From the largest of the blue whales to the smallest of single-celled planktons, the seas and oceans are home to the greatest diversity of plants and animal species in the world. The seas are also home to beautiful coral reefs nicknamed "the rainforests of the sea." Let preschoolers journey under the sea with these classroom activities.
Have preschoolers help turn the classroom into an under-the-sea adventure land. Hang crepe paper streamers or an old fishing net in wave shapes along the ceiling. Invite preschoolers to paint pictures of sea creatures such as whales, dolphins, fish, octopuses, stingrays and coral to hang from the ceiling and walls. Ask preschoolers to help turn an appliance box into a sunken ship or submarine for the dramatic play area. Fill a treasure chest with fake gems, jewels and plastic money for preschoolers to use while treasure hunting under the sea.
Sand and Water Table
Set up a sand and water table with an underwater seascape. Place sand or aquarium gravel in the bottom of the table and fill with water. Add rocks, seashells, starfish, sand dollars and other sea life items available at craft stores or aquarium shops. Let preschoolers play under the sea and make waves, move sand into piles, hide fake gems, and use magnifying glasses to look at sea life under the water and out of the water.
Invite preschoolers to play an under-the-sea version of "Duck, Duck, Goose" called "Fish, Fish, Shark." When someone is tapped as a shark, he gets up and chases the first player around the circle. Dance the "Fishy Pokey" like you would the "Hokey Pokey" except have preschoolers put their left fins or tail fins in. Play "Sea Creature Limbo" where preschoolers swim like a shark, walk like a crab or dive like a dolphin under a limbo bar. See how low preschoolers can go when they slip and slide like an eel.
Provide paper plates, crepe paper streamers, construction paper and paints for preschoolers to make undersea animals. Encourage preschoolers to paint fish designs on paper plates and add construction paper fins. Make octopuses and jellyfish using paper plate bodies and add crepe paper streamers for tentacles. Create red crabs with paper claws or whales with big tails and water squirting from blowholes. Allow preschoolers to hang their craft projects around the room to add to the under-the-sea motif.