Saturday, June 7, 2014

Oceans of Fun!!!

Hi! I'm Ayn and I am a Ga. Pre-K teacher, serving 4 and 5 year olds in an inclusive setting. I share my classroom adventures on my blog, little illuminations. 

Hi Friends!!! School is out for the summer here in Georgia and it is perfect beach weather! I can't wait to get my toes in the sand and relax a little! We take a family vacation to the beach each year with our extended family. Seven families, with 14 kids in all, living in one big house for a week can be a little hectic, but it is also a LOT of fun! There is plenty to do outdoors, but there are times when weather doesn't co-operate or we've had a bit too much sun and we need to come indoors. I've take the role as "Auntie Ayn, Activites Director". I have a few activities at the ready to keep kids busy. In the past, we've tie dyed shirts, made jewelry, planned treasure hunts, made treasure chests, kites...the list goes on and on! Today I'm sharing a few of the activities I'm planning for this year. 

One of the things we'll be making are sensory baggies. I try to provide a variety of materials so the kids can add their own personal touches. Basically, all you need is a strong plastic ziptop bag, some colored hair gel and some packing tape to secure it when you are done. 

This sensory bag has ocean foam shapes added inside.

On this bag, the foam stickers were placed on the outside of the bag.

We used colorful ocean stickers to decorate this bag before we added the hair gel.

This is one of my favorites! My daughter used permanent markers to make a "Little Mermaid" themed bag. It's perfect for older kids who want something a little more involved than just sticking on a few stickers!

Paper plate ocean animals are fun to make and quite inexpensive. We made a killer whale and a crab here. The killer whale could be easily turned in to a shark with different paint accents and maybe a few teeth! 

Another fun ocean creature to make is a jellyfish like we made with paper plates during an ocean unit in Pre-K one year.

We collect a lot of shells, shark teeth, sea glass and sea rocks while we are at the beach. I've taken these items back to school and made some really great discovery bottles. (I wrote and extensive post right here on PreK+K Sharing called "Discover, Experiment and Explore With Discovery Bottles" if you'd like more information on how I made some of the bottles below or would like additional discovery bottle ideas!) I think we'll probably make a few of these summer to reuse some of the water bottles we are using on the beach!

A beach bottle with water, sand, and some small shells...

Decorative bottle with water, oil, food coloring and glitter...

Some of the shark teeth we've collected suspended in bargain brand shampoo. You can get virtually any color you need in bargain shampoo and it works great for small items like sharks teeth because it slows the movement so you can get a longer look at small items!

This was one of the most complicated bottles I've made, but it's really cool to watch the octopus slowly float to the top when you turn the bottle! You can read more about it here.

These are a few of the books I'm taking for the kids this year--some of my favorite ocean themed books!

"The Secret Seahorse" is such a beautiful book! The story is adorable, but the illustrations are amazing!  The illustrations are photos of panels of appliqued felt with intricate stitching, beading and embellishments. (Quite similar to how our own Debbie Clement illustrates her books by stitching quilts and taking photos! Be sure to check out her books here, if you haven't done so already!)

On every page, a "secret seahorse" is hidden. Part of the fun is looking for the seahorse as you read the story!

You can find all of these in my Amazon "Ocean of Fun" aStore:

These are just a few titles that I have ready to pack for our beach week. Below are a few more titles of fun books to read about the beach --- these are favorites in my class!

While this post focused on some our indoor activities, most of our beach fun is out in the sun! One of our favorite things is to take "loose parts" down to the beach! Check it out:

If you'd like to read more about some of our other beach activities, be sure to check out:

Stop by and visit me anytime at or visit the little illuminations fanpage on facebook! And be sure to check out PreK+K Sharing EEE!


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