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8 Awesome Ocean Animal Books & Crafts

We’re gearing up for our annual family vacation and this year we are heading for the coast and hoping to see some ocean animals! 


Being from the dead middle of the U.S. means that we’re all pretty excited about spending some time near the big blue sea.

As we’re prepping for our trip, I’m keeping an eye out for some great ocean activities to do while we’re there.  And we had some really cute ones that were shared during last week’s Discover & Explore Animals linky .



Ocean Animals:  Books & Crafts

These great crafts and activities can easily be paired with some wonderful books about marine life and oceans.  In fact, linking a hands-on activity with a book allows kids to experience the learning in multiple ways and concepts are more likely to stick with them. 

Here are some fun ways to explore the ocean at home along with affiliate links for our book pairings:

Enjoy reading Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef as you Create a beautiful marble fish from Fantastic Fun & Learning

After reading A House for Hermit Crab , kids will enjoy making their own hermit crab from Preschool Powol Packets.

Observe all the animals who live in the ocean with this Ocean Sensory Bin from Fun-a-Day along with the gorgeous book, A Swim Through the Sea !

Some ocean animals also live on land as we learn in the fun book Polar Opposites .  This great ocean play dough recipe from Inspiration Laboratories offers a fun way to your own blue icebergs and ice floats.

Explore the various layers and habitats of the ocean when you create your own ocean in a bottle and read a book from one of our favorite non-fiction series — Wish for a Fish: All About Sea Creatures.

My daughter is so hoping we’ll see some dolphins on our trip (“real ones out in the water” — because the ones at the aquarium aren’t real, I guess 😉  Kids will enjoy this Make your own dolphin handprint art activity from School Time Snippets and can learn about dolphins with this awesome photo & fact book National Geographic Readers: Dolphins .

Sea turtles also fascinate me — learn about the life cycle of a sea turtle with this activity from Living Montessori Now and the book Sea Turtles by Gail Gibbons.

If you can’t make it to the ocean, an aquarium is the next best place to visit!  Kids will love to make their own aquarium for hands-on play like the one shared by Adventure in a Box. 

And I just couldn’t pick one book for this activity — so try the breath-taking book Life-Size Aquarium if your kids like those life-sized animal photos or the classic story of  Curious George at the Aquarium with educational fun facts provided by the staff from Mystic Aquairum!


Looking for more Ocean-themed activities?


 Ocean Zones craft and science activity

Create an Under the Sea World & Explore Ocean Zones

Draw a Life-size Whale: Math & Science Fun

Science at the Beach



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Books & Activities for the Beach

Books & Crafts for the Beach