There’s a Sea in my Playroom

Under the sea craftI’m not a huge fan of screen time for children. I prefer my children to be outdoors, exploring nature, experiencing the real thing.

Television or screen time, however, isn’t all bad.

One afternoon, Miss Possum and I snuggled down and watched the movie Finding Nemo. It was a brilliant introduction to ocean creatures.

Animals with human-like characteristics can build a strong, almost instant connection with a child. When Poss started quoting some of the dialogue, after one viewing, I knew she was hooked.

Together, we decided that we would make our play-room into an ocean and so started a month-long process of planning, creating, and pretendingfish craft

Planning an underwater Playroom

We gathered books about the ocean from the library and used them to plan the ocean environment. After all, fish need somewhere to swim!

Miss Possum then chose the animals we would have in our underwater room.  A mermaid came up a few times but I promptly reminded her that SHE was the mermaid.

Building the Underwater Playroom

Firstly, every blue sheet in the house was spread out on the playroom floor.Then, Miss Possum chose the animals; fish being the obvious first choice.

We painted newspaper and then used a template to cut out the fish.

We also made a jelly fish, an octopus, crabs, a turtle, a sea anemone (yep, they are animals) and a shark.While making our creatures, we talked about the parts of their bodies, what they ate and where they live in the ocean.

crafb craft

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 Playing in the underwater Playroom

Don’t underestimate pretend play. Pretend play is a fun way to learn and have kids absorb new information effortlessly

I was told I was a whale (not impressed!) and Miss Possum was a mermaid of course! We dipped and dived in the water. We swam away from sharks and watched the sea turtles swimming in the current, just like in the movie.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that indoor activities can inspire wildlife education too. Who knew a movie would inspire such educational fun!

under water ocean craft

Extended learning:

 How has a movie or television inspired you and/or your children?

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  1. Greeen Mama says

    That’s gorgeous, thanks for the inspiration! Her mermaid skirt is divine. When I was pregnant someone mentioned that mothers need a thick skin. I assumed from other mothers, not the fruit of my loins! My cherub asked me why I have a groove in my forehead aka wrinkle…

  2. kirri says

    Mesmerising! My biggest thought is how lucky Miss Possum is to have a mummy that is so involved in teaching and co-creating with her. All the valuable learning and beautiful memories…You inspire me Pen.

  3. says

    Oh what fun! Love the idea of extending on a movie in that way. My girls would love this. We prefer play and outside time too over screen time but unfortunately sometimes I just need them to be content, distracted or quiet for a while. We limit it as much as we can and for me I think it is all about keeping it balanced (or on the lower side!) with everything else that we do. Great post!

  4. Grace says

    I love this!!! We have an ocean in the twinlets’ room but it’s not as cool as this!!! Can’t wait to try the templates with them. When I was a kindy teacher in Japan, I would take my little students for a walk and say we were going to Austalia to look for some koalas and kangaroos. They loved it. Fun memories…

    • pawhitehouse says

      Hold on. You were a kindy teacher? Um, how did I not know this? Was this part of your previous life? Crazy woman! What else don’t I know about?

  5. says

    How lovely the room looks, what an inspiration. And there’s great value, isn’t there, in doing a longer project with kids, thinking and planning. Love the blue ‘sea bed.’

    • pawhitehouse says

      Thanks Seana. We really did have a great time and yes, I think longer activities work better for me and for Miss Poss. More to come!

  6. Kellie @ Three Li'l says

    I really love this. What a fabulous job!
    I think Ella would be most taken with it. Thanks for the inspiration! x

  7. Veronica @ Mixed Gems says

    This is really amazing, Penny. I love how you drew inspiration from the movie. The closest we’ve gotten is to copy some art from shows like Mr Maker or Playschool. That’s not in the same league though.

  8. says

    I’m stopping by again because you are a favorite of the blogger behind Greening Sam and Avery. I have loved everything I’ve seen so far and I’m your newest follower. We also try to greatly limit screen time, but I love to watch appropriate movies and shows as a treat every once in awhile to go along with a book that we are reading or a particular theme. I absolutely love how the playroom turned out! My son would love that. We’ve done seasonal themes in our playroom, but I think we’ll have to start transforming it for certain special themes as well. Oh! And I love the painted newspaper fish! Great idea and way of doing it. Thank you for sharing!

    • pawhitehouse says

      Thanks so much for following Joyce! You’ve made my day with your heart-warming comment. I’m smiling from ear to ear!

      This was quite a bit of effort but we had so much fun. I try to recycle as much as I can too.

    • Penny says

      Thanks Renee, we did have a great time with this activity. We’ll need to create another habitat in our playrom again soon. Miss Possum is really interested in the desert at the moment. I wonder if any mythical creatures live in the desert too? Thank you so much for visiting and commenting!


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