One of the most fascinating habitats for children to explore is the ocean. Marine life is so incredibly different from anything they might encounter in their daily lives, that it captures their imagination almost instantly.
Here are five ways to explore marine biology with your little ones:
Read About It
There are literally hundreds of amazing books that have been published on the ocean. I especially love picture books with visually stunning pictures and illustrations that take your child's imagination on a trip under the sea. But don't forget to include storybooks that take place on, near, or under the ocean. They help your child connect with sea life in a more personal way.
ActivitiesHands-on activities are so much fun and promote learning. Children who do activities (coloring, crafts, art) are much more likely to remember the concepts being taught. And the activity doesn't have to be messy or complicated. A simple coloring book like "Life Under The Sea: Ocean Kids Coloring Book" (aff) is fun and easy to take on the road.
For ideas, check out my Ocean Life Activities board on Pinterest...
GamesSeriously, nothing gets kids more excited than games. Even if the actual game itself isn't very educational, simply having an ocean theme can get kids excited about learning after the game is finished. (Wow! We learned a lot today. Let's play a game to finish up!)
Or you can use it as an incentive for more serious learning by saving it for a reward after a day of "hard" learning.
Watch SPLASH & BUBBLES
PBS KIDS has a brand new series from The Jim Henson Company that will be coming out on November 23rd. It's designed to encourage kids (ages 4 - 7) to explore the natural undersea world. Developed with top marine biologists, you can be reassured that the content is accurate, educational, and super fun! For example, in the first episode, your child will learn about bioluminescence and the ocean depths. (PSST! Four 11-minute stories are available NOW in the free PBS KIDS Video App and on pbskids.org.)
There's nothing like first-hand experience, so if you happen to live not too far from the coast, pack up your kids for the weekend and head to the beach. If it's too far away, or a little out of your budget, look for an aquarium or zoo near you. Even museums of natural sciences often have an exhibit dedicated to the deep.
Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with PBS KIDS. All opinions are the writer's.