Oceans of Fun!

We have had so much fun learning about ocean life!  This is a BIG post with lots of ideas for arts and craft projects!  I have been procrastinating on this one because there are so many photos!  Hope you enjoy it!

So, I am a big fan of paper plate art projects because I always have a stack of them (plates, that is) in my classroom and they are a great option when I am short on time and can't run errands to buy lots of fancy supplies.  Plus, I think they are so cute!  You can make just about anything with a paper plate.  For the little sea turtles and jelly fish above, we used the little plates.  We needed lots of room on our bulletin board "ocean".

To make the jelly fish, just cut plates in half, and let kids paint the front.  We used water colors.  Then, when they are dry, kids can glue the tentacles to the back.  We used tissue strips and ribbon.  You could use cellophane, fabric, or just about anything.

To make the sea turtles, you need a whole plate, and some tissue paper cut into squares.  You also need a water and glue mixture.  Here is my set up:

The students will need to brush a little bit of the glue mix onto a part of the plate and then layer the tissue squares to make the desired effect for the shell.  I always model this carefully for my sweeties so they can do it independently.

After the shells have dried, then kids cut out a head, fins, and a tail to finish.  We added googly eyes for fun!  Aren't they CUTE!!??  I just love five year old kids' art work! 

I think the parent that was helping with this project gave the kiddos a little support with the cutting.  But, we do LOTS of art in my classroom, so they are pretty accomplished by this time of year.  Sorry the color is funny in these photos.  I just couldn't get it quite right.  But you get the idea.

We also made sock-to-puses!   I have to give FULL credit for this amazing project to my incredibly wonderful instructional aide Stacey!!!!!   She thought of this idea earlier in the year and had done this at our local art museum for a fun weekend workshop.  So, we had these in the plans for several months.  Stacey provided all the socks and stuffing.  We just added a few more little things to pull it together in the classroom.  THANK YOU, STACEY!!!  You are the best!

Here's how you can make yours:

You will need socks and stuffing...

and some other goodies to glue onto your creature and tie off the head.

This project needs lots of adult supervision because it also involves a low heat glue gun:

First, stuff the foot of the sock and tie it off to make the head:

Once you have stuffed the head and tied it off, then you need to cut the legs.  It can become a counting activity because you have to make eight legs.  How many cuts will you need?????


Next, you can carefully add eyes and other goodies to complete your  little sock-to-pus.

Here are the wonderful pets my sweeties made:

We wrote about them, and of course, played with them.  It was one of the "choices" in my classroom after the academic "jobs" were done.  The kids were thrilled to have fun with their little ocean friends in class.  I love kindergarten!

We did lots of other fun activities in class, like games and graphs.

This game is available on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Just click on the image above to go there and get it for your darling little students.

We talked a lot about fish.   My kiddos did an excellent job on this three step water color painting.  I was very impressed with the outcomes.  And, of course, we wrote fish facts to go with our artwork.

I got this idea and step by step instructions for the fish paintings from Kathy Barbro on Pinterest!
She is an amazing art teacher with lots of wonderful ideas and great pins.  If you would like to follow her: pinterest.com- Kathy Barbro  and she also has a website:  Art projects for kids.org.  This is a link to the pin about the clown fish:  Clownfish on Pinterest  There have been so many re-pins of it.  So cute!

We also had lots of fun fishing for numbers... it is a separate post.  You can check it out here: Mrs. Byrd's Learning Tree: Fishing for Numbers

We went on a wonderful field trip to the Seymour Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab.  It is a part of UC Santa Cruz campus and it is such a great educational spot for our community.  They do an incredible job with the learning activities for school field trips.  There is lots of hands on learning and it is FUN!  Here is a link to check out what they have going on - http://seymourcenter.ucsc.edu/.
We learned lots about echinoderms and their interesting little tube feet.  We saw dolphins, a Hawaiian monk seal, and many other ocean animals.  We also saw our friend the BIG claw-less lobster!   So cool!  Many thanks to the Seymour Center!

The lobster has been very special in our class for personal reasons to me and especially, my dear friend, Stacey.  So, we had to make some of our own.  We decided to put little hand claws on ours.  Stacey, again, did so much to make this painting project special and fun for our darling kiddos.  Thank you Stacey!!!

And of course, we got the original idea on Pinterest- can you tell I am obsessed?  It has SOOO rocked my world this school year!  The original pin was with a foot print too!  So cute!  Here is the pin:  Pinterest - foot print lobster  We did a more classroom friendly version with just the hand prints.  I think they turned out really sweet.  We talked about the real colors of lobsters (not just red) and students were given the choice to use them as they wished.

Lastly, here is a collection of some of the ocean books that we enjoyed during our studies:

Hope these ideas are helpful to you and inspire some delightful ocean activities in your classroom or home.
Have fun and ....
Happy Teaching!

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