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Ocean Activities for Preschoolers

Written by Debbie Brown | July 12, 2022

Whether you’re doing an ocean theme or you have a little one interested in what’s under the water, you’ll find plenty of hands-on ocean activities for preschoolers here! Watch your little one light up with awe and wonder, as they explore the exciting world of life in and around the ocean.

Underwater scene with cartoon boy scuba diving.

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Ocean Activities for Preschoolers

As parents and teachers, we all want our children to know there are other animals in the ocean besides just baby shark. – lol

There are so many things for preschoolers to explore around the ocean. There are coral reefs, and aquatic animals that live in the water, birds that fly over the water, and marine animals and seashells spread out all across the shorelines.

  1. Visit a beach
Kids playing in the sand at the beach
  • spend the day playing in the sand, building sand castles and collecting sea shells.
  • draw in the sand
  • kick a ball around or fly a kite,
  • If you don’t live near a beach turn your sandbox into a miniature beach scene by adding some water to the sand, some molds and toys for building sand castles, and some seashells from the Dollar Store.
  1. Visit an aquarium
People looking at animals in an aquarium

3. Visit a lighthouse. Use this US Light House Directory to see if there is a lighthouse in your area. Climb it if you’re allowed – the view will be amazing.

A boy looking at a lighthouse

4. Aquarium Virtual Tours

Take a virtual trip. Here are some live cam videos on YouTube

Learn the Names of the Oceans

How many oceans are there? Historically, we have only recognized 4 oceans. In 1999 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recognized a fifth ocean named the Southern Ocean. But not everyone agreed on the boundaries of the Southern Ocean or even if there is a Southern Ocean. It wasn’t until June 8, 2021, that National Geographics finally recognized it on their maps.

During an ocean theme is a perfect time to learn the names of the oceans. They are:

  1. The Atlantic Ocean
  2. The Pacific Ocean
  3. The Indian Ocean
  4. The Arctic Ocean
  5. The Southern Ocean ( this is the newest one)

Note: Some books and resources today still only acknowledge the original 4, but some homeschool companies like Abeka recognize the 5th ocean and teach it in their curriculum.

Preschool Ocean Books

Preschool Ocean Crafts

FREE Ocean Animal Printable

Here are some free resources to use with your preschoolers. Enjoy!

40 Ocean Animal Photo Cards for Kids – Free

Of all the animals God created, the ocean animals He created on the fifth day are some of the most unique. Preschoolers will love to explore some of the most popular marine animals that live in or around the ocean, with these 40 FREE Ocean Animal Cards. ENJOY!

an otter a seahorse and blue whale and a orca whale

Ocean Songs for Preschoolers

Here are some favorite ocean songs collected on Spotify, to help make learning about sea animals even more fun and memorable.

Be sure to check out these posts that would go great with an ocean theme:


Smithsonian Magazine, (June 14 2021)National Geographic Officially Recognizes the Southern Ocean as World’s Fifth Ocean. Retrieve July 6, 2022 from,Firozi%20for%20the%20Washington%20Pos

National Ocean Service, (June 8, 2021) How Many Oceans Are There. Retrieved July 6, 2022,

Debbie Brown Tothood 101

DEBBIE BROWN | Owner and Curriculum Designer

Hi! I’m Debbie Brown. I created Tothood 101 because I’m passionate about sharing preschool activity ideas, and resources that I’ve gleaned from my 20+ years of experience teaching preschoolers at home and in the classroom. My goal is to encourage, guide, and help inspire you to make learning SUPER FUN for your preschooler at home! Check out the ABOUT page to learn more.


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