Giant squid, colossal squid, humbolt squid or even the common squid, let’s take a look at these fascinating creatures of the ocean. Squid have a long body, large eyes, arms and tentacles but how do they swim or move around?  Explore how squid move through the water with this fun squid locomotion activity for kids.  We love ocean science activities!

HOW DO SQUID SWIM?  SQUID LOCOMOTION ACTIVITY

How does a squid move for ocean science with kids

IT’S LOCOMOTION!

Get ready to check out how a squid or similarly, an octopus moves for your next ocean activity this season! Take it to the bathtub, sink, or larger bin to explore how the siphon helps a squid move through the water. If you want to learn more about how squids move, let’s get started.  While you’re at it, make sure to check out these other fun ocean activities.

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SQUID LOCOMOTION ACTIVITY

Let’s look at how squid and octopus move around in the ocean!  Have you ever seen a real octopus or squid move? It’s pretty cool! I’m hoping to be able to spot a squid in Maine this summer while my son is at his marine biology summer camp.

This squid locomotion activity asks the question: How do squid swim?

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Balloons
  • Dish soap top
  • Water
  • Sharpie (optional)

squid locomotion supplies with balloons

SQUID LOCOMOTION SET UP:

STEP 1: Carefully place the open end of the water balloon over the faucet and fill it up halfway.

half fill a balloon with water
STEP 2: Have a second person pinch the balloon top so the water stays in and carefully place the open end of the water balloon over the bottom side of the dish soap top.

put a dish soap top in the top of the balloon

draw squid eye on your balloon
STEP 3:  Draw on the balloon to make it look like a squid (optional as the marker might come off in the tub).

STEP 4:  Parental supervision: Add a couple of inches of water to your tub, place the balloon in the tub and open the top of the dish soap top to watch the squid balloon move.  Record or discuss your observations.

add water to a container and place the balloon in it

CLASSROOM TIPS

You may need to use a long, large, shallow, storage bin to really get a good idea of how this works in the classroom. An under the bed storage container should work just fine!

See if parents have dish soap container tops they can send, so you have enough for a few squids!

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How Do Sharks Float? and How Do Whales Stay Warm?

how do squid swim

HOW DO SQUID SWIM

Both the squid and the octopus use jet propulsion to move around in the ocean.  They do this by using a siphon!  A siphon refers to a way of carrying water from one area to another area through a tube.

Both creatures have a siphon that acts as a funnel. They take water into a hole in their body called the mantle and then get rid of it through this funnel to move! The siphon also helps them gets rid of waste and with respiration.

This ability to use jet propulsion is one way they can get away from predators. Plus, it means squid can move fast in open water and can change direction easily. They can even tighten up their bodies to become more streamlined to move even faster.

In our balloon squid activity, the dish soap top acts like the siphon to push water out thus moving the balloon around in the water!

You can watch a video here to see how these creatures work (Jonathon Bird’s Blue World YouTube).

LEARN MORE ABOUT OCEAN ANIMALS

FUN SQUID LOCOMOTION ACTIVITY FOR OCEAN LEARNING!

Discover more fun and easy science & STEM activities right here. Click on the link or on the image below.

Best ever STEM and science activities for kids.

Looking for easy to print activities, and inexpensive problem-based challenges? 

We have you covered…

Click below to get your quick and easy STEM challenges.