Under the Sea


If your child is interested in any type of underwater life, or if you are planning a trip to the ocean or to an aquarium, this is a fun and interesting theme day to explore.

Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do.



Search on your favourite music provider for Bobby Darwin’s song (or another version of ) “Beyond the Sea.

Any song from the movie The Little Mermaid would work for this theme day but especially “Under the Sea.”

For something fun, listen to the Beatles “Yellow submarine.”




You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Fish Coloring Pages” (or sharks or octopus etc.) or print out my Underwater Life Colouring Page.



Write out one or more of the following questions in the family notebook or on a piece of paper to glue in your family scrapbook:  What are some creatures that live under the sea? What is your favourite underwater creature? What do you think it is like to live under the sea?


 Choose the level of your child:

¨     Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer

¨     Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.

¨     Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.

¨     Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response.  (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)

¨     Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).

¨     As a Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or a poem about underwater animals or about living under the sea.


Print out an Under the Sea Word Search:


Easy Under the Sea Word Search or Difficult Under the Sea Word Search.


Check here for the answer keys:


 Easy Under the Sea Word Search Key or Difficult Under the Sea Word Search Key.



Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books on or about sea creatures.


Go to the library with your child to find some books about fish or other creatures that live underwater.


Go to the library on your own to find books about aquatic life from both fiction and nonfiction to have already on hand for your theme day.  Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (Search for “Fish” under “Children’s Books”).  Reserve them if you can to save time.


Try some of these nonfiction/learning titles if you can find them:


· Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Big Blue Ocean, with additional writing by Ian G. Saunders and illustrated by John S. Dykes, Hyperion books for Children, 1999 – Interesting book for older kids that looks at things like how much of the earth is covered in water, what makes a fish a fish, what are invertebrates, how does salt get into the ocean, etc. , and it includes some experiments, too.


· Down, Down, Down in the Deep, by Sandra Markle and illustrations by Bob Marstall, Walker & Company, 1999 – This is a good one to illustrate the life cycle of ocean life as it looks at life from 0 to 200 meters/700 feet all the way to 1,000 meters (3000 ft) and the sea floor showing how each creature depends on another for food.


· Exploring the Deep, Dark Sea, by Gail Gibbons, Little Brown and Company, 1999 – This book follows a submersible as it goes deeper and deeper into the ocean.


· Ugly Sea Creatures, by Kerri O’Donnell, Power Kids Press, 2007 – This book briefly looks at eight different sea creatures with one photograph each.


· What is it Like to be a Fish?, by Wendy Pfeffer and illustrated by Holly Keller, Harper Collins Publishers, 1996 – A “Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science” book for stage 1 readers, this is a simple introduction to fish and would be a good one to get out if you are thinking of buying a goldfish as it focuses on goldfish.


Try to find some of these picture books about sea creatures:


· Clumsy Crab, by Ruth Galloway, Tiger Tales, 2005 – With fun, bright illustrations this story is about a crab named Nipper who wishes he didn’t have his clumsy claws.


· Fabulous Fishes, written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale, Peachtree Publishers, 2008 – This book has very simple text (Good for early readers) and bright pictures highlighting many beautiful fish under the sea.


· The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor, by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen, Scholastic Inc, 1992 – The students in Ms. Frizzle’s class get an up close look at ocean life when their school bus turns into a submarine.  This book is fun and full of interesting facts.


· Octopus’s Den, by Deirdre Langeland and illustrated by Steven James Petruccio, Smithsonian Oceanic Collection, 1997 – An interesting look at the octopus, this book has gorgeous paintings which show the story of an octopus and how it survives.


· See Under the Sea, by Kate Davies and illustrated by Colin King, Usborne Publishing Ltd., 2008—My kids really liked this one as it had lift the flaps on each page but was still packed full of information.





Materials: Blue coloured paper, stickers with various fish and sea creatures on them, markers and/or crayons.


· Step 1: Give your child the stickers and paper and have him/her either make an underwater scene by drawing seaweed and rocks etc., or a collage with them.




Materials: A white paper plate, markers or crayons, googly eyes  and glue (optional), child safe scissors, a stapler.


· Step 1: Help your child cut out a triangular piece in the paper place that will be the fish’s mouth.  Keep the triangular piece as that will be the tail.

· Step 2: Have your child decorate the body of the fish (paper plate) and the tail (triangular piece) with markers and crayons.

· Step 3: Staple the tail onto the paper plate for your child.

· Step 4: Either draw an eye on the fish or glue a googly eye on it.




Materials:  Crayons, paper to paint on, watercolour paints, paint brushes, small container of water, plastic or newspaper to cover the table, art smock or old clothes to wear.


· Step 1:  Using the crayons, have your child draw an underwater scene on the paper (fish, sea weed, rocks, etc.).  Make sure your child firmly presses the crayon to leave wax on the picture.  Hint: Use white crayons, too, for some secret bubbles that will appear.

· Step 2: Use the water colour paints to paint the rest of the scene (the sand at the bottom of the sea, inside the fish, and blue water all around).

· Step 3: Point out that the water in the paint will not stick to the wax just like it doesn’t stick to fish scales.

· Step 4: Let the picture dry and then display or glue in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.




Materials:  Paper cups (we always have some left over from birthday parties), yarn (any colour), paints (optional – to cover up designs on birthday party cups if necessary), markers (optional), hole puncher, googly eyes and white glue (optional), sharp scissors (for adult use only).


· Step 1:  If you are using cups that have designs on them have your child paint the entire cup whatever colour he/she wishes for the jellyfish.

· Step 2: Let the painted cup dry.

· Step 3: Allow your child to decorate the paper cup with markers if he/she desires.

· Step 4: Show your child how to hole punch around the rim of the cup.

· Step 4: Count how many holes were punched and then cut that many lengths of yarn (various lengths).

· Step 5: Help younger children by tying the yarn with double knots through the punched holes.  This is good practice for tying knots for children just learning how to tie their shoes as well.  Be prepared for some frustration if your child is not very patient.

· Step 6: If your child wants the jellyfish to have eyes glue googly eyes on now and let it dry.

· Step 7: (Adult only step) Using sharp scissors poke a hole in the bottom of the cup (which is now the top of the jelly fish) and thread some yarn through the hole tying many knots at the end to keep the string intact inside the cup.

· Step 8: Let your child hold and wave the string at the top to make the jellyfish dance!



· Look for any fish related crafts at your local craft store, including stamps or stencils, or foam kits.

· If your child likes to draw check out this books: Draw Ocean Animals, by Doug BuBosque, Peel Productions, 1994.




Fishing for Crackers:


Ingredients: Peanut butter or processed cheese spread or cream cheese or almond butter or any other favourite spread or dip, stick pretzels (or veggie sticks) and fish crackers


Step 1: Put some peanut butter or creamed cheese into a bowl and some fish crackers into another bowl.

Step 2: Press a pretzel into the dip to use as glue.

Step 3: Press the dipped pretzel onto a fish cracker to fish it out and plop it in your mouth.


Tuna Salad Sandwiches in whole wheat pita make for a fishy lunch.


Serve any type of fish or seafood for this theme day, or for picky eaters try some fish sticks.


Make some blue Jello in honour of the deep blue sea to gobble up for dessert on this theme day.




Print out my Underwater Life Worksheet and fill out the chart together as you read books about various ocean and sea creatures or search for them online.



There are all sorts of things to look at and do on this site from the American Museum of Natural History - http://www.amnh.org/ology/?channel=marinebiology

Click on “Fish” on this page of the National Geographic Site to examine 8 species more closely: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Animals/CreatureFeature/




Q:  What type of fish likes music?

A:  A Tune-a fish.


Q: What sea creature only swims at night?

A: A Starfish.


Q: What’s in the middle of a jellyfish?

A: Its jelly button.


Q: Why are fish so intelligent?

A: Because they swim in schools.


Q: What part of a fish weighs the most?

A: The scales.


Q: What is the octopus’ favourite song?
A:” I want to hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand


Q: Why didn't the lobster share his toys?
A: He was too shellfish.





Mimic the movements of various sea creatures:

· Wiggle like an octopus with many arms.

· Chomp some fish like a shark.

· Crawl like a turtle.

· Jump like a dolphin leaping out of the water.





Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows that take place under water or with sea creatures as main characters.


Try one of these family titles:


· Finding Nemo

· The Little Mermaid

· Free Willy


Try to find at your library this nonfiction title for young marine biologists (my eldest son liked the trivia review question game featured on the DVD):


· Eyewitness: Fish & Shark


For a different nonfiction choice we found a DVD about the giant Trident submarine at our library:


· The Big Submarine, Little Mammoth Media.




Visit an aquarium and look for some of the creatures you learned about on this theme day.

If you don’t have an aquarium near-by go to your local pet store to look at some fish.

Go to your local swimming pool to swim like a fish!




Photo: C Wright

Sydney Aquarium


Sticker Collage Scenes

Paper Plate Fish

Watercolour and Crayon Pictures

Paper Cup Jelly Fish

Fish Stamps

My son’s drawing (aged 8) of a Gulper Eel