From sand dollars to sharks, kids love the ocean. Underwater-themed craft activities give children the opportunity to learn about sea creatures' appearances and habitats while having fun creating a piece of art to display and remember. Using a few easy-to-find materials--such as old CDs, tissue paper, paper plates and curling ribbon--let your kids and their friends create a fish, an underwater collage and a jellyfish.
Gather some old music or software CDs that you aren't using anymore. Their shiny surfaces are perfect for creating some shimmery fish. Provide the kids with construction paper or foam sheets and have them cut out fins, a tail and lips. With a hot glue gun, glue the fins, tail and lips to the CD. The tail and lips go on opposite sides of the CD, while the fins are placed on the top and the bottom. If the kids want more fins, they can also glue one to each side of the centre, covering the CD's hole. Glue wiggly eyes or a white pom-pom with a black bead "pupil" to each side of the CD.
To create an ocean scene in the room, suspend the CDs with fishing line, hanging them at different distances from the ceiling.
For this project, you'll need liquid starch, construction paper, tissue paper and Crayons or markers. Have the kids tear pieces of ocean-coloured tissue paper (think blues, greens and tans for sand) into different sizes. Dip each piece in the liquid starch and apply it to the construction paper, covering the paper entirely. Once the starch dries, kids can colour in different kinds of fish, jellyfish and wavy ocean plants. While you are waiting for the starch to dry, hand out some ocean-themed colouring pages (see Resources).
Jellyfish are fascinating to kids, as they are both beautiful and a little bit scary. Create a nonscary jellyfish with just a paper plate, curling ribbon, a stapler and fluorescent paint. Help the kids cut halfway through the paper plate (from the edge to the middle). Curl the plate's ends together, making a cone shape, and then staple the plate in place. Paint the cone and wait for it to dry. (Offer kids some colouring pages with fish and other ocean items so they have something to do while they wait for the paint to dry.) Staple different lengths of curling ribbon all around the bottom (the larger part) of the cone, and then curl the ribbons--some tightly and some more loosely. When the kids are done, they can hang them from the ceiling. These would look great hanging around with the CD fish.