Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ocean Aquariums Craft

This is not a quick craft, but it does turn out awesome and has a ton of skills utilized. 

This craft has been around for a long time. I've been doing it for ten years, so there are many variations. 

Here's mine.

The first day we painted our background plates. The children were given a choice of green, blue, and white paint. They chose a palate with blue and white paint to use and mix as they pleased. Later, the girls insisted on having some purple as well.

The second day they added ocean themed foamies, and some of the blue gravel from our sensory bin,

Followed by torn strips of green tissue papers along the bottom.

I tried a lot of different plates and bowls and lids before finding one that fit perfectly between the cut outs, leaving at least a 1/4 inch overlap. Given that these children are all a young 3 or younger, I cut the inner circles out myself. That skill I felt was beyond them without folding the plate in half, which wouldn't work. I cut  right at the bottom of the scallops to allow as much viewing room for their art as possible.

 The third day, they traced around a butterfly birthday plate onto vinyl and cut that out.

They put glue around the inside edge and pressed the vinyl circles onto it.

We used the DELUXE weight vinyl that I got at Walmart for $2.47 a yard in the fabric department. Not every Walmart has a fabric department. You can obviously purchase it at any fabric store, but you can also get vinyl at the hardware stores. Just make sure it says CLEAR and HEAVY WEIGHT.  It's good for a lot of things, including toddler spill mats. 

Later that day, after the glue had dried, they put glue around the outside edge of their ocean scene 

and attached the two sides.

The children chose the length of their string and cut it. I tied a double knot in one end and stapled over the string to hold it on, along with stapling the other 3 corners for extra security.

Then I tied a loop on the other end for hanging.

I just saw yesterday a similar one that had the outer ring painted silver with Cheerios spaced around it also painted gray to look like a submarine porthole. If I would have seen that earlier, we probably would have done that. 

If you don't have foamies, I have also seen Goldfish crackers used, fish cut outs and other items. I just really like the variety of the foamies, the ocean animal discussions they create, and obviously, I have a LOT of them to use. I do wish I would have had some small shells for them to add, but I only had large ones. 

If the child pops the vinyl out, just run a bead of glue along the edge and lay it vinyl side down until dry. If using the heavy weight vinyl, it will fall down and adhere with no problem.

I've seen this listed as for ages 6+, but as you can see, even my 18-month-old was able to do a modified version, and the 2-3 year olds were able to do most of it just fine with some supervision and a little teacher assistance as needed.

If you don't staple the sides together north, south, east and west, then don't plan on them holding together long with just school glue.


Art: paint, cut, paste, creative expression, trace, mixed media, filling in a space
Math: long/short, circles, top/bottom, up/down, 
Science: ocean habitat and animals
Fine Motor: cut, paste, paint, trace, pulling stickers from foamies, placement of items, tearing tissue paper, 
Social: following directions, sharing resources, waiting turns
Tags: ocean, sea, theme, unit, childcare, child, daycare, art, craft, cut, paste, glue, aquarium, paint, painting, kindergarten, homeschool, kid, kids

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