Category Archives: Ocean

Learning To Draw By The Sea

The ocean is an amazing thing.   Did you know water covers over 70% of the earth’s surface?  Scientists claim they have only explored 5% of the ocean so far.  That leaves a whole lot of mystery about this beautiful habitat that is so vital to the world in so many ways.  I would encourage everyone to visit the ocean at least once if they get the opportunity. Your senses will be overwhelmed and rejuvenated by the experience.

It is amazing to listening to the roar of the waves, get your feet wet or go for a swim, wait and watch for fish or dolphins to breach the surface, to observe birds swooping down to catch a fish, or sighting an occasional fishing boat out to sea.  The ocean is always changing and you could spend hours watching it.

Our family loves to visit the ocean!  We are usually blessed to take a day drive and visit the sea a couple of times a year.  Sometimes we drive several hours just to get out and walk the beach and splash in the waves for two hours and then get back in the vehicle and drive several more hours back home. Depending on which beach we visit, it takes us about 4 hours to get to the closest one.  It is a long ways to drive, but it is free to use the public beaches. If we pack a cooler with food and water, then the only cost involved is the fuel to drive there.  With a large family, getting to do something fun for FREE is a big deal.

On a few occasions, we have been blessed with the opportunity to spend the night instead of driving there and back all in one day.  Those overnight experiences by the sea have been exceptional.  It is hard to describe the amazing way you feel when you wake up to the ocean, and get up with the sun rise, spend the day in the salty air, then get to observe the sunset, and listen to the waves in the dark of night as the stars twinkle overhead.  It is wonderful!

Learning To Draw By The Sea.

We recently had the opportunity to stay overnight on a visit to the ocean. We spent the morning and evening playing on the beach, but in the heat of the day, we needed something else to do to avoid getting a serious sunburn.   We did not bring electronic games or computers that are part of our normal homeschooling day.  Instead, we played board games like chess, put together fun puzzles, and spent part of our time learning to draw with the art kits we recently made.

It was so nice to have our portable DIY Art Kits.  Be sure to check the story with information on how to make one for your family.

The kits were small enough to go just about anywhere with us, yet they were big enough to hold just about everything we needed.

For some reason that I can’t remember, I didn’t get pictures of the kids drawing.  I guess I must have been so excited about the view, and the opportunity to sit there and draw, that I failed to get up and take pictures of what the others were making too.

For this project, I used the watercolor pencils.  I had hoped to make a project with paints too, but I didn’t have time to accomplish both on this trip.  My older son chose to use charcoal pencils from his kit, and the younger kids used crayons.  I pulled out a small table onto the porch to hold my drawing pad and pencils.

It was a bit windy on this day.  I separated the pencils colors that I wanted to use from the case holding the pencils.  I set them beside my drawing pad, however the wind kept blowing them off and I was constantly having to get up and down to catch a pencil before it rolled off the porch.  I realized the next time I take this art kit on a trip, I will need to bring something better to hold the colors I am using.  Perhaps something as simple as a rubber band or a small tray with sides would have solved my problem.

From the porch where I sat, I could see a long ways in the distance across the ocean and the beach up and down the coast.  To the front of me was ocean as far as I could see, and to the left was a small fishing vessel that soon disappeared while I was drawing.  I tried to capture both in my drawing.  The waves were the most difficult part to draw because they kept moving. Drawing the ocean wasn’t easy because even though it appears the same, in reality each and every moment it keeps changing.

Learning to draw by the sea was fun and it is an experience our family will never forget.

“And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”  Genesis 1:10

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Sea Shells By The Shore

On a recent trip to see the ocean, I was amazed at the variety of sea shells by the shore.

The waves constantly washed up an incredible number and variety of shells and deposited them on the sandy beach.

It was like a never ending gift, with each crash of the waves, thousands of new shells landed in the sand.

Every shell was different.

I was in awe that the Lord God has made such variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of shells and the variety of species that use shells as a covering.

The kids were curious to identify what creatures use the different shells. We plan to have some fun matching shells with their occupants.

Some shells get discarded and a new creature takes residence in the empty shell.  We were fortunate to find some creatures had taken up residence already.

Sometimes the shells are spread out on the surface of the sand, and sometimes the shells are piled close together.  The shells left on the shore go on for miles and miles.

I watched several people collecting shells.  Some came with bags and others with buckets every morning and evening and they spent hours combing through the shells left behind by the waves.   I realized they are not only collecting shells, but they also sell these shells.  Some of the shells are also used in crafts and sold in souvenir shops

I thought it would be fun to teach the kids a tongue twister about sea shells that I had learned as a young girl.  A tongue twister is when you say similar sounding words over and over quickly without making a mistake.  However, it is not as easy as it sounds and you will likely mess up or get “tongue twisted”.    The kids think this is hilarious.

“She sells sea shells by the sea shore.
The shells she sells are surely seashells.
So if she sells shells on the seashore,
I’m sure she sells seashore shells.”

I want to encourage you to spend time with your kids today.  Observe and explore with them the amazing things Father God has created all around you.  There is an amazing variety of gifts right in front of our eyes that often goes ignored.   No matter where you are, you will find something incredible if you just take time.  This is an opportunity to connect with your kids in a special way and point them to their Heavenly Father.   You might find a funny tongue twister to try with your kids too and you will surely get plenty of giggles and laughter on the learning adventure.

Be blessed!

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Science Club: Oceans


This past month of June, the NC Mountain Homeschool Coop has officially launched our Science Club.   We are meeting for two hours, twice a month, to give homeschool children a hands on opportunity to study science.

The first subject we are studying is Oceans.   This club will go year around, but each subject series or theme, will last about 6 to 8 weeks.  We are really excited about this hands on science club, and all the learning opportunities it will bring for local homeschool children.

Our First Meeting

We used the first meeting as a meet and great meeting, and a planning meeting.  We had fourteen kids at this meeting.  

While the adults were making future plans, the children worked on some ocean crafts.  One of the first arts and crafts the children did with the club was to make water color fish. 

This activity really sparked a lot of imagination and excitement about the science club. 

The children first colored coffee filters with markers.  Then they sprinkled water on the filters and hung them up to dry.  The water caused the colors to spread across the filters. 

After they were dry, the children cut out fish shapes from the filters and added eyes and some drew on mouths, scales, or fins. 

Each fish was unique and special and colorful too.

We briefly talked about the fact that there are billions of fish in the oceans, and they too are so colorful and unique. 

Some of the children in the club have been to visit the ocean and ocean aquariums.  Some children have not had this opportunity yet.  It was good to talk about what the children know and what they don’t know yet in gaging the direction of this learning adventure.

Our Second Meeting

At our second meeting, we had fifteen kids, plus a baby (not all are pictured here).   This group is off to a great start! 

We are a co-op, so each family takes turns with different parts ( teaching, experiments, crafts, snacks, clean-up).   Today I tackled crafts.  Yikes!!!

Today we discussed the geographic location of the 5 oceans:  Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Artic, and Southern. 

First, the kids filled in a geography page with the names of the oceans and their locations.  This worksheet was from Enchanted Learning.   One of the parents was teaching and talked about the locations of the oceans.

Next, we learned from some science experiments about salt water using water, salt, and food coloring…..


and about ocean currents using hot and cold water and food coloring……


Next we made a craft.   For our craft today, we made oceanography notebooks.  The kids could decorate them however they wished.   These notebooks have 3 punch holders with two pockets.  I inserted a plastic sleeve into each one.  Inside the folders, I placed four learning worksheets and a coloring page to take home in the pockets, plus various stickers, foam sea creatures, and sand paper placed in the plastic sleeve. 

After the children finish the worksheets and coloring pages, they can insert them into the three punch holders to keep them neat and organized.  There is plenty of extra room to store future worksheets and activities, as we learn more about oceans during the upcoming meetings.  We also passed around blue construction paper for a making an ocean scene with the stickers and sand paper.

After decorating our notebook folders, we made ocean pictures and collages with sandpaper, blue construction paper, stickers (fish, sharks, seals, whales, various sea shells, and a beach scene), foam fish and sea creatures, markers, and glue. 

I found all of these craft items at a dollar store called the Mighty Dollar.  I bought enough for 18 kids.  I cut apart the stickers, and divided up the foam creatures, and cut the sand paper sheets in half, so there was enough for everyone.   The cost came out to about $2 per child to make both the folders and the ocean scene.   This was great to create these wonderful and personal oceanography notebooks that will last as keepsakes of their learning adventure for a long time. 

Some kids chose to glue their ocean pictures onto the outside of their notebooks, but others chose to keep them separate and make two different ocean scenes or collages, one on the notebook and one on the blue paper.

The additional printables being sent home in their folders today included:
Geography Map with oceans and continents to mark.
Geography/ Science page about how much of the earth is covered by water and show / color a pie graph.
Coloring /Art page of an underwater ocean scene.
Song about the five oceans, sang to the tune of the 10 little Indians. (from Spell Outloud)

After the crafts, the kids learned to sing a song about the five oceans.  They pointed to each ocean as they sang t
hrough the song.  I found this world geography and ocean placemat at the same dollar store.

We finished up the day with a fun and delicious ocean themed snack.  Another family made cupcakes spread with ocean blue frosting, and gummy fish. 

The cupcakes looked like fish swimming in water.  The kids really enjoyed this.

Maybe enjoyed it a little too much……

After our fun time in Science Club today, the kids went outside to burn off some energy in the park. 

They were bouncing with energy, playing tag, racing down the slides, ….where do they get it all from?

But the science learning continued.  My oldest son found a locust shell and showed it to everyone.

I love to see their investigative skills at work, even when they are at play.

Later that night, the kids wanted to work some more on their oceanography notebooks and ocean art scenes.

These guys seemed to never get tired of creating ocean pictures.

They found my construction paper stash, and were ready to make more pictures.  “Guys, it is almost bedtime.”

My oldest son, age 11, is free hand drawing the continents and cutting them out of green construction paper and gluing them onto blue construction paper.  He is re-creating a world map as he is learning about where the oceans and continents are positioned.  I was very surprised at how skilled and patient he was as he created his project.

Our next topic is sharks and whales.  Sounds like its going to be lots more fun.

Be sure to check out the free OCEAN UNIT STUDY  I wrote about with free printables (including the ones we used today), crafts, and lots of resources.

How do you teach about oceans and marine science to your kids?  Leave us a comment, thanks.

This post will be linked with:
Science Sunday
Kids Get Crafty
ABC and 123
No Time For Flash Cards
Raising Homemakers

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Ocean Unit Study and Lapbook

June 8th is National Ocean Exploration Day.

I thought it would be fun to pull together some resources about oceans for you to do a fun Ocean Unit Study adventure and explore the oceans with your kids.

My family loves to visit the Ocean and Ocean Aquariums and Marine Museums.   There is something so fascinating about the wide range of life that lives below the water’s surface.  And there is something incredibly soothing about the sound and the visual picture of waves rolling into the beach in a constant rhythm. 

I was so blessed to have the opportunity as a child to spend two weeks in Hawaii.  That was my first introduction to the ocean and sea creatures.  What a fascinating and inspiring experience it was.  As a pre-teen I went on a three week trip across the USA and seen the ocean from New York and Conneticut, and then all the way across the USA to Los Angeles.  We traveled along the ocean front roads for many miles in Los Angeles.  That summer I don’t think I had ever been any place hotter in my life.   Then as a teenager I visited San Francisco several times, and so enjoyed eating fresh caught seafood on Fishermans Wharf.  I also traveled again to New York and New Jersey and seen the ocean and took a ferry ride.   In college I took a one week trip to Washington and Vancouver Island by ferry, and was again amazed at the vast beauty of the ocean and the beaches and rocky cliffs all around.

When we lived in Indiana, we lived just a little over an hour away from the Newport Aquarium in Newport KY.   That was my children’s first experience with seeing ocean sea life.  We were mesmerized by the amount of see life there was in these vast aquariums holding millions of gallons of ocean water in the middle of the United States.

Now we live in North Carolina and we are close to many ocean learning opportunities.  We live just 2 hours from the Ripleys Ocean Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN.   It has become a favorite place to visit for us.

We have been there four times in three years.  It is a great place to study ocean animals.   Some of our favorite ocean animals to learn about are sharks, octopus, jelly fish, sea turtles, sting rays, and one of our favorite sea birds, penguins.  They have an awesome live penguin habitat and also a baby penguin rearing area that is so much fun for the children to participate in.

And there are several hands on opportunities for children to learn through using all their senses.

And my children love to watch the huge sharks and sting rays as the swim over our heads in the walk through aquarium.

We have also been to the ECCO Marine Museum in Hendersonville, NC.   Last summer, we had friends, with 6 kids, visiting from Indiana.  We took our 5 kids and their 6 kids and we went to the ECCO museum and had a great time learning about ocean life.

It only costs $1 per person, and we spent two hours learning from this fascinating marine scientist.  In addition to running this museum, she also teaches classes, speaks at schools, does educational parties and birthday parties, and takes teens to the ocean for scuba diving and marine scientist excursions.    Her son has gone on to be a marine scientist and he specializes in the study of sharks.

She is fabulous with children.  Everything she does with kids is hands on.

Another favorite excursion for our family is visiting the ocean at South Carolina. 

We live just 3 1/2 hours from Charleston, South Carolina.   This is a world away from living in the midwest.  Visiting here is almost unexplainable and you just have to experience it yourself.

The ocean views from Charleston and the surrounding areas are amazing.  We especially enjoy staying at the Isle Of Palms and spending a few days enjoying the beach and traveling to surrounding areas to see plantations, museums, alligators, and taking in the amazing culture and history of the area.  We went for a very special trip last October for our son’s 8th birthday, and we had the best time ever.

Another fun hands on learning activity we did learning about oceans was to create our own mini ocean. 

We made an Ocean Discovery Bin for the kids to explore.  I will write a story about it soon.

The kids enjoyed this bin so much.  We made it in December, and we still pull it out frequently to play and explore in.

In addition to doing our own Ocean Unit Study and Lapbook, another really fun opportunity we are looking forward to this summer is a local homeschool Science Club.  It is just starting up and the first topic they will be studying is “Oceans”.  Our first Science Club meeting is tomorrow.  So we are looking forward to lots more fun learning about the amazing oceans and the sea life that lives in them.

FREE  Resources for an Ocean Unit Study:< BR>

Unit Studies (Science, Geography, History, Language Arts, Literature Book Lists, Reading, Vocabulary, Arts & Crafts, Math, Coloring Pages, and more),  Lesson Plans, and Lapbooks (scrapbook with mini versions of the learning done in the unit study).

Christian Cottage Unit Studies: 
Oceanography: The Waters He Called Seas


Discovery Education: Ocean Exploration Lesson plans


Ocean Animal Lesson Plans


Homeschool Helper Online:  Ocean Unit Study

Oklahoma Homeschool Cindy Downes: Ocean Unit Study


Eclectic Homeschool: Ocean Unit Study


Teaching Heart: Ocean Unit Study

Homeschool On A Shoestring: Ocean Unit Study


Homeschool Share:  Hello Ocean Unit Study and Lapbook

Homeschool Share:  Fish and Fishing Unit Study and Lapbook

Homeschool Share:  Sea Turtles Unit Study and Lapbook

Homeschool Share:  Octopus Unit Study and Lapbook

Homeschool Share: Atlantic Ocean Unit Study and Lapbook

Homeschool Share: Time Of Wonder Ocean Unit Study and Lapbook

Homeschool Share: Hermit Crab Unit Study and Lapbook

Homeschool Share: Nim (life on an island in the middle of the ocean) Unit Study and Lapbook


1+1+1=1 :  Whale and Dolphin Lapbook

1+1+1=1 : Ocean Animals Tot Lapbook

1+1+1=1  : Nemo Tot Lapbook

1+1+1=1 : More printables & activities about the Ocean


Homeschool Activities:  Ocean Unit Study



All Kids Network: Ocean Animal Worksheets

Learning Page

Math Activites

Kidzone: Ocean Counting Backwards Page

Kidzone: Ocean Counting Forwards Page

Kidzone: Sand Castle Connect the Dots

Kidzone: Addition

Kidzone: Subtraction

Kidzone: Odd or Even


Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Printables

Confessions Of A Homeschooler:  Letter O is for Octopus



Crafts and Activities

Egg Carton Sea Creatures (crab, jelly fish, oyster, octopus, fish, etc.)

Paper mache Star Fish

Sand Casting Craft

Sea Shell Memory Game

Jelly Fish Craft

Under The Sea Pencil Holder

Artists Helping Children: Ocean Animal Crafts (lots and lots)

All Kids Network: Ocean Animal Crafts

Free Kid Crafts

Busy Bee: Ocean Crafts

First School

First School: Ocean Creatures template for use in diaroma or collage crafts

First School: Ocean Theme Coloring Pages

Crafty Classroom: Coral Reef Collage

Crafty Classroom: Star Fish

Pink and Green Momma: Ocean In A Box

Pink and Green Momma: Ocean in a Bag

Pink and Green Momma: Ocean Bubble Wrap Scene

Spell Outloud: Ocean Song

Spell Outloud: Seahorse Craft and Game


1+1+1=1 : Ocean Activities

Counting Coconuts:  Frozen Ocean Sensory Discovery  Tub

Counting Coconuts:  Beach Sensory Tub

Counting Coconuts:  Nature Table


Homeschool Creations: Ocean Biome Diorama

Homeschool Creations:  Animal Sorting File Folder Game

Sort Land and Ocean Animals

Homeschool Creations:  Preschool Activities for letter U including underwater theme

Homeschool Creations:  Letter O activities including an Ocean In A Bottle


DLTK :  Ocean Animal Crafts

DLTK : Ocean Animal Coloring Pages

DLTK : Ocean Mobile

DLTK :  Ocean Habitat Craft

DLTK : Ocean Mini Book


ABC and 123:  O is for Ocean and Octopus Activities


Field Trip Ideas

Visit an ocean aquarium.

Visit the ocean.

Visit a marine science museum.

Do a virtual ocean field trip.   (photo bucket has over 2,000 ocean videos, please screen your choices to make sure they are safe for kids to see)

You Tube (Has over 500,000 videos.  Again, pick a few and screen them ahead of time to make sure they are appropriate for your kids to view.)

Here are a couple of You Tube ocean videos we enjoyed

Under the frozen ocean

Views Of The Pacific Ocean from Land

Blue Whale

White Whale

Sea Turtles

Do a virtual field trip to an ocean aquarium.

Online Interactive Games

Monterey Bay Aquarium  (lots of different Ocean games here)

Ocean Games on Primary Games (lots of different Ocean games here)

Ocean Express

Sea and Sky

Under the Sea

Geography Game

Happy Ocean Exploration Day!
Hope you enjoy your Ocean Exploration Adventure!!!

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