Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ocean Animals

Ocean animals are sure to catch your children's imaginations! There are so many different animals - crabs, jellyfish, sharks, just to name a few - and they are all fun to read about and fun to do projects with! Gather some books, plan some crafts and have some fun!

Here are a few of the summer books I have in my reading bin right now:

"Clam-I Am! All About The Beach" by Tish Rabe (a Cat in the Hat book)
"Curious George Goes to the Beach" by Margaret and H.A. Rey
"Commotion in the Ocean" by Giles Andreae
"Beach Day!" by Patricia Larkin
"George's Store at the Shore" by Francine Bassede
"There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Shell!" by Lucille Colandro

I have LOTS more, and you will find many on your own - choose books with fun language and active words, as the kids are getting "summer fever" and want to move more these days!

When you read a book the first time with your children (always read through by yourself first, if possible), take your time and make the most of interesting words and rhymes, etc. Before you read, tell your children that you want to read it all the way through, and then allow time after to revisit each page to ask questions or notice things in the pictures. Reading should be an interactive experience, but doesn't have to take away from the rhythm and rhyme of the story! Picture books always invite many questions that NEED answers, but, by doing it this way, you still have the pleasure of reading the book as the author wrote it :) AND still having all questions and observations be a part of the experience.

With younger children, or as needed, this process can be flipped. Take a visit through each page before reading the book, making observations and answering questions, then read through for enjoyment. Your experience with your child will steer you to the most effective way to enjoy each book!

Then, each time you reread the book, you will find new things to experience - children remembering words, repeating phrases, rhymes - enjoy the book over and over to stretch your literacy lessons.

When you are ready to make a craft, a simple CRAB will be fun to assemble! All you need is a small paper plate, some red construction paper, two googly eyes and a chenille stick or some yarn. Make a template using the pictures here to make claws and arms - you will need two of each per child.

Fold over your paper plate and color red, if you wish (or maybe they want to make blue-claws!) Attach all pieces as shown and glue on two eyes. Punch a hole at the top to hang or play with just as-is - have fun!


  1. Perfect as we hit the beach! Still have a crab from one of my guys many years ago! Didn't you also do some sort of jelly fish creation with a zip lock back full of "jelly" and streamers attached? I forget what the "jelly" was, though!

  2. love that book! First heard it this year when one of the older kids read it in library.

  3. Guess what? We are having an 'under the sea' birthday party this very weekend - so thank for shairn this with the Play Academy. Perfect timing!