A fun idea we did with our four-year olds was to make beaches in a bottle. We provided bottles, sand, water, shells and a funnel. The children poured in the sand that they desired, some shells and them water. We glued the cap on the bottle and the finished product is a child made ocean!
I had my two-year olds paint a paper plate red. When they dried we folded them in half and stapled 4 strips of red paper on each side to make a crab. Then the children glued on wiggle eyes to complete the crabs.
Easy Sand Art – using regular table salt and food coloring plus baby food jars. First mix in food coloring with regular table salt. Do not use much food coloring since it will make the salt too wet and not absorb. Once complete, start layering the colored salt into baby food jars. The kids can help make the colored salt. (I have used this idea at several birthday parties and in my classroom)
Cut a fishbowl shape out of white construction paper and several fish shapes out of sponges. Have the children color the paper blue with crayons. Once done coloring dip sponges in paint then press onto fishbowl. This looks like a really cute fishbowl that almost looks real!
Make a fish tank…
You take a Styrofoam meat packaging and use bleach water to disinfect it. Then paint the inside light blue like water, let dry then glue fish, starfish and seaweed inside (made from construction paper). When all done, place Saran wrap over it to make it look like glass on the front. Now you have your very own fish tank to take home.
During the weeks leading up to ocean and beach week, we read a lot of Eric Carle books and talk about his painting techniques. Once we get to ocean week, we create our own Eric Carle ocean. We paint the ocean on a huge piece of paper and hang it in the hall. At the easel, the children use various painting techniques and colors to paint many pieces of construction paper. Once dry, the kids cut those papers into fish and other ocean life. The result is a colorful and creative ocean. We continue to add to it all week.