Each summer thousands of children head to different summer camps throughout the country. This year create your own summer camp at home through themed weeks that include learning, projects and just plain fun. Each week I will showcase a few ideas for educational and fun projects along with great reading material and great activities for your family all based on a theme each week. So save a little money this year and create your very own summer camp and have fun! Check out the entire Summer Camp at Home series for more ideas.
Visit The Beach:
This is one of our favorite activities to do when the weather turns nice. The girls head to the beach and look at the tide pools for snails, crabs and tadpoles. We explore what each one requires to survive in the ocean and what types of food they may eat. While we are exploring the ocean we walk along the beach to examine the different types of seashells and discuss what might have lived in them. We collect rocks and a few of the seashells to keep and if you are planning on completing the Seashell Wind Chimes they come in quite handy for the project!
Visit The Aquarium:
This is a great way for the children to learn first hand on what lives under the sea by seeing them up close and personal! They can see sharks and dolphins that would normally not be visible from the beach and can see the wide range of creatures that live in the ocean. In addition most aquariums offer a chance for children to touch sea creatures such as starfish or sea urchins and have special events for members.
Take a clean 20 ounce water bottle (or even a 2-liter bottle) and remove all labels and rinse out thoroughly. Using a funnel pour baby oil into the bottle to about 1/3 full. Fill another 1/3 with water and add a few drops of blue food coloring to create the ocean. You can add tiny plastic fish or use things around your home such as glitter or buttons to pretend they are fish. You could also try actual Pepperridge Farms Goldfish if you wanted to. Seal the bottle with glue around the cap if you wish to avoid accidental spills and let the kids make waves by gently rocking the bottle back and forth.
Seashell Wind Chimes:
While at the beach visiting the tide pools collect a few seashells, seaglass and other items such as little pieces of driftwood or rocks. When you get home, find two or more wood sticks from your backyard that you will use as the base for the wind chimes. Using different lengths of string tie each treasure to the wood sticks. You can create different layers by tying additional sticks under the seashells to make a more complex wind chime. Use a long piece of string to hang the wind chime.
Check out these additional craft projects to do at home:
Check out your local library for the following books and more to help explore the ocean right from home.
- Simon & Schuster Children’s Guide to Sea Creatures (Simon & Schuster Children’s Guides)
- Awesome Ocean Science (Williamson Kids Can! Series)
Interested in learning more about the ocean through projects but don’t have the time to get the materials and come up with a plan? Then check out Green Kid Crafts Ocean Discovery Box full of ocean fun craft projects to help expand your child’s learning!
Wave bottle picture and craft idea via Parenting
Seashell Wind Chime picture and craft idea via Martha Stewart
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