Ocean Life Theme for Preschool

This Ocean Life Preschool Theme page is filled with preschool lesson plans, activities and ideas for your classroom.

There are so many more activities and ideas that can be added to this theme!  

Go for it!  Add your seashells, fish and other theme ideas to create a month long Beach or Ocean Theme!

You'll find more themes to help you with your planning on my preschool themes page.

Ocean Life Preschool Theme

Let the Theme Planning Begin!

You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.

Ocean Life Theme Art

Act Activity from Ocean Life Preschool Theme

Magnetic Painting

Materials Needed: metal cookie sheets, a few unit blocks, paint, round ball shaped magnets, magnet wants, paper

Place paper in the cookie sheet. Place different colors of paint on the paper.

Place the magnet balls on the paper.

Place the cookie sheet on a few unit blocks to elevate it.

The children place the magnet wand under the cookie sheet and move it around to move the magnets through the paint!

Ocean Life Painting

Materials Needed: Provide blue and green finger paint. They can make waves. When dried, glue on fish stickers!

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Ocean Life Theme Block Center Ideas

Add ocean life stuffed animals for the children to build coral reefs for!

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Ocean Life Theme Circle Time Ideas

Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!

What Doesn't Belong

Materials Needed: Provide 4 pictures of ocean items and one unrelated (such as a bicycle). Ask which does not belong. Bring a lot of pictures to play over and over.

Where Does Sand Come From

Materials needed: Metal coffee cans, rocks, paper towels

Place the paper towel around the rock. Place it in the can and cover it. The children take turns shaking the can. When you remove the rock from the can and unwrap it, you'll see sand in the towel!

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Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Ocean Life Theme!

Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation!

Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific theme questions while making these fun snacks!

Go Fishing!

Ingredients and Items needed: celery stalks (cut into 4-inch pieces), cream cheese, goldfish crackers, plastic knife

Put cream cheese in a bowl and gold fish in another.

The children spread the cream cheese onto the celery and then place some goldfish on top.

Starfish Cookies

Ingredients and Items Needed: Bread, butter, grated cheese, star shaped cookie cutters

The children use the cookie cutter on the bread. Then spread butter on their star and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Toast them in the oven and eat when cool.

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Ocean Life Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area

Going to the Beach

Provide beach bags that are packed with towels, sunglasses, visors, pails, shovels, empty suntan lotion containers, plastic snack food, swimmies and other items you can think of!

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Ocean Life Theme Ideas for Your Easel--

More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom)!

Fish Rubbings Activity from the Ocean Life Preschool Theme

Fish Rubbings

Tape different sized paper fish on the easel. Hang a large piece of white paper over them. Provide crayons with the paper peeled off. Show the children how to rub the paper with the sides of the crayons.

Encourage the children to count how many fish they discovered.

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Ocean Life Theme Large Group Activities

to help your children build their muscles while they have fun together!

Ocean Life In the Dell!

Play an ocean life version of Farmer in the Dell:

The shark under the sea, the shark under the sea.

Splish, Splash, Splish, Splash

The shark under the sea.

The shark takes an octopus,

The octopus takes a hermit crab,

The hermit crab takes lobster, Etc.

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Ocean Life Theme Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Area

Flannel Stories

5 Little Seashells

In advance, make 5 seashells to use on your flannel board or use real seashells.

Five little sea shells lying on the shore.

Swish went the waves and then there were four.

Four little sea shells cozy as could be.

Swish went the waves and then there were three.

Three little sea shells all pearly new.

Swish went the waves and then there were two.

Two little sea shells sleeping in the sun.

Swish went the waves and then there was one.

One little sea shell left all alone

Whispered, "SHHHHHHHHH" as I took it home.

Book Suggestions for the Library

(I LOVE Amazon, and some of the links below will take you to the Amazon website.  If you do choose to purchase yours through Amazon, they do send me a few cents--which supports my coffee habit! )

A House for Hermit Crab (The World of Eric Carle) by Eric Carle

AN Octopus Followed Me Home by Dan Yaccarino

Eric Carle's Animals Animals by Laura Whipple

Big Al by Andrew Clements

Down by the Bay (Raffi Songs to Read) by Raffi

How to Hide an Octopus and Other Sea Creatures (Reading Railroad) by Ruther Heller

Ibis: A True Whale Story (Wiggleworks) by John Himmelman

Little Fish, Big Fish (Cartwheel Books) by Frank Asch

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Seahorse (A Science I can read book) by Robert a. Morris

Swimmy by Leo Lionni

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Ocean Life Theme Math and Manipulatives Ideas 

to help your preschoolers develop math skills and those small muscles in their hands!

Sea Shell Sorting

Provide a large variety of shells for the children to sort by color, size, texture, etc.

Milk Cap Game

Use milk caps to stick ocean life stickers onto. Flip over the milk caps to play a fun memory game.

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Ocean Life Theme Music and Movement Ideas 

to get your preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

Fish Freeze Dance

The children should "swim" while the music is playing and then freeze when it stops.


5 Little Fishes

This is a take on 5 Little Monkeys!

Five little fishes swimming in the sea.

Teasing Mr. Shark: You cant catch me!

Along came Mr. Shark as quiet as could be and........SNAP!

Four little fishes swimming in the sea... continue until no little fishes are swimming in the sea!

5 Little Fish (sung to 5 Little Ducks)

Five little fish went swimming one day.

Over the sea and far away.

When the mommy fish called "Come back! Come back!"

Only four little fish came swimming back.

Continue the song until no little fish came back and then sing,

"then a great big whale came swimming past and five little fish swam back so fast!"

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Ocean Life Theme Ideas for Your Sand and Water Table!

Sink or Float?

Have items available for the children to use to see if they will sink or float in your water table.

Some suggestions: paper clip, sponge, crayon, plastic straw, etc.

Have the children guess if it will sink or float before dropping it in.

Sand Table

Materials: Add seashells and plastic sea animals to your sand table for some fun.

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Ocean Life Theme Science Ideas for Your Preschool Scientists in Training!

Discovery Bottles

Materials Needed: Clear soda bottles make great discovery bottles. You can use small water bottles or large 2-liter bottles!

Wave Bottle: Fill bottle about half full with water. Add a few drops of blue food coloring and shake well. Fill the rest of the jar with mineral oil...fill this right to the top. Hot glue the top on. Hold the bottle sideways and gently tip it to create waves.

Extension: You can add sequins or sequin fish shapes for fun also! We've also added plastic sea animals such as sharks or other fish.

I Spy Bottle:

Fill a plastic bottle with sand. Drop ocean items or any familiar items into it. When the children turn the the bottle around, encourage them to name the items they see.

Magnetic Fishing Fun from the Ocean Life Preschool Theme

Magnetic Fish

Materials needed: Pre-cut fish, paper clips, rulers or dowel rods, magnetic circles

Tie one end of yarn to the edge of the ruler. Tie a magnetic circle onto the other end of the yarn.

Attach a paper clip to each of the pre-cut fish.

Go fishing!

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Writing Activity Ideas for your Ocean Life Theme!

Ocean Life Stencils

Materials Needed: Different themed stencils, colored pencils and paper

Encourage the children to tell stories about their pictures and write them down.

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