We love sharing easy craft ideas and while sea crafts and activities are popular the whole year round when the weather is getting warmer like it is now it definitely feels like the right time to start thinking about making some ocean crafts and activities for toddlers and preschoolers!
Whether you live near the ocean or you’ll be splashing around in a paddling pool in the garden, under the sea and ocean crafts are a great way to encourage children to think about the world around them in a creative way and have fun at the same time.
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Under The Sea Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
This post has got lots of ideas for under the sea activities for 1 year olds and two year olds to make as well as preschoolers who are generally considered to be three and four year olds.
Of course there’s a big difference between what a one year old and a four year old can make (as well as differences between children of the same age) so take a look through the list and see what suits your child and most importantly what they are interested in and what you think they’ll enjoy!
To make life that little bit easier I’ve listed all the sea activities I’m sharing today in the same order that they appear in the images below, there’s more ideas than I’ve included in the collages though so do take a look through the list to find some new favourites.
Over the years I’ve also added more under the sea activities to these fun ocean crafts as I know how popular sensory play is with younger kids. I hope you find this helpful!
Like the ideas in this post? Make sure that you bookmark this post or pin an image so you’ve got all these ideas to hand when you need them most.
Printable Templates for Ocean Crafts
We share loads of free templates for kids crafts because they’re a great way to help your child do more creative activities without spending a fortune. For lots of our printables there are more than one design available and you can print as many copies as you like so as well as them being good for at home they’re also great for use in preschools and classrooms.
These templates are the ones which I think would be the best for an ocean unit study but we’re always adding more so do take a look around!
With each template you’ll find ideas for how you can use them or for a super quick activity you can always grab some markers or crayons and use them as coloring sheets.
Ocean Crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers
My kids made these seashell decorations to put up in the house and they looked great on our mantelpiece.
Grab the glue and make this easy paper plate under the sea craft. If you don’t want to cut things out in advance then using stickers would also be a good option.
This paper plate crab craft rocks and is a great way for toddlers to practice their fine motor skills, what’s more my kids loved making them. You could swap the googly eyes out for ones drawn on with a marker if you prefer.
Follow the instructions on I Heart Crafty Things to make some sweet handprint fish and jellyfish.
These paper cup octopuses from Artsy Craftsy Mom are super cute and a great way to practice scissor skills too.
Younger toddlers will need help to cut the shapes out for these ocean animal suncatchers from A Little Pinch of Perfect but toddlers of all ages will enjoy painting them and I think the sharks and whales look fantastic.
Messy Little Monster has a great post on making ocean themed thumbprint animals and there’s a free printable to go with it too.
Seahorses are one of our favorite ocean animals so seahorse crafts are always popular here. This easy seahorse craft was really popular with my daughter and uses a fun, sensory material to craft with.
This paper bag jellyfish craft would be fun to make to play with as a puppet.
Buddy and Buggy’s paper plate octopus craft is perfect for helping with fine motor skills as you use threading to make the tentacles. You could change what you want to thread depending on the age and ability of your child.
Make an octopus using a cupcake liner following this tutorial from 123 Homeschool 4 Me.
This rainbow fish craft would go perfectly with The Rainbow Fish book or you could change the colours up to your child’s favourites.
I made a lot of suncatcher crafts with my kids when they were toddlers and preschoolers and they’re a nice one to display afterwards too. This shell suncatcher craft is made using our printable template and would need an adult to cut it out but sticking on the pieces to make it is definitely suitable for younger kids.
Make a simple resist art fish craft together using our free fish template.
Toddlers can paint this simple sea turtle craft.
My son and I made this seashell wall hanging together with him in charge of the painting and me in charge of tying the string to make the hanging part.
My son made this cute paper plate orca when he was a toddler.
Kids Activities Blog has an octopus craft for teaching the letter O to your children.
The painting on this tropical fish craft by Crafts by Amanda is a bit too neat for toddlers to achieve but follow the instructions to make the paper plate fish themselves and they’ll be perfect for kids to paint on their own designs.
Teaching Two and Three Year olds shares a paint stamping activity that’s perfect for toddlers to make.
I love how the homemade stamp for this fish craft from Teaching Two and Three Year Olds looks like fish scales!
That Kids Craft Site have a cute tutorial for making a rainbow fish ornament.
This ocean sensory bin is one that was really popular with my daughter and we were able to use it a few times with some careful storage.
Make some foam for sensory bins or water tables. We found this was perfect for pretend play with our sea creature figurines.
This ocean slime from Little Bins for Little Hands looks absolutely gorgeous with it’s bright blue color and I bet the texture is fantastic too.
Happy Toddler Playtime shares how to make blue shaving cream that will work brilliantly as ocean waves in your sensory bin.
Crystal from Surviving a Teachers Salary shares how she made a mermaid sensory bin for her four year old. I love this as not only is it really pretty and looks great fun to play with but it’s one that you can prepaire when you have a bit of time available and then your child can play with it later.
Oh Hey Let’s Play has a really nice idea for using shells in blue water for sensory play and in the article she’s written there’s lots of fun activities including a really great idea for teaching shape recognition with goldfish crackers which would be perfect for a fun ocean theme too.
Under The Sea Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- In My Ocean by Sara Gillingham – a cute board book that’s perfect for younger kids
- The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister – a classic story with beautiful illustrations
- The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson – a family favourite in our house!
More Crafts for Toddlers and Preschool
This foil painted campfire craft is perfect for a camping theme and it’s really easy for younger kids to make the painted flames.
Or these paper bag haircuts are a fun way to help your child with their scissor skills.
Finally this sweet apple tree craft is a great way to practice fine motor skills as well.