Make a Splash for World Ocean Day this June

Oceans are an essential part of the Earth’s ecosystem because they provide us with food, oxygen and help to regulate the planet’s climate.  So, looking after them is important to protect the marine life that calls oceans home.

When is World Ocean Day Celebrated?

World Ocean Day is celebrated around the globe on 8th June to raise awareness about ocean conservation. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to engage children in ocean-themed play and activities that can ignite their curiosity and love of nature.

Discover some of our favourite ocean play ideas to teach your little ones about marine life, from creating a garden ocean to jellyfish suncatchers. These activities will make a splash and inspire young minds to protect and cherish our oceans.

ocean floor

1) Create a Garden Ocean

One way to immerse children in the world of oceans is by making your own mini ocean in your back garden.

Set up a shallow pool or wooden sand and water table and fill it with water to represent the vastness of the sea. Add pebbles, seashells, and your child’s favourite sea creature water toys to create a visually appealing underwater scene.

Once your ocean scene is set up, the world is their oyster! Children can use their imagination to play with toy boats, simulate waves, and discover the incredible marine life in their ocean play pool. This hands-on sensory water play allows kids to understand the interconnectedness of ecosystems and learn about different sea creatures that live in the sea.

Creating an ocean sensory pool can be beneficial to your child’s development. The different toys and materials in the sensory pool create tactile sensations and colourful patterns in the water, captivating the curiosity of young children. Engaging in this interactive experience encourages learning through touch, enhances dexterity, and promotes sensory exploration.

child playing with Plum Play Build and Splash water table

2) Jump and Learn

Trampolines are a fun way for children to engage in healthy active play. Bouncing on a trampoline can help children to improve their muscle strength and balance and is a great way to exercise that is kind to little ones’ joints.

With the Ocean Print and Sound Bouncer, your little ones will learn to recognise the sea creatures on the fully printed jumping mat and print and colour safety pad. As your child bounces on the toddler trampoline, four ocean sounds are activated as they move to make jumping even more fun, and they’ll learn to associate the sounds of the ocean with the different sea creatures as they play.

For junior jumpers, there’s the 4.5ft Ocean Print and Sound Trampoline so that older children can dive into the fun of the ocean too.

Plum Ocean Print and Sound Bouncer

3) Eggbox Ocean Craft

Another ocean-themed play idea is to let children explore their artistic side by making an eggbox ocean craft and creating their seascape.

You will need:

🌊 Egg cartons

🌊 Paint – blue and green are ideal colours

🌊 Paintbrushes

🌊 Cardboard

🌊 Glue

🌊 Scissors

🌊 Natural materials – shells, pebbles and seaweed work well

  1. Collect empty egg cartons and help children paint the sections blue to resemble the ocean.
  2. Then, encourage them to create their own underwater scenes using various art supplies such as cardboard cut into sea shapes, like starfish and natural materials like shells and seaweed.
  3. Get kids to pop their ocean creations into the eggbox, which acts as the ocean backdrop to complete their design.

This craft activity encourages creativity and imagination while fostering discussions about the importance of protecting marine habitats and conserving our oceans.

4) Jellyfish Suncatcher

Jellyfish are mesmerising creatures that captivate the imagination of children. To celebrate World Ocean Day, engage kids in creating Jellyfish Suncatchers.

You will need:

🪸 Pencil

🪸 Black cardboard

🪸 Tissues paper in lots of colours

🪸 Glue

🪸 Ribbon

🪸 Scissors

  1. Start by drawing a Jellyfish body outline on black cardboard paper and cut this out. Also, cut out the middle of the jellyfish shape; this is where the colourful tissue paper will go to create the suncatcher.
  2. Time to get colourful! Kids can get creative here and use their favourite colours in lots of shapes and sizes to create a vibrant suncatcher pattern. Let kids stick pieces of coloured tissue paper to the middle of the jellyfish, working from the edges to the centre.
  3. Then, help them cut out long, dangling tentacles from colourful ribbons or attach these tentacles to the bottom of the jellyfish and secure them with glue.
  4. Hang the finished suncatchers near windows, allowing the sunlight to shine through and illuminate the shimmering colours.

As children admire their creations, it’s an excellent opportunity to start a discussion with your little one about the significance of jellyfish to ocean life and the importance of looking after all the creatures in the ocean.

5) Fishing for Numbers

Fishing for Numbers is a playful way to introduce young children to numbers while enjoying the ocean theme.

Create fish-shaped cut-outs from colourful cardboard and write numbers on each fish. Attach a paper clip to each fish.

Make a fishing rod using a stick, string, and a magnet tied to the end of the line.

Spread the fish cut-outs on the floor and have the children take turns fishing for numbers.

As they catch a fish, ask them to identify the number and count aloud.

This activity enhances numeracy skills and hand-eye coordination. This activity is also versatile – on the other side of the fish, you can write letters and get children to fish for the letters of their name or to spell ocean-related words. This can also help children develop their letter recognition, reading and literacy skills.

Plum Play Build and Splash

World Ocean Day provides the opportunity to talk with your little one about the importance of caring for the world and looking after oceans and the sea creatures that live in them. We hope these play suggestions have given you some fun ideas on engaging your children in ocean-themed play, sparking their imaginations and making a splash this World Ocean Day.

If you try out any of these ideas, share your adventures with us @PlumPlay UK #LifeatPlay.

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