Ocean Art Activities
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Ocean Art Activities!!!

My very favorite thing to make is a bulletin board using the octopus, starfish, paper plate fish, jellyfish and seahorse activities. Cover the bulletin board with blue paper. Add torn tissue paper to the bottom to simulate gravel. (I like to use lots of bright colors!) Take paper streamers and staple them at the bottom then twist to make seaweed. I usually use a grouping of 3 or 4 to be more realistic. Add a caption of your choice. (I usually do this unit as the last unit of the school year and put something like: "Diving into Summer!" I also leave it up over the Summer and when I get back to school, I simply change the heading to "Mrs. Ayers' Catch of the Year!" I just make some beautiful color fish on my computer and put a child's name on each one.) For a real nice touch, add a fish net to the board!

Sea Scenes

You will need the following materials:

old crayons cheese grater construction paper pencils scissors wax paper newspaper iron glue

  1. Have students take turns grating the old crayons. Suggest that they keep the different colors in separate piles.
  2. Pass out colored construction paper and demonstrate how to sketch and cut out fish, plants, and other sea life shapes.
  3. Provide each child with two large pieces of wax paper (the same size). Have them place one piece of wax paper on the table and arrange their construction paper shapes on it.
  4. Show students how to sprinkle the grated crayons on the construction paper shapes for texture and additional color. Help students carefully place the second piece of wax paper over the first.
  5. Cover students' aquariums with a sheet of newspaper. Then lightly apply a warm iron to melt the crayon gratings and seal the wax paper.
  6. Have students cut strips of construction paper to glue around the edges of their aquariums.
  7. Display these in a window or near a window so that the light can shine through!
Variation: A similar effect can be achieved by using colored tissue paper and clear contact paper.


You will need the following materials:

sand large jars with covers food dye (red, blue, green, yellow) plastic spoons clear plastic glasses or glass jars narrow tools such as knitting needles

  1. Fill four jars with sand, leaving enough empty space at the top to shake the sand when the jar is covered.
  2. Squeeze about ten drops of different-colored food dye into each jar, cover the jar, and let a child shake it until the sand is colored.
  3. Demonstrate how to spoon layers of different-colored sand into clear cups or jars. The more contrasting layers, the prettier the finished product will be. If they are using jars or bottles with covers, it's best to fill them almost to the top.
  4. Show the children how to make interesting designs by poking the point of a knitting needle down the side of the jar or cup, allowing the colors on top to penetrate down to lower layers. By moving the point in different ways, you can create a variety of patterns.

Fabulous Fish

You will need the following materials:

3 paper plates per student cray pas tempera paint stapler newspaper

  1. Paint 2 paper plates the same color. Paint the third plate a different color.
  2. When dry, cut a "V" out of the 2 plates that are the same color. Cut the third plate in half.
  3. Use the pieces from the "V" to make the top and bottom fins. Staple these between the 2 plates that are the same color. Use the third plate that is cut in half as back fins.
  4. Once all pieces are stapled in place, use cray pas to add designs to the fish. Stuff with newspaper to add a 3-D effect.
  5. Hand these beautiful fish from the ceiling or add to the bulletin board. A nice touch to add is a fish net.

You will need the following materials:

octopus pattern green paint toothbrush styrofoam circles glue

  1. Take the octopus pattern and splatter paint green using the toothbrush.
  2. Once dry, cut out the octopus and glue styrofoam circles as suction cups to the tentacles.
  3. When glue is dry, add these to the bulletin board.


You will need the following materials:

seahorse pattern paper streamers glue crayons

  1. Take the seahorse pattern and color.
  2. Cut out seahorse and add paper streamers by gathering them every inch or so at the spine of the seahorse. (The spine should have a 3-D effect.)
  3. When glue is dry, add these to the bulletin board.


You will need the following materials:

starfish pattern Cheerios glue

  1. Take the starfish pattern and cut out.
  2. Glue Cheerios all over the starfish giving it a textured look.
  3. When glue is dry, add these to the bulletin board.


You will need the following materials:

small paper plates curling ribbon flourescent paints stapler

  1. Take the paper plate and cut halfway down the middle.
  2. Bring the two end together and staple the plate into a cone shape.
  3. Paint the cone shape.
  4. Add curling ribbon to the plate at regular intervals. Staple or glue in place. Curl the ribbon. This will make the tentacles.
  5. When dry, hang from the ceiling or add to the bulletin board.

Fish Rubbings

You will need the following materials:

tagboard fish shapes crayons paper crayons

  1. Place the fish shapes on the art table along with paper and crayons.
  2. The children can create desings by placing a tagboard fish beneath a piece of paper and rubbing over the top of the paper with a crayon.

Fish Sponge Painting

You will need the following materials:

fish shaped sponges tempera paint paper

  1. Place the sponges on the art table with paper and several shallow trays of paint.
  2. Use thick tempera paint the color of fish.
  3. Also provide paper.
  4. The children can make prints by dipping the sponges into the paint and then pressing them onto paper.

Facts About Fish Poster

You will need the following materials:

two paper plates per child scissors glue one piece large blue construction paper per child one extra piece of construction paper to cut "scales"

  1. Cut one paper plate into three pieces. Cut in half. Then one half, cut in half again.
  2. Glue the three fins (3 pieces of the cut plate) onto a second plate.
  3. Color a gill, an eye, and a mouth on the fish.
  4. Glue some "scales" onto the fish.
  5. Glue the fish onto blue construction paper.
  6. Cut out some "bubbles" and write fish facts on each bubble. Glue the bubbles near the fish's mouth.

Fish Stick Puppets

  • Students can trace and cut out fish shapes using a pattern. Have them paint and glue the fish shapes onto large craft sticks. Use puppets for fingerplays or songs.
  • Paper Strip Fish Bracelets

  • Cut strips of paper about 1" X 8". Students may draw fish faces in the center of the paper strip and add details such as gills, scales, and fins. Help students cut one 1/2" slot at the top near the left hand side approximately 1 1/2" from the end.(slot A) Cut another slit on the right side at the bottom at approximately 1 1/2" starting at the bottom. (slot B)
  • Slip slot A into slot B to make the fish. 2" X 18" strips may be made into headbands.