Whether you are planning a visit to the beach or setting up an under the sea theme in the classroom, these ocean activities are the perfect opportunity to teach kids about the ocean, including sea animals with hands-on play!  Fun ocean science experiments and ocean crafts to learn, discover, and explore one of the best places on Earth, the beach! 

easy and fun ocean activities for kids

Ocean Theme For Summer Science

Every summer we have the chance to visit the ocean for a couple of weeks. What a wonderful time it is exploring the beaches and the tidal pools. Each year we explore a bit more and learn a bit more.

NOTE: You can do all of the activities below even if you DO NOT live by the ocean or even plan to visit one. These ocean activities are a MUST TRY for anyone who loves the ocean and ocean animals.

Our ocean activities, including ocean science topics, are inspired by our time in the ocean. These ocean activities and ocean crafts for elementary are an opportunity to build simple skills, make observations, and discover changes happening in the ocean. I can’t wait to see what this summer will bring! Explore more summer science here!

There are so many ocean activities to explore! Check out all our fun ideas below for easy ocean play and learning!

Ocean theme activities also pair well with our Earth Day activities! Teach kids how to care for our Earth, which includes the oceans and amazing sea animals!

Watch the Ocean Activities Video!

Quick Ocean Activities For Toddlers To Preschoolers

Make an icy ocean sensory bin that will keep the kiddos engaged as they free sea creatures from the icy, frozen ocean!

Create this sand and aquarium grave ocean sensory bin and grab the free sea creatures coloring book.

Here is an ocean sensory bottle that is fun for young kids to make and explore.

Whip up the best fluffy slime ever for a hands-on ocean slime activity for kids! Decorate with shells and gems or small plastic sea creatures!

Swirling ocean waves of color! Here is another way to make ocean slime.

Explore 3 ways to create your own gorgeous and playful ocean in a bottle

Click here for your FREE Printable Ocean STEM Activities!

More Free Printable Ocean Activities

We have many free printable ocean worksheets and activities. Check out the various science and art projects you can download for free today. You’ll also find color-by-number, pattern blocks, and more fun mini-packs!

Fun Ocean Activities For Kids

We have divided these fun and easy ocean activities into 3 groups for you; ocean science topics, ocean building activities (learn about sea animals), and ocean crafts. Click on the titles below for the full supply list and step by step instructions for each ocean activity.

Enjoy ocean experiments that will introduce kids to the concepts of coastal erosion, ocean acidification, buoyancy and more!

Beach Erosion Lab

Explore what happens to the coast line when a big storm rolls through. Set up a coastal erosion activity to demonstrate the effects of coastal erosion.

How Do Fish Breathe Underwater?

Fish are fun to look at in an aquarium or to try to catch in a lake, but did you know that fish breathe too? Learn more about how fish breathe with this simple model to teach kids how fish gills work.

How Does a Shark Float?

Or why is it that sharks don’t sink in the ocean? Learn about how these great fish coast around through the ocean with this simple ocean science activity.

Check out more awesome shark week activities here.

shark experiment

How Do Squid Swim?

Explore how squid swim or move through the ocean with this fun squid locomotion activity.  Learn more about these fascinating sea creatures!

How does a squid move for ocean science with kids

How Do Whales Stay Warm?

The ocean can be a chilly place, but there are many mammals who call it home! How do some of our favorite mammals live in such cold conditions? It is to do with something called blubber. Test out how blubber works as an insulator with this blubber experiment.

what is blubber

What are the Layers Of The Ocean?

Just like the layers of the earth, the ocean is also made up of layers or ocean zones. Explore the layers of the ocean with this cool liquid density experiment.  

What are Ocean Currents?

Learn about ocean currents with a few simple ingredients you can grab from the kitchen. Make this simple ocean currents model and discover what things cause the movement of water in the ocean.

ocean currents demonstration for ocean science with kids

Can You Map the Ocean Floor?

What does the ocean floor look like? Be inspired by scientist and map builder, Marie Tharp and make your own relief map of the world. Represent the topography or physical features on land and on the ocean floor with easy DIY shaving cream paint.

Ocean Waves In A Bottle

Create an ocean wave bottle as a fun way to demonstrate a little bit about how waves work.  Combine learning about the ocean with a visually appealing sensory bottle for fun and playful learning for kids.

ocean in a jar

Oil Spill Experiment

Explore what things clean up oil and what doesn’t with this easy ocean science experiment.  Get kids thinking about why it’s important to keep our oceans clean!

learn about pollution of the oceans with this oil spill activity for kids

Seashells In Vinegar Experiment

Find out what happens to shells when you add them to vinegar.  Learn what seashells are made of and why we need to protect our oceans from ocean acidification!

What happens when you put seashells in vinegar? Can you dissolve a seashell for simple ocean science activities with kids!

Build A LEGO Shark and Activities Pack

Even if you are not interested in the official Shark Week, these cool ocean fish have always amazed adults and kids! Check out how to build your own LEGO sharks and grab a free activity pack.

build a LEGO shark

Build Sea Animals and Make a Minifig Habitat

Check out our ocean animal and sea creature ideas, and then make a whale, octopus, and crab. Don’t worry if you don’t have exactly the right colors, have fun! It also includes free printable ocean LEGO challenges!

Build A Narwhal Fun Facts and More

Learn about the amazing unicorns of the sea, Narwhals with these fun and easy STEM activities.  Plus, we share with you fun facts we’ve discovered about Narwhals.

Ocean Crafts and Art Projects for STEAM

Narwhal Collage Craft

Learn fun facts about Narwhals and create a fantastic Narwhal collage craft with more background ideas to choose from.

Narwhal Mixed Media

3D Ocean Paper Craft

This 3D ocean craft is a terrific way to explore how dimensional images can be created. Take your two dimensional ocean activities up a notch with our free printable 3D under the sea template. 

Fish Painting

This fun and easy ocean craft will sure to be a hit with your kids. Paint fish inspired by famous artist Jackson Pollock and his style of ‘action painting’ and abstract art! Free printable included!

Glowing Jellyfish Craft

Make a fun DIY jellyfish that will glow in the dark, similar to jellyfish in the ocean.  Learn fun facts about jellyfish and how they aren’t fish.  

Jellyfish Craft

Black Glue Jellyfish Art

Black glue art with a watercolor background for an awesome ocean craft and STEAM project!

Black Glue Jellyfish

Click here for your FREE Printable Ocean Activities.

Ocean Salt Painting

The perfect ocean background for art projects! Combine a popular kitchen ingredient, salt and a bit of physics for cool art and science that everyone will love!

Salt Dough Starfish

Make your own starfish or sea stars with our simple salt dough recipe.  Learn about these amazing sea creatures while modeling out your own to keep.

sea star craft for under the sea theme for preschoolers

Turtle Dot Painting

Get our free printable turtle template and create your own fun dot painting design.

You can find more ocean craft ideas here!

Printable Ocean Activities Pack

If you want to have all of your printable ocean activities in one convenient place, plus exclusive worksheets with an ocean theme, our 100+ page Ocean STEM Project Pack is what you need!

Check out The Complete Ocean Science and STEM Pack in our SHOP!