It’s summer and many families spend these days fishing, boating, at the beach and maybe visiting an aquarium. Here are ways to help children develop knowledge about the creatures that live under the sea.
Cut out fish shapes from construction paper. From old magazines, cut out interesting pictures and glue these onto the fish. Place all fish into a box. Invite the children to pick a “fish” from the box. Look at the picture and try to incorporate it into a fish story they make up. This is a fun game for a group of children or with the family.
Pick Up Fish (A fine motor game)
Remember the game of pick-up-sticks? Here is a fish version. You will need two containers, one empty and the other filled with fish shaped crackers. Invite the children to use tweezers to move the crackers from one container to the other.
Fish dramatic play
Have the children pretend to be fish swimming in the water. Ask, “What type of fish do you want to be?” Tell them to lie on their stomach with their arms close to their side. Now, have them wiggle their body and try to move. Ask, “How would you rest when you are tired? How would you eat? Where would you hide if there were danger?” Have the children describe what they imagine in their underwater world. Act out the following verse.
There is so much activity beneath the sea.
The crab crawls, the eel wiggles,
The octopus swims, the jellyfish jiggles.
Dramatize the creature you want to be!
Fish net mobile
Save one of those net bags that oranges or potatoes are sold in. Hang this in a favorite spot. Invite the children to make colorful paper fish cut from construction paper and decorated with art materials. Punch a hole at the top of each fish. Attach the fish to the net with hooks made by opening paper clips.
Give each child two paper cups. One with fish shaped crackers and the other with peanut butter. Give the children a carrot stick and tell them to dip the end of the veggie stick (fishing pole) into the peanut butter and then go fishing into the crackers. The peanut butter makes the crackers stick to the carrot stick. Kids love to see how many fish they can catch!
Add blue food coloring to a container of softened cream cheese. Spread some of this mixture (representing the sea) onto a saltine cracker or Melba toast. Have the children press on tiny Goldfish crackers. This snack sensation should make quite a “splash” with your youngsters!
Children love fish themes and you can enhance these ideas with books, songs and even movies like Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, and Shark Tale. There is a mysterious and beautiful world down under the sea, so as you are having fun with fish activities, children are learning through play.