Since Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” is scheduled to begin on Sunday, I thought this would be a perfect week to dive into some shark themed activities with the littles! Now turn on some “Baby Shark” and let’s go make a splash!
–Eatable ocean sensory play: This one is super easy to set up and the kids both loved it- mostly because they get a yummy snack too…that being said, your little has a 99% chance of eating multiple handfuls of Jello, so if you’re not cool with that because of the sugar overload, just make it with clear flavorless Jello and blue food coloring (I totally should’ve done this to avoid a meltdown when I took the giant pan of jiggly sugar away…)! So anyway, back to the instructions- you just make blue Jello following the directions on the package (we threw in some green just because we had it on hand from previous activities), add in some ocean creatures, then put it in the fridge to set! Once it’s solidified, let your littles play in the sticky, gooey, yummy smelling ocean! I got this from Fantastic Fun and Learning, but used actual ocean toys instead of gummies so it was toddler safe!
–Water bead ocean play: My littles both love water beads, so I painstakingly picked out all the green, clear and blue ones, tossed them in a cake pan with water and some ocean animals (including sharks of course!) and let them play!
–Feed the shark; colors and counting: I made a hungry shark by covering a cereal box with blue wrapping paper so the top was left open, cutting a hole in the center, and hot gluing a shark head over the hole (with another hole cut out for his mouth). Make sure the box hole is slightly bigger than the shark’s mouth hole so they overlap neatly. Then I added teeth by cutting a zig zag pattern in a paper plate that had been folded in half…again, the paper plate hole should be slightly smaller than the shark’s mouth. Then I cut out several multicolored fish from construction paper. As my little “fed the shark”, I told him what color each fish was. We also practiced counting the fish as he fed the shark. I got the feed the shark idea from Fun a Day and just added the color and number practice bit!
–Clothespin shark: Have your little paint a clothespin grey. Color the inside red. Add fins and teeth and let them play! (Watch out- they bite!)
–Shark footprint art: Use your little’s footprint to make a shark (or a family of sharks!). My toddler didn’t want to do this one because he had to go fix his tractor which was “broke”…but my preschooler enjoyed it! He added the tiny shark himself with a finger print!
–Shark “cootie catcher” puppet: If you made “fortune tellers” or “cootie catchers” as a kid, this one will be pretty easy for you! If you have no Earthly idea what I’m talking about, I’ll try to walk you through how to make one… I took pictures of each step starting at the bottom left below! First, bring the corner of a piece of grey construction paper down so that the top edge meets the left edge. Fold and trim off the extra rectangle sticking out. This should give you a perfect square. Fold the square in half again so that it makes an X (left top corner to bottom right). Fold each corner in to the center of the X. Flip it over and repeat. Fold the small square you have into a rectangle so the square pockets are on the outside. Stick your fingers in each pocket and poke your chin in the center to puff it out. Draw on some eyes and rows of teeth. You can also cut the corners so they’re more rounded to make it look a bit more like a shark. Tape the top and bottom halves together so that it stays shut and play!
- blue jello
- clothes pin
- grey craft foam or construction paper
- expo markers
- cereal box
- blue wrapping paper
- water beads (blue, green and clear)
- toy sharks/ocean animals