Read on to see some wonderful ocean crafts!
I’m not a huge fan of screen time for children. I prefer my children to be outdoors, exploring nature and experiencing the real thing up-close and in person.
Still, I’ve come to realise that a it of screen time 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 pretending. If your kids love Finding Nemo, or just sea life in general, they may enjoy doing the same!
Plan the ocean crafts for your playroom
We gathered books about the ocean from the library and used them to plan the ocean crafts we’d need to create our environment. After all, fish need somewhere to swim, right?
Miss Possum 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! Ha.
Building the ocean craft playroom
Firstly, every blue sheet in the house was spread out on the playroom floor.Then, Miss Possum chose the animals; a fish was her 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 lived in the ocean.
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?
How has a movie or television inspired you and/or your children?
Pssst… if you want lots more nature play ideas just like this, be sure to check out the Nature Play Club! New resources are being added – you’ll never run out of activities to keep your little ones busy in nature.
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…
I know! It has inspired me to eat better I can tell you! Kids are too honest at times. he he he.
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.
I’m not this wonderful all the time. It just happened.
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!
Thanks so much Abbie. I’m so glad I discovered you and your blog. Thanks so much for dropping by.
Susan Stephenson says
I love that the new playspace was child-directed, but looks great too! What a lucky little mermaid!
Thanks so much Susan. Yep, that little mermaid is very lucky, so is her Mummy!
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…
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?
seana smith 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.’
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!
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
Thanks Kel. I’m glad I’m inspiring a few of you out there. It keeps me going. 🙂
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.
Joyce @Dinosaurs And Octopuses 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!
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.
Stephanie Veljanovska says
What a Gorgeous idea. Im sure she had lots of Fun
Renee Annison says
wow i love this,my daughter is a mermaid fanatic ,she would love something like this in her room.
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!