Ah, summer! There’s nothing quite like it. The season evokes delicious barbecued meals, multi-colored snow cones, and days spent in sandboxes and swimming pools. Of course, the hot weather can also usher in sibling arguments and bored, restless kids who think eight hours in front of the TV is a fine way to spend the day. So, to get the season started off right and avoid summer break meltdowns, we’ve created a list of fun, ocean-themed crafts for kids sure to keep little hands busy.
What’s more, these summer break crafts will teach your children about the ocean, one of the most awe-inspiring natural resources on the planet. Let’s dive into five projects to start your global kids’ break off on the right note.
1. Paper Plate Crabs
Did you know that there are more than 4,500 different species of crabs in the world? Or, that groups of crabs living together are called “casts”? They communicate with one another by waving their pincers and drumming their feet. Known as decapods, crabs have ten legs. Where are all ten of these legs? The trick is remembering to count their claws (or chelae) as their first two legs.
To introduce your kids to these decapods as well as get some counting practice, create whimsical paper plate crabs with numbered legs. Besides the plates, you’ll need red paint, red pipe cleaner, red cardstock paper, plenty of wiggly eyes, and some glue. Read on for how to assemble these fun ocean creatures.
2. Puffy Bubble Wrap Octopuses
There are more than 300 species of octopus swimming in the world’s oceans. Divided into two varieties, they include finned, deep-sea octopuses that live on the ocean floor and finless varieties that hang out in the shallow waters near coral reefs. Octopuses have two eyes, eight tentacles, and three hearts. When they need to make a quick escape, they shoot a black ink into the water to distract predators. They can also change color to camouflage their movements or communicate with other octopuses.
To bring these colorful creatures to life for your kids, you’ll need bubble wrap, paint, a stapler, sharpie, and white paper. What do we love most about this craft? You can recycle household items (e.g. packaging, plastic bags, etc.) to stuff the bodies of the octopuses. Besides learning about octopuses and doing a little recycling, your kids will practice the basic principles of creating awesome art prints. Here’s how to make your own puffy bubble wrap octopus.
3. Paper Roll Seahorse Puppets
It doesn’t get much cuter than seahorses. These tiny fish are named for their horse-shaped heads, and there are 36 seahorse species in the world. Where can you find them? Swimming upright among seaweed and other plants in tropical, temperate coastal waters. Of course, actually seeing these sea creatures in the wild can prove a serious challenge. Why? Because they use camouflage to avoid predators as well as ambush their prey, small crustaceans.
To craft your own little seahorses, you’ll need some paper towel rolls, paint, wooden dowel rods, lots of googly eyes, and glue. You’ll also need to print out copies of this seahorse template before getting started. Access the full instructions here so that you can get the puppet parade moving.
4. Paper Quilling Sea Turtles
Sea turtles come in all shapes and sizes and swim the oceans of the world. The largest sea turtles, known as leatherbacks, can measure up to six feet long and weigh more than 1,000 pounds! But their diminutive cousins, olive ridley and Kemp’s ridley turtles, come in at no more than two feet in length and 100 pounds. Leatherbacks are unique in other ways, too. They can swim upwards of 20 miles per hour and dive more than 1,000 feet deep.
For this craft, your kids get to practice their paper quilling skills. This involves rolling strips of paper and then gluing them to a backing to create each turtle’s three-dimensional shell. This craft also requires very few materials, which makes it a great go-to in a pinch. Check out the full instructions.
5. Paper Weave Fish
Did you know that there are more than 30,000 different species of fish in the world? Of course, this number doesn’t include crayfish or jellyfish, which (despite their names) are not fish at all. Fish have gills to pull oxygen from the water around them, and they are vertebrates. This means their spinal cords are surrounded by bones or cartilage for protection. Like other sea creatures, some fish use camouflage to hide from predators, including flatfish who sit on the ocean floor. But other fish like tuna don’t like to stay in one spot for long. In fact, tuna can swim up to 43 miles per hour.
With simple paper weaving, your kids can practice their fine motor skills while creating a vibrant school of fish as unique as they are. Start by printing out copies of this template. Then, gather colorful shades of heavy-weight print paper and regular print paper along with scissors and glue. Read on for all the details you need to complete this fun, easy craft.
Dive into Summer with These Fun Crafts for Global Kids
These ocean-themed crafts will help your global kids learn more about our amazing oceans while developing fine motor skills. From paper plate crabs to paper roll sea horse puppets and paper weave fish, they’ll also have the chance to recycle a variety of items found around the house adding an eco-friendly angle to these hands-on activities.
At Our Whole Village, we craft transformational trips for curious families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its people, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for curious families just like yours.