Wednesday, November 16, 2016

5 Ways to Explore the Ocean with Young Children

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.

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Read About the Ocean

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.

Check out my list of 15 Children's Books about the Ocean. The list includes excellent titles in both English and Spanish. 


Hands-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 Sea Creatures Coloring Book For Kids is fun for toddlers and preschoolers and easy to take on the road. Older children may enjoy this more artistic and detailed coloring book, Detailed Coloring Books For Kids.

If you're looking for activities a little more challenging, here's a post with 24+ Ocean-Themed Activities for Kids that includes crafts and other activities for a variety of ages.

For more ideas, check out my Ocean Life Activities board on Pinterest...


Seriously, 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. 

Or you can use it as an incentive for more serious learning by saving it for a reward after a day of "hard" learning. ("Wow! We learned a lot today. Let's play a game to finish up!")


Have your little ones seen the PBS KIDS series Splash and Bubbles? It's from The Jim Henson Company. 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

Field Trip!

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.

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5 Ways to Explore the Ocean with Young Children

Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with PBS KIDS. All opinions are the writer's.


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