Ocean Science


Every year we do an ocean theme. We live at the end of a inlet and our town is used as a deep sea port, therefore it is very difficult to find a safe place to take the children to experience the ocean. Last year I got a large jar and filled it with sea water and gathered rocks, snails, barnacles, seaweed and some small kelp. The children loved it but it didn’t last long as the water didn’t circulate. This year I hunted the second-hand stores and found a filter unit, water aerator and a 10-gallon tank. This is even better because we have a larger surface area to observe and I replenish the water right our ocean front. The children love to watch the snails move and discovered that something actually lives in the barnacle shell. With the bigger tank I can have more items from the ocean shore. I am hoping to catch a few bullheads to put into the tank as well, maybe even some small crabs.


This is to show your students that warm water rises. Fill a clear container of water with cold water. Add hot water with blue food coloring in it to show the children warm water rises. You can expand by telling them that’s how some fish live. for instance whales can live in the deep ocean while a smaller fish would live at the top where the water is warmer.


Place sea shells and sand in the science area with books, and magnifying glasses, pencils and paper, and let the children discover the different types of shells there are. I also put in large shells that were broken, they have many different layers that the children can examine.


We created the ocean with a clear plastic peanut butter jar, water, mineral oil and blue food coloring. The children can move the jar to make waves. Also, peanut butter jar, small shells, small rocks and water when shaken vigorously will make sand.


We make individual ocean in jars. We let the kids spoon some sand into a babyfood jar. We have some sea shells they can add as well as some plastic sea shape creatures. You could add some very small plants as well. Then we add the water and hot glue(teacher’s job) the lid on. This is one way to use up those donated baby food jars, the only drawback being they are glass.

Share an idea you have used in your classroom or at home that pertains to this theme.