of their own versions, too.  (Hope it makes sense.)

Porcupine Fish
Submitted by Jan
l Styrofoam ball
wiggle eyes
l spoon (dixie cups)

Have the children stick in tail, add wiggle eyes and then stick in
the toothpicks.  Porcupine Fish.   Make sure you buy lots of toothpicks.

Bath Mat Fiqueren Ideas
Submitted by Robin
This months' MAILBOX  They have some great fish ideas.  One
in particular that I like is getting some bathtub mats and cutting different shapes like fish and stars and putting them in your sensory table.  I am even cutting out octopus shapes.  The children can experience suction and how starfish and octopus use their own "Suction".  We colored our water blue and
threw them in.  Great success!

Snack Idea
Submitted by Robin
 I am not sure where this was but a cute snack idea is to get some peanut butter, some goldfish
shaped crackers and some pretzels - the stick kind.  Encourage the children to dip the pretzel in the pb and to pick up the gold fish -
fishing for their snack!

O Is For Ollie Octopus Head Mask
Submitted by Carol
This is a project with quite a bit of prep time and I do not do it every year.  On the off year I just scale it down and make a large hand puppet.
This project takes at least two days.
Contact a wallpaper store and explain who you are and if they have any left over wallpaper.  It has to be the vinyl type that will not tear easily.  You need approximately two sheets 30"-36" long for each child. We cut these into large octopus shapes and holding two shapes together punch holes all around the head of the octopus.  On the first day with the children these have to be taped to a table and the children can sponge paint both.
After they are dry we cut large holes for the children's eyes.
The children can now sew the two halves together.  When they are done sewing they paste large colorful ovals with smaller holes cut in them over the eye holes in the octopus.  They glue a large letter O on the back of the octopus head.
The octopus head covers the child's head and the legs dangle way down nearly to their waist.
A whole classroom of "Octopus" is quite a sight and worth the effort, even if it is only every other year!

Whale Watching
Submitted by Dazie
We do a lesson of whale watching with our threes that gives them the opportunity to sew.  We discuss whales and read various books about them both real and fictional.
Cut out duplicate whale shapes for each child and punch holes all around.  The children sew the shapes together and stuff with cotton balls.
On a very large sheet of blue paper I paint waves and a sandy bottom with under water foliage.  We also cut out various shapes of sea creatures, urchins, seahorses, octopus, etc.  We add various items to the paint to add texture for the sea creatures such as salt, sand, wheat.  The children add wiggle eyes to their creatures after they paint them.  We glue this to the sea picture.  The whales are hung at different heights from the ceiling using the sea picture as a back drop.

Following cross curricular ideas submitted by Cherilyn
Oyster with pearl
Let the kids paint the *inside* of 2 paper plates - Add glitter if you want - then have them glue a marble in the center of one of the plates.  Staple the plates together at one edge and VIOLA!!  You have an oyster complete with a *pearl*...

In a clear plastic cup fill bottom (about 1/4) with crumbled Oreos.  Fill the rest of the cup with blue Jell-O and refrigerate.  When almost set add gummy fish to the blue Jell-O and you have the ocean in a cup!

THE WHALES (tune of I'm a little teapot)
I'm a humpback whale,
I'm very strong.
I leap about
And sing a song.
I like to eat my fill
In the Northern Sea.
But in the winter,
South I flee.

I am a beluga,
I'm all white.
From head to tail
I'm quite a sight.
You can hear me singing
Way up north,
Playing and swimming
Back and forth.

I'm a mighty orca
Black and white.
In the sea
I'm a beautiful sight.
I'm not very big,
But I am sleek.
I hunt for my food
Cause I have teeth.

I'M A BIG WHALE( Clementine)
I am swimming, I am swimming,
I am swimming in the sea.
I'm a big whale and I'm swimming
I am swimming in the sea.

I am singing , I am singing,
I am singing in the sea.
I'm a big whale and I'm singing,
I am singing in the sea.

I am spouting, I am spouting,
I am spouting in the sea.
I'm a big whale and I'm spouting,
I am spouting in the sea.

Title: Pond Life
Submitted by Michelle
We are doing a pond life unit right now, and I was stuck for a microscope to look at all the critters in the water. I found a glass (or clear plastic) container and put 1/2 inch of pond water in it and put that on the glass of an overhead projector, turned it on, and viola! Instant large screen projected "microscope!!" The kids loved it! I stapled up sheets of white butcher paper for the kids to circle the creatures they "discover" and write their names by what they circle. One little girl followed a bug swimmer with her marker wherever it went and had such fun!

Use literature tied in with songs
"Baby Beluga" Book and CD were used with this lesson
Make a whale picture for art- Materials needed :a cut out of whale (use white for baby beluga) a half sheet of blue construction paper preferably in variegated shades for water (cut a whole sheet in half using rippled effect), a paper fastener, wiggly eyes, a glittery pipe cleaner, tempera paint in white and colors of choice
Steps:  Have children glue wiggly eye on whale cut out.  Bend pipe cleaner in half and twirl the two ends glue to  top of whales head.  Attach whale using a paper fastener to blue sheet of construction paper.  Put glue along three sides of half sheet of construction paper (the three straight edges) and glue over the whale hiding paper fastener  This idea comes from a Mailbox magazine .While doing this project we realized there wasn't enough creativity from the children so we had the children sponge paint the foundation  paper in white for clouds and use a cut out of a fish sponge to paint fish on the water section   When these were finished they were really cute.



Visit my Teachers Pay Teacher's Store

Home | Theme Lesson Plan Activities |
|Contact Us | All About Peggy Drake and Upcoming Speaking/Exhibiting Conferences

Web design and graphics by Riverdancer Designs

© Hummingbird Educational Resources. All rights reserved