Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ocean Week

Hooray for the ocean! We took a very broad approach to oceans, letting it encompass beach animals.

On Monday, we read some non fiction books about ocean animals, and looked at all the different kinds of fish. We discussed how fish breathe under water and how dolphins and whales come up to the surface for air. Then we looked at different camouflage and protection techniques the sea animals have. We also made flower thank you cards. More on those in the next post.

On Tuesday we made and played with a new fishing game (cardstock cut and laminated, with a hole punch for the paper clip so it can be fished out with a magnet fishing pole) :

One with letters


And one with activities:

IMG_6261I had the girls fish for the letters. Natalie was supposed to name the letter. She doesn’t know but 2 of her letters…so we were telling them to her each time. Sophia was to tell me what sound the letter makes.

For the activity fish, whoever fished it out did the activity first, then the rest of us could join in. I did it that way to avoid contention and give the child a moment to think about the task.

The activities I came up with:

  1. Be a super slow snail
  2. Count your shark teeth
  3. Sing a song from “The Little Mermaid”
  4. Swim like a fish around the room
  5. Sway in the waves like a seaweed
  6. Tell me about one animal and it’s camouflage
  7. make an octopus with your friend
  8. Walk like a crab across the room
  9. Be a shark – only hug your friends with your big shark fins
  10. Give everyone fishy kisses
  11. Sing “Baby Beluga” or “Let’s go swimming”

On Wednesday we made Turtle Racers:


We tore up green and blue tissue paper and glued it onto paper plates. Taped on cardstock legs, arms, tail and head. Then punched a hole in the center of the turtle, and strung about 6 feet of yarn through it. Tied the other end of the yarn on the back of a chair.

You wiggle the thread back and forth, and jump up and down, and the turtle scoots along the thread. The girls had lots of fun with each of us racing each other and seeing who would win.

IMG_6267 attached to the chair. IMG_6266

Also on Wednesday we did a fish counting activity. I gave each girl a bowl of rainbow goldfish, that has 4 different colors. Then they sorted the fish, and had to count how many were in each color. Sophia then had to write the number of fish. She’s shaky on figuring out how to write numbers larger than 10, so it was good for her to look at the number chart and figure out how to write 20 and know which number comes first. You also could talk about least/ greatest and more/less than, as you compare colors of fish.


On Friday we made Jello and pudding. Vanilla pudding, with blue food coloring. Then we enjoyed it with some goldfish graham crackers. IMG_6282

And we did some color, cut and paste activities related to the book “A House for Hermit Crab” by Eric Carle


We colored some puppets from scholastic resources, and colored and matched shapes of sea animals, in this activity from And I blew up a picture of a hermit crab (above) and they decorated them, like the hermit crab in the book decorates his shell. I had all kinds of cool things for them to glue on their shell, but Natalie was all about the foam letters. Not the pipe cleaners that looked like anemones or snails, or foil stars. Nope, just the foam letters.

I also found a lesson idea exchange board for each of Eric Carle’s books here at Caterpillar Exchange. They had some great ideas for the Hermit crab book and Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Another good site is, an home school website with lap book (file folder) lessons centered on A House for Hermit Crab- with ideas and links for all of the themes in the book- sea animals, homes, even with a value lesson from the Bible!

Last but not least, on Saturday I went to a twin girl baby shower, where the Big Brother is in love with whales. So I made two purple whale hair clips, and a black and blue whale for him to clip on his shirt. And I put them on a card for the present.


That was our ocean week. There are TONS of Ocean ideas out there. TONS. No shortage of ideas.

The one idea I really wanted to do, but didn’t do, was make sandcastle clay, as seen in Family Fun magazine this month. I was so excited about it, but we have no sand near our house, so maybe the next time we go to the beach we’ll do it.

Music that’s great for this theme:

  • Baby beluga by Raffi
  • Let’s go swimming by laurie berkener
  • Octopus Garden- the Beatles
  • Little Mermaid music

Books: (All our ocean books happen to be Eric Carle ones)

House for Hermit Crab (a hermit crab decorates his shell and meets lots of sea animals)

Mister Seahorse (a pregnant male sea horse swims and meets sea animals that are also taking care of their young)

10 Little Rubber Ducklings (10 rubber ducks get lost at sea and meet 10 ocean animals)

That was our week. Next week: Family and the Human Body.

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