Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ocean/Beach Theme Ideas

Since it is summer time....I thought I would give some ideas for an Ocean/Beach theme!  I'll start with just a few books for your theme.
Books we like to read:
 "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell"  by Lucille Colandro  (print and laminate/velcro items from the story to retell the story on a flannel board or give each child a picture to bring up at the right time in the story)

"Somewhere in the Ocean"    by Jennifer Ward
"Rainbow Fish"  by Marcus Pfister
"Commotion in the Ocean"  by David Wojtowycz


Slippery Fish (We use velcro/laminated pictures of a little fish, tuna, octopus,     shark and a whale to help us tell the story) 

Slippery Fish, Slippery fish....swimming in the water (hands together in front of you swimming fish style)
Slippery Fish, Slippery fish....GULP, GULP, GULP! (alternate hands on throat in swallowing motion)
OH NO!  It's been eaten by a.....  Hands on cheeks...worried)
Tuna Fish, Tuna Fish.....jumping in the water  (hands together...fingers pointing up...make a jumping motion)
Tuna fish, Tuna  Fish....Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
OH NO! It's been eaten by an....
Octopus, Octopus...squiggling in the water  (Squiggle arms around like tentacles)
Octopus, Octopus..Gulp, gulp, gulp
OH NO! It's been eaten by a....
Great White Shark, Great White Shark.....lurking in the water (hands on head to make a fin)
Great White Shark, Great White Shark....gulp, gulp, gulp
OH NO! It's been eaten by a...
HUMONGOUS  Humongous whale....spouting in the water (sing in deep voice with arms spread wide)
Humongous whale, humongous whale.......
BURP!   (Rub belly)
Exuuussee ME!

Five Little Fishies   (5 velcro/laminated fish and 1 pirate ship)

Five little fishies swimming in a pool.  (Wiggle 5 fingers)

The first fish said, "This pool is cool!" (Shiver & hug self)

The second fish said, "This pool is DEEP!"  (Use a low voice)

The third fish said, "I want to sleep!"  (Yawn & stretch)

The fourth fish said, "I spy a ship!"  (Hand shading eyes)

The fifth fish said, "Yikes! Pirates..Beware!"

Then ARRGGHH wentthe pirates and splash went the waves

and the five little fishies swam down to their caves!

 Five Little Sand Castles: (Use sandpaper to draw 5 castles - print wave pic)
                (You can give one castle to 5 children and have stand up front.  Pick a child to be the wave.  
                  As you sing the song, have the wave sweep over a child's castle (taking it) and that child 
                  falls to the floor like a fallen sand castle)

Five little sand castles built by the shore
Along came a wave and WHOOSH!  Then there were four.

Four little sand castles built just for me.
Along came a wave and WHOOSH!  Then there were three.

Three little sand castles built just for you.
Along came a wave and WHOOSH!  Then there were two.

Two little sand castles built in the sun
Along came a wave and WHOOSH!  Then there was one.

One little sand castle built just for fun
Along came a wave and WHOOH!  Then there were NONE! 


Sort & Pattern with ocean erasers
Grow a Star Fish  -  Trace the star before placing in water.  Use a big enough paper to keep using for a couple of days.   Underneath the star, tally whether the kids think it will grow bigger or get smaller in the water over night.  The next day, remove it and blot dry.....trace...see if bigger or smaller.  Tally again and repeat until you decide it is done growing.  Remove it from water and let kids check what happens to it the next couple of days.  Will it get bigger or smaller out of the water?
Smallest to Biggest Pattern: Have children cut out 5 different sized sand dollar pictures.  Give them a strip of blue paper (ocean) or manilla paper (for sand).  Have them glue the sand dollars onto strip according to size or the numbers on them.
Have You Ever Built a San Castle Graph:  Graph and talk about more and less
How Many (Fish Cards):  I printed these cards a few years ago from a site online and not sure where....I will try to find....but you could easily make y our own.  At the top of each one the say....How many ORANGE fish? The color word is in that color so they can still do it without being able to read.  have them use clothespins to clip onto the correct number of fish.
Color Matching Game:  I found a border with six different colored fish.  Borders are GREAT for cutting/laminating and using for sorting, patterning, etc.!  I cut them apart so there were 4 of each color.  Then on the computer, make a card for each color with four squares that the cards will fit into.  You can play two - six kids.  Mix cards up in middle.  Take turns drawing.  If you get your color you add it to your card.  if gets mixed back into the middle.  Fill your cards first and youWIN!  The kids really liked this game :o)

Other activities:  (No pics for)
1.  Fill a pail with some things you would find at the beach or in the ocean and some things that don't belong there.  Have at a center for children to sort into the correct piles.

2.  Who Has My Shark Tooth Game:  Use something that resembles a shark tooth.  Put a chair in the front of the room.  Choose one child to be the shark.  They will sit and hide their eyes facing away from the other kids.   Place the shark tooth under their chair.  Choose one child to QUIETLY move up and take the tooth and return to their spot.  Instruct all the kids to put their hands behind their backs and be SUPER talking OR shouting out who has it.  The shark then gets 3 tries to ask kids..."Do you have my shark tooth?"  They have to use their words to ask.  This can be difficult for some kids, but they do eventually catch on.  Whoever had the tooth is then the shark, until all kids have had a chance to be the shark.

3.  Four Corners of the Ocean.  In gym or outside, have children run around while you shout out words.  Doesn't matter what they are, but when you say OCEAN, they have to quickly go to one of the 4 corners you have designated.  Count to 3 or 5 (depending on age).  Any children still out of a corner have been eaten by a shark and have to come sit with you.  Play until one or two kids left.  This is a good LISTENING/Directions game.

4.  Turn part of your classroom into a beach area.  Add beach towels, umbrellas, beach balls, sunglasses, sand toys, picnic basket, etc.  Let them pretend to be a family on vacation.

5.  Sink or Float?  Put some water in your water table or in a plastic tub.  Find some objects around the room and ask the children if they think each item will sink or float when placed in the water.  Were they right?

6. Play ocean/beach/nature music during center time.  It will help relax children as they explore all the

7.  Put sand in your discovery table.  Add some shells, magnetic letters, etc.  Give them some sifters and let them find and sort all the items.

Arts and Crafts:

Jellyfish - Use half a paper plate.  Squirt a little glue on and add crinkly paper pieces.  Wrap plate in Saran wrap (blue works good too).  Let them pick what color of crepe paper they want for tentacles.  Very simple craft.

Starfish or seahorse We make starfish necklaces the same way as this seahorse, but I couldn't find my pic.
                                    To make:  Pick a shape you want (star is easiest).  Use a star cookie cutter to trace with permanent marker onto wax paper.  Or you can lay any picture under the wax paper to trace outline.  Have child fill in the shape with glue.  sprinkle some sand (you can use some colored sand too like in pic above).  lay completely level and let dry overnight or for two days.  Once dry it will peel right off wax paper and you can use a paper punch to make a hole and add yard for a necklace.
Rainbow Fish  Use a paper plate, draw a triangle for a mouth.  Have child color the whole plate rainbow colors.  Next have them cut out the triangle and you can staple the triangle to make a tail.  Add a piece of foil (shiny scale).  Add an eye and a string to hang.
Sandpaper castles: Give each child strips of sandpaper and have them cut squares and rectangles.  Glue them on to make a castle.  Use construction paper to cut a sun and some flags.
Colored Sand Castles:  Give child a brown marker and have them draw a castle. ( They can look off of yours if they need to for an example).   Have them paint glue into all the wall parts....not windows.  Let them sprinkle colored sand over the glue.  Add flags if desired.
Foam Block Painting:  We used a couple of our foam blocks, a layer of paint in a tray or bowl for each shape. Have them press the blocks onto paper to create a castle.  Sprinkle with sand....add flags.  Use a good sized piece of paper as the blocks are big.

Ocean in a Bag:  (No pic...sorry)  These are very cool.  Use heavy duty baggie.  Spray a little shaving cream in each bag and a little bit of blue paint.  Seal the bag and use Duct tape across the top to hold together.  Have child lay the bag on table and gently rub the shaving cream and paint together to create an ocean.  On the oustide of the bag they can add fish stickers or ocean stickers.  Hang these in a window and the light shining through really looks like the ocean.

I have many more ideas for this theme, but these are some of our favorites!  Hope they give you some ideas to use with your preschoolers!  Have a great day!

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