The ocean can be such a magical place with so much to learn. When I was younger, I wanted to be a marine biologist, so the ocean has always been a fascinating place to me. Since my son loves watching movies and has an interest in books, I decided to combine the two to teach him about the ocean and some of the creatures living in it.
We watched the movie Finding Nemo today, one of our favorites, and my son learned so much! The movie introduces kids to many different types of animals so we made it into a scavenger hunt with the Big Book of Big Sea Creatures. When we saw different large animals, I had my son look through to see if he could find it in the book and we read the facts about it.
My son especially loved learning about the anglerfish, which lives at the deepest part of the sea in the dark, dark water. At this point we pulled out our How Deep is the Sea? book and poster then talked about what part of the ocean and how deep down the anglerfish live (2 km/6,600 ft!)
There are plenty others, including activity books, that you can incorporate as well! Throw a few of these together with the movie (if you do not have it already), a bottle of water with a personalized label, and some whale crackers and you will have an adorable little “sea basket” for Christmas or Easter!
- Build the Bones: Whale — This book has information about seven different types of whales, including the one shown in the movie, and even comes with a wooden puzzle to build a 3D model of a whale skeleton!
- 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea — This book is a great continuation of our scavenger hunt game–use it during the movie to see which creatures are in the movie or after as a review!
- Undersea Life to Color — Let your child express his/her creativity or mimic the colors of sea animals they find in the movie as well as some others! Make it a point to learn at least one fact about each creature you color and write that fact down on the picture.
- Under the Sea Jigsaw Puzzle — This book contains six puzzles with scenes from the ocean (and they are sparkly!) Work on your child’s fine motor skills and problem solving while looking for animals and plants that appear in the movie.
- First Sticker Book Under the Sea — Let your child work on his/her fine motor skills by placing the stickers on underwater pictures. Do any of the scenes remind your child of the scenes in the movie? Perhaps they will find a diver or a sunken ship! Use these opportunities to identify similarity between the sticker scenes and movie scenes.
- See Under the Sea — I have yet to find a child who does not enjoy a lift-the-flap book. This book has over 80 flaps for your child to lift with great gems of information about under the ocean all over the world including the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Ocean! They can even see what lives inside of shipwrecks and the deep, deep parts of the ocean just like in the movie!
- What’s Under the Sea? — Learn more about underwater, shipwrecks, and equipment used to explore the ocean like submarines and scuba gear! This book has maps, diagrams, and even pictures to cut out and explain how things work! This would be a great way to incorporate craft time and practice proper use of scissors!
- Under the Sea Chunky Board Book — This is a cute, simple picture book to get your younger children involved as well. Who can spot the diver and the dolphins and other creatures found in the movie?
- Under the Sea Early Reader Non-Fiction — If you want to learn tons more about life underwater, here is your book. There is information beneficial to all ages without information overload. This is a Level 1 Reader, so it is also great for kids who are just getting into reading. It is also internet-referenced so you can find even more information just by visiting the links listed in it!
- First Encyclopedia of Seas & Oceans — Loaded with information, pictures, and links on almost every page, this book is a great resource to use to discover more about all of the animals, plants, and sections/zones of the ocean visited in the movie.
- While you’re at it, you can use the Children’s Picture Atlas or the Lift the Flap Atlas to show your child where Sydney, Australia is located compared to where you live as well as which oceans surround its borders! Plus, learn about some wildlife, famous places to visit, and more!
- According to the USGS, about 71% of the earth’s surface is water; of that, about 96.5% is from the oceans! Celebrate this bonus learning opportunity by drinking the bottle of water!
Here are some fun projects you can do alongside these for even more educational fun!
- Bubble Wrap Jellyfish from Multicraftingmummy
- Ocean in a Bottle from Happy Hooligans
- Ocean Sensory Table from Stir the Wonder
- Facts About Ocean Animals Printable Unit Study from 3 Boys and a Dog
- Bobbing for Nemo from Disney Family
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-Which creature from the movie is your child’s favorite? Be sure to find out more about that animal–perhaps make a craft or visit an aquarium! Children are like sponges and soak in information, especially when it is something they find interesting; always encourage your children to learn more and explore.