It’s time for the Virtual Book Club for Kids. We feature books for kids by great authors and today we are focusing on books by Giles Andreae.
We choose to feature Commotion in the Ocean book and designed a super fun and wet activity to compliment the story!
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Commotion in the Ocean and Activity
The Commotion in the Ocean book is a collection of short and fun poems about the animals in and around the sea. The rhythmic rhymes and upbeat illustrations keep even the youngest readers interested. Kids will learn about crabs, turtles, dolphins, angel fish, jelly fish, sharks, swordfish and more!
We created an outdoor ocean themed water park in our backyard for the neighbor kids. It was pretty easy to do and provided lots of fun for the kids.
1. Penguins on Icebergs
We filled the water table with icebergs (water I had frozen in bowls in the freezer) and these realistic looking penguins too. Great language was developing through this imaginative play.
The icebergs quickly made it over to the dolphin pool (see #8 below) and became another component of the instruments.
2. Lobster Pinchers
Using tongs the kids had to pick up marbles (“pearls”) out of a container of water and transfer them to a shell. A great activity for working on fine motor skills.
3. Walrus Sunning
We made these water blobs from hello, Wonderful blog for the kids to sun on like walruses. We added foam letters to our blob for kids to practice a little letter recognition as they were lounging in the sun. It would have been super cool, but we sprung a lot of leaks and this one didn’t last long. Next time, I will make sure to have a good seal at least 4-6 inches wide. Also, it’s very important this this is done on a flat surface. One of our seams had too much pressure on it which didn’t help with leaking.
4. Fishing Fun
In a small kiddy pool filled with water, we placed foam fish to float. We had these leftover from our Storytime Ideas: The Deep Blue Sea activity. We just added a paper clip to each fish so that it would be magnetic. Then we made fishing poles out of sticks, yarn and magnets. The kids got to fish and practice reading the color words on each fish.
5. Octopus Spray with Jellyfish Umbrellas
We also set out our sprinkler that looked like octopus tentacles. We added “jellyfish” umbrellas to use while playing in the water. This was one of the more popular activities. The kids also ended up bringing over some of the pots and containers to fill there too.
6. Whale Relay
A whale can be up to a 100 feet long so that is the distance we created between the start line and the whale containers. We created a whale container out of a gallon milk jug and placed it 100 feet from the start line. A container of blue water and barnacle sponges were placed at the start line. The kids had to walk sideways, like a crab, from the start line to the whale. While doing this, they were also carrying a water soaked sponge that they would squeeze into the milk jug whale. The object was to collaboratively work together to squeeze enough water into the whale so that it would shoot out his spout . Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good picture of this!
7. Turtle Egg Dig
We took a container of wet sand and buried plastic Easter eggs in the sand. The kids used their hands and digging tools to find the turtle eggs.
8. Dolphin Talking Pool
Dolphins love to communicate through clicks, clacks and other noises. We created a musical pool based on the idea from And Next Comes L.
9. Swordfish Name Pop
We filled up enough water balloons for each child to have three balloons. With a permanent marker, we wrote the name of each child on each balloon (you want each child to have three). We used a shepherd hook as the sword of our swordfish. Each child had to find the balloons with their names on them. This is great practice for name recognition. They then took turns throwing the balloons at the swordfish trying to pop their balloons.
Tip: Don’t fill them too far in advance. The longer they sat, the more prone they were to popping before we were ready for this event.
10. Don’t Soak the Shark
We didn’t do this one, but I love this Don’t Soak the Shark game from Toddler Approved. It’s great for practicing letter matching.
After the water play, we were ready to create our ice cream sundaes at the Polar Bear Sundae Station. Waffle bowls filled with vanilla ice cream were topped with marshmallow ears, chocolate chip eyes and a mini Oreo cookie muzzle.
We hope you are inspired by the Commotion in the Ocean book to create your own backyard ocean water park!
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Check out some other great activities featuring Giles Andreae’s books. Happy Reading!
Toddler Approved– The Educators’ Spin On It– Rainy Day Mum– 3 Dinosaurs– Learn~Play~Imagine– Crafty Moms Share– Reading Confetti– Inspiration Laboratories– Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas– Kids Yoga Stories– Enchanted Homeschooling Mom– Ready-Set-Read– Boy Mama Teacher Mama– PlayDrMom– Fantastic Fun and Learning– Growing Book by Book– Royal Baloo– The Outlaw Mom® Blog– Kitchen Counter Chronicles– Teach Preschool