Ocean Bottle

Provide empty plastic bottles and materials to place in the bottles that you would find in the ocean. Children add water or sand to make either an ocean bottle or a beach bottle. (these bottles turn out better if you do not add sand and water)

Assess

follows oral directions


Vinyl Cling Ocean Scene

Paint a clear shower curtain or drop cloth with blue for water and yellow for sand. Or add a little dish soap to tempera and paint the scene onto a large window. Provide ocean animal vinyl window clings for the children to use on the scene to tell stories.

Assess

uses new vocabulary

speaks in complete sentences


Water Microscope

Cut the very bottom of a clean, empty bleach jug. Then cut a 3 inch wide ring from the center. Tape a piece of strong cellophane over the opening. Fill a water table with water and place small plastic letters in the bottom of it. Children press the ring into the water, plastic cellophane side down about an inch below the surface. They will be able to read the letters through the cellophane much like a diver can see when he uses goggles. Have each child take a turn and note the letters they are able to read.

Assess

identifies letters


Sea Animal Books

Staple 4-5 small pieces of paper together to make a book for each child. Provide a large selection of sea animal pictures to choose from. Children choose a sea animal to glue to each page of their book. Help the children figure out what the first letter of each animal they chose is by listening to the sound of the word as you say it. Write the names of the animals in the book. Older children may want to write the words themselves as you spell them. Younger children may be able to write one or two letter for each name if you dot the letters first. Have the children read their books to the class as you would read the Brown Bear book (seahorse, seahorse what do you see? I see a crab looking at me. Crab, crab what do you see...)

Assess

knows reading progression
recognizes letters and familiar words


Sand Writing

Pour a thin layer of sand in the bottom of a tray or baking pan. Children take turns writing a letter in the sand with their finger and letting the person next to them guess the letter. Then that person gets a chance to write. Continue around the circle until everyone gets several turns.

Assess

draws simple shapes and forms

writes letters


Sea Stories

Staple together 4 or 5 pages to make small blank books for each child. Have the children choose a sea animal picture to glue onto the front of their book and then have them think of one word for each page that tells about that animal (for example if they choose a dolphin they could say "blue", "swim", "jump", etc.) Have them write as much as they can for each word, dotting the letters if you need to so they can trace them. Children can decorate the pages if they want to.

Assess

traces, draws, copies simple shapes and forms

writes letters and small words


Ocean Diorama

Have children bring in a shoebox and a toy ocean animal. Provide sand, ocean pictures, small aquarium rocks (natural colors if possible), plastic plants, etc. Children set their boxes on the side so that the opening is in the front. (You don't need the lid) Have them decorate the box on the inside to create an ocean scene. Then take fishing line and tie their toy sea animal to the top of the box so that it looks like it is floating inside the sea scene. Wrap blue cellophane across the front to make it look like blue water. If you do this activity late in the month, you can set up the finished "aquariums" as a closing activity.

Assess

expresses own interests

makes informed choices


Beach Center

Provide props for the children to pretend they are at the beach. Provide towels, sunglasses, empty sun lotion bottles, beach chairs, pictures of ocean scenes, and a beach umbrella if possible. Get the parents to donate supplies if possible. The first day you put the materials out, invite the children to come to the center one small group at a time

Assess


Fish Bowl Art

Children decorate the inside of one paper plate to create an ocean scene with markers. Take another paper plate and cut out the middle section. Tape a piece of blue cellophane over the opening and staple this plate to the other plate so that the drawing shows through the blue.

Assess

creates original work

draws representations


Stained-Glass Ocean

Have the children draw an ocean scene onto newsprint paper with bright colorful crayons. When they are finished use a cotton ball to rub baby oil over the picture. After the picture dries for several days, you will be able to hang it in a window and see the light through it.

Assess

creates original work


Don't Sink the Boat

Talk to the children about being safe in a boat. Give each child a small tub of water. Provide a large container of pennies and a small margarine tub lid. Have the children float their lid on the water like a boat. Then begin counting slowly as the children put one penny at a time on their lid. If a lid sinks, talk about why -- it could be that there were too many pennies or that the pennies didn't get in the boat carefully, or that too many pennies were near the edge of the boat. Continue counting as the other children place pennies on their boats, until you only have one boat floating.

Assess

understands safe conduct


Crab Claws

Provide a variety of types of tongs. Lay out different objects on a table and let the children take turns choosing a tong and trying to pick up an object from the table with it. Continue giving turns to each child and encourage them to experiment with the different types of objects and tongs.

Assess

uses tools correctly

picks up objects

demonstrates hand strength and dominance


Rainbow Fish

Cut out a small fish shape for each child. Provide colorful round sequins to glue to the fish body as scales, leaving the face and fins plain.

Assess

picks up small objects


Sand Dough

Mix 4 cups clean sand and 3 cups flour until blended. Add 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1 cup water. Add water a little at a time to create the desired consistency. Give each child a small amount of dough. Encourage them to use the dough to make sand castles or animals found in the ocean.

Assess

rolls and manipulates dough


Water Drops

Place wax paper in a tray for each child. Give each child a cup of water and a pipette or eye dropper. Encourage them to experiment with getting water into the pipette and squeezing drops onto the wax paper. They can use the end of the pipette to drag water drops next to each other. They will stick together and create a bigger drop. For added fun, give each child a different color water and let them borrow colors from each other to mixed on their tray.

Assess

uses tools correctly

grips objects in pincher grasp

uses one hand dominantly


Fish Pinata

Blow up a large balloon. Children tear tissue paper into small pieces. Dip them in water downed glue and cover the balloon. After the glue dries pop the balloon and pull it out. Decorate the balloon with a tail and fins and then glue on foil for the shiny scales.

Assess

picks up small objects


Spiny Sea Urchins

Have children roll a small piece of clay into a ball. Provide toothpicks that have been cut in half. Children push the cut side of the toothpick into the ball all over so that the pointed sides are poking out to make an urchin.

Assess

rolls dough

picks up small objects


Paper Plate Octopus

Children cut a small paper plate in half. Then have them measure and cut 8 equal-size ribbons to tape onto the bottom for legs. They can color the plate to match if they want.

Assess

cuts with scissors


Fish Net Weaving

Hang a fish net over a closet door. Provide ribbon, streamers and large ocean animals. Have the children take turns selecting something from the collection and weaving it into the net. Each group could work on their own section of the net or individual nets. Display proudly!

Assess

weaves ribbons

manipulates small objects


Shaving Cream Ocean

Spray shaving cream onto a tray and add blue and green food coloring to tint it. Children smooth out the shaving cream and use their finger to draw fish, bubbles, seaweed, waves etc. When they are finished place a piece of paper on top of the scene and press down firmly. Lift the paper and the scene will be printed onto the page for saving.

Assess

draws detailed pictures


Coffee Filter Jellyfish

Children use water colors to paint a coffee filter. Then they staple (with help) ribbons around the edge for the tentacles.

Assess


Thumb print Fish Counting Story

Staple 6 small pieces of paper together to form a book. Write "Five Little Fish" on the first page. Then have the children begin by making 5 thumb prints on the second page and decorating them with a pen to look like fish. They add fins, and eye, bubbles etc. On the next page have them make 4 thumb print fish. Continue until the last page has one fish. It is important to keep on top of them about counting how many fish they have on each page. They can use the booklets to tell a story about why each page has less fish. Or they can use it to sing the story "Five Little Fish".

Assess

counts to five

knows that the last number counted is how many objects there are


Water Works

Buy or get your parents to donate small PVC pipe and elbows pieces. Cut the pipe into 3 inch sections. During small groups, give each child 3-4 pieces of pipe and 4 or five elbow pieces to connect them together with. Go around the table and hold each child's sculpture as you get them to tell you how the water would flow through the pipe. Encourage them to use words like "up, down, left, right".

Assess

recognizes patterns

uses positional words


Shell Sorting

Provide a large collection of different types of shells. Have the children take turns choosing two shells that are alike and putting them together in a group. Then go around again having them choose one shell to either add to a group or create a new group. Talk about why the shells are similar or different as the children are sorting. Ask them why they placed their shell in a particular group. Be sure to have plenty of shells so you can let each child have one to take home.

Assess

matches objects

sorts by attributes

describes similarities and differences


Sand Timer

Provide two small plastic soda bottles, dry. Show a real egg timer and talk about how the sand always goes through at the same speed each time so you can use it like a clock when you need to time something. Decide as a group how long the timer needs to be (how many seconds). Then experiment with putting sand in a jar, putting a tornado tube between the bottles and counting as the sand runs through. Decide if you need more sand or less to make the timer the correct time. Allow plenty of group discussion and even some arguments as the children work together to figure out the solution.

Assess

experiments

makes observations

predicts


Water Jar Music

Provide equal size, clean, empty jars such as glass soda bottles or baby food jars. Have all of the children add some water to their jar. When they are all ready, have them use a metal spoon to gently tap their glasses one at a time and hear the sounds. Then allow them to take away or add more water and play the sounds again. Be sure to facilitate conversation during this exercise and encourage them to work together to get the sounds the way they want.

Assess

experiments

makes observations


Sea Scented Dough

Combine 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 ounces cream of tartar, 3/4 cup salt, 3 tbsp cooking oil, and 3 cups water in a large pot. Blend well. Stir in 1 tbsp coconut extract and yellow food coloring. Stir constantly as you heat over medium heat until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pot. Knead the dough until smooth. Cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Encourage the children to make sea creatures and sand castles with the dough during small groups. Also provide shells for pressing into the dough to make relief sculptures. Talk about how it smells and looks. Place the dough in the art center for further exploration.

Assess

observes using senses and tools

experiments

uses scientific words