Easy Preschool Ocean Unit

Both of my kids love learning about ocean life.  My oldest has been able to explore this topic with several of our homeschool curriculum choices through the years, but my preschooler hasn’t been as lucky.  She’s just as interested as her big brother, but we’ve barely touched on ocean life through her curriculum in these early years of homeschooling.  That’s left me putting together my own preschool ocean unit to help her explore on her level.

Easy Preschool Ocean Unit

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The great thing about an ocean-themed unit study is that it doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful for you or your little learner.  There are loads of fantastic resources available to help your preschooler learn about life under the sea.

Even better, I’ve just finished exploring ocean life with my daughter and I’ve done all of the research for you.  Here’s a look at what I found for an easy ocean unit study.

Preschool Ocean Unit Resources

I came across several good primary resources for our ocean unit.  Two of these primary resources are printable packs: a printable pack based on one of our favorite Eric Carle books and one I used with my youngest to cover Letter O when we were beginning preschool at home.

The other two resources are internet-based and connected to TV programming that includes a wealth of knowledge about ocean life.

Also worth noting, this Under the Sea Calendar and Activities pack from Homeschool Mastery Academy would be a huge help. It wasn’t around when I worked through this unit with my youngest, but it looks fantastic!

Preschool Ocean Unit – What to Read

Most of the ocean-themed books at your local library would make a great addition to your preschool ocean unit.  While there’s not necessarily a magic combination to use, I suggest reading a good mix of non-fiction books with your preschooler along with the storybooks you choose.

Here are some of the ocean books we’ve enjoyed:

Easy Preschool Ocean Unit Study - Books to Read

Preschool Ocean Unit – What to Watch

There are several good options when it comes to including TV and movies in your preschool ocean unit.  Here are the favorites in our home:

  • Octonauts – This entire series is great to spur interest in ocean life.
  • Magic School Bus – This series may be not be a good match for all early learners, but there are a couple of episodes that go well with an ocean unit, specifically Magic School Bus Gets Eaten (Season 1, Episode 4) and Magic School Bus goes to the Beach (Season 4, Episode 2).
  • Finding Nemo – This selection is primarily for fun, but is a great way to get your little ones interested in ocean life.
  • The Real Nemo – This link includes the video clip, lesson plan, and study guide.  It’s a great way to capitalize on the interest of preschoolers who love Finding Nemo.

Hands-On Preschool Ocean Unit Fun

The best way to get hands-on for an ocean unit study is to visit an aquarium, but that kind of field trip isn’t always possible.  The next best thing is to present your preschooler with toys that engage and encourage further learning.

Our ocean study was actually inspired by our playtime with Lil’ Fishys fish toys.  If they can serve as inspiration for a unit study, naturally these Lil’ Fishys would make a nice addition to any preschool ocean unit!  They have been great hands-on fun, but have also spurred further learning and exploration.

Easy Preschool Ocean Unit - Lil Fishys

The hands-on fun doesn’t stop with fish toys!  Here are some other toy ideas for an easy ocean unit:

Ocean Unit Art

Don’t forget art in your ocean unit study!  Here are some fun and creative ideas to enhance your preschooler’s underwater exploration:

    • How to Paint a Starfish – This is a super-cute art activity from Art for Kids Hub.  Your little one will love it!
    • Tape Resist Clown Fish – The tape resist aspect of this project is great for preschoolers because it helps them with the clown fish stripes.
    • Origami Sea Life Kit – Your preschooler may need some help with Origami, but this kit is still lots of fun.  My little one loved doing this with some help from big brother!
    • Jellyfish Sun Catcher – I love the use of tissue paper in this craft.  It’s perfect for younger preschoolers who aren’t quite ready for painting and drawing.
    • Easy Ocean Scene – This one can easily be adapted for preschoolers. Just skip the details and waves and focus on the horizontal lines.

Ocean Unit Snacks

There are lots of fun and easy snack ideas to go along with your preschool ocean unit.  One of our favorites is Ocean Cakes and involves a few simple ingredients:

  • white cheddar rice cakes
  • cream cheese
  • blue food coloring
  • goldfish crackers

This snack is easy-peasy to put together.  Mix the blue food coloring and cream cheese, then spread mixture on rice cakes.  Lastly, let your little one add goldfish crackers to the ocean cake as desired.

Easy Preschool Ocean Unit - Fishy snacks
There are plenty of other snacks to enjoy in while you’re learning about ocean life.  Here are some good ones to consider:

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There you have it: suggestions for books, movies, play ideas, art projects, and snacks.  You can add more if you like, but that’s all you need to help your preschooler learn about ocean life and have fun in the process.

Have you studied ocean life with your kids? What worked best for your family? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!

Easy Preschool Ocean Unit

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2 thoughts on “Easy Preschool Ocean Unit”

  1. This is just so perfect for the summer! We have a couple of the Shine the Light books, but I had my eye on the seashore book. I think that might be a summertime purchase for us! The picture of your daughter with the ocean cake is so cute. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Leah!

      Those Shine the Light books are so much fun, aren’t they? 🙂

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