If you’re planning an ocean preschool theme, these 20+ free preschool ocean printables are a fantastic way to add some low-prep, hands-on learning to your lesson plans. These free printable activities cover literacy, math, and pre-writing fine motor skills.
My kids and I are lucky enough to visit the ocean every year. I love making our annual trip to our “seaside classroom.”
We explore the beach for sea life such as crabs, clam shells, and seaweed. We build sandcastles and waterways with buckets and shovels and delicately add our collected seashells to our castles to decorate them. We surf and boogy board and jump in the tide, feeling our feet sinking into the sand as the ocean pulls away from the shore.
And we practice writing and drawing in the sand. Lots of that! My kids will find a piece of driftwood and drag it along the beach to make giant pictures that look like spiraling crop circles.
There’s so much natural learning at the ocean.
But if you can’t take your classroom to the ocean, you can bring the ocean to the classroom with these free ocean worksheets and printables for kids.
FAQs About Teaching an Ocean Theme
Teaching children about the ocean is a lot more than just playing with buckets of water and pretending to be pirates. Get them excited for math by teaching counting, time sequence skills, or shapes Teach literacy concepts through songs and fingerplays that feature ocean animals, and prewriting activities that feature beach toys.
But an ocean preschool theme doesn’t just have to be about sea animals. You can teach about the difference between fresh water and salt water, the different layers of the ocean, where in the world oceans are found, and about different jobs people might have related to the ocean.
Even if you don’t live near the ocean, picture books and videos about the ocean can make it come alive for preschoolers. You can also create fun, hands-on ocean activities such as sensory bins and water tables to add more enrichment to your lesson plans. And if you have the option, a field trip to an aquarium can open up a whole world of learning about ocean animals for kids.
A simple way to describe the ocean to preschoolers is to explain that it is a large body of salt water. You can use a globe, a map, pictures, books, and videos to visually show kids what an ocean looks like. To further explain what the ocean is, add a hands-on activity such as a sensory bin of salty, sandy water with ocean animal toys in it.
Don’t Forget Ocean Picture Books!
Carefully selected picture books about the ocean can really make your ocean theme come alive, especially if your preschool class doesn’t have any formal experience with the sea. Here are some of my favorite ocean theme picture books I like to read my class during circle time!
Get the Right Ocean Themed Manipulatives
Bringing the ocean to your classroom means having the right ocean materials. Here’s what I always have for my ocean theme.
These preschool ocean printables for young children are an easy way to add some fun ocean themed learning activities to your lesson plans. They will help your preschoolers learn literacy concepts such as letter recognition, math concepts such as counting, and they’ll help them practice fine motor skills for writing.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.