Ocean Theme Fun Preschool Unit

Explore the ocean with this fun themed unit for preschoolers. The unit is filled with hands-on activities to support math, literacy, music, and more.

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What do you love most about the seaside? Swimming? Collecting shells? Spotting a sand dollar?

There's so much to explore in and around the ocean: sea creatures, sea moss, rocks and sand, ocean waves. And there are so many ways to build interest and engagement with your preschoolers.

This ocean themed unit has crafts, games, stories and sensory play to fill up your weekly planner.

Activities are hands-on, using everyday materials, and no printables are required.

Ocean Themed Unit for Preschool

The unit is created with the help of our A.B.C Model for preschool program planning.

Included are Activities, Books and Crafts for a week or more of under-the-sea exploration.

You'll also find creative ideas for circle time with preschoolers.

A) - Activities for an Ocean Study Unit


1. Examine 'sediment' by mixing earth elements in a jar.

2. Place a variety of items in a water bin to explore 'sink and float'.


1. Play a memory game with a homemade set of penguin cards.

2. Go on a scavenger hunt. Hide toy sea animals or sea shells around the room for kids to find. When you find all the hidden items, sort into categories: sort the animals by land or sea habitats; sort the shells by size or shape.

Fine motor

1. Make homemade playdough, or homemade magic sand, blue for the sea, and brown for the sand.

2. Attach blue masking tape, sticky side up, to a wooden board or plastic tray. Place blue pompoms on the tape to create an ocean design. Add brown or green pompoms for sand and sea grass.


1. Create a sensory bin with artificial sea moss, plastic sea creatures, and artificial plants.

2. Set up water play with funnels, spoons, cups, bowls for splashing, pouring and filling.

3. Provide sandbox play with sea shells, polished stones, and scoops.


Related: Fun Ways to Play with Sand in Crafts and Activities

Pretend Play

1. Spread out a blue blanket for the ocean. Pretend to be a whale diving in and out of the water.

2. Make fish puppets and a puppet theater to create and perform sea stories.

3. Spread a blue blanket on the floor. Place cardboard fish cutouts on your blue blanket ocean. Attach a paper clip to each fish. Make a fishing rod with a dowel and string. Attach a small magnet to the end of the string. Try to catch a fish on the magnet!


Down by the Bay

Listen to the Water Action Song







Five Green and Speckled Frogs







B) - Books for an Ocean Study Unit

(affiliate links)

Mrs. Peanuckle's Ocean Alphabet by Mrs. Peanuckle

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Glimpse of the Ocean

Under the Sea Touch and Feel Book

Fred and Mavis by Kurt W Becker

What Lives in a Shell? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

Ocean Animals for Kids by Bethanie Hestermann


C) - Crafts for an Ocean Study Unit

Sponge Fish

preschool sponge fish craft







Rainbow Octopus

fun octopus craft for kids







Burlap Fish

fish craft made with burlap for preschool







Chair Foam Fish

foam fish preschool craft








recycled berry box aquarium craft







Bubble Wrap Fish

recycle bubble wrap preschool fish craft







Circle Time

1. Display pictures of the ocean and sea animals.

2. Create a wall chart – sea and land and sky – to place pictures of sea birds and animals in habitats.

3. Play a takeaway game with sea shells or sea animals.

4. Pack a tote bag for the beach: choose the beach items from a variety of items, including items that don't belong.

5. Shake sand and water in small jars – observe motion and sound.

6. Create a sticky chart using contact paper with sticky side out. Add blue wavy pieces of paper to make an ocean.

7. Make some jelly fish felt cutouts for the felt board. Add eyes and a numeral to each jelly fish. Kids can count out and add felt tentacles to each jelly fish to correspond with the number on the jelly fish.

8. Role play a day at the beach: move up and down like waves; fly like a sea gull; row a boat; dig in the sand.


Bring your love of the seaside to your early learners with this educational unit. Your excitement will make this a fun learning experience for everyone.

preschool activities under the sea theme

Curriculum board on Pinterest



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