With summer in full force in our neck of the woods, most days rising above 100 degrees, it’s refreshing to do a little ocean art and to imagine ourselves on the beach.
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The summer days are sweltering. Just sweltering!
The air is still and quiet, leaving the heat of summer laying heavily on our shoulders. weighing us down, making us feel lethargic.
My kids and I play outside as much as we can, but our time is limited to playing mostly in the mornings with the heat engulfing us as soon as we step outside. And when I say mostly in the mornings, I mean we head out directly after breakfast. The kids play in the kiddie pool or put the hose in the sandbox while I tend to my eight tomato plants. (Yeah, we really like tomatoes at our house).
So when we have exhausted ourselves of playing outside, which doesn’t actually last more than a few hours, we refresh ourselves by coming inside for some ice cold water (or sometimes even Kool-Aid) and enjoy the air conditioning that is a must.
But then, what should we do with the rest of our day?
We make art reminiscent of the ocean.
Ocean Art for Preschoolers and Toddlers
- heavy paper, such as card stock or good sketch paper
- blue and white washable tempera paint
- blue tissue paper
- star cutouts (We used a star puncher).
- clear drying glue
I invited my kids to join me in making some ocean art. I feel that offering an invitation is really important. It makes my kids feel special that I would want them to join me, rather than just being set up with the materials while I tend to something completely different.
So, we make art together.
I gave each of my kids a sheet of white card stock and asked them what color the ocean water is. Having seen pictures of a trip my husband and I took to Santorini years and years ago, they always answer that ocean water is blue. They began by painting their ocean and waves mixing blue and white tempera paint.
Even my 22-month-old joined in the fun, which is appropriate since young children thrive in process art.
Next, we added some squares and strips of tissue paper. My kids realized that if they crumpled the tissue paper some, it gave an even greater appearance of waves, giving the artwork more texture and dimension.
Look at that mess! I love it!
At this point, we allowed our painting to dry some before continuing.
Once the paintings were mostly dry, I say mostly because I can be a little impatient, we squirted some glue on our paintings and added sand (yup, from the sandbox) and our star cutouts. I would have been ok leaving off the stars, but my daughter really wanted to add sea stars to her artwork. My poor kids have never been to the ocean, and my daughter is fascinated by sea stars.
Ocean Art Fit for Hanging
I know “everything” a kid makes is worthy of being hung, but let’s be honest, most of us have limited space on the refrigerator. But, our ocean art had to be hung because my kids were so proud of them.
And what was also great was not only watching my kids through the process of making art, which is so important, but it felt cool and refreshing to gaze at our beach-y paintings. And now my 22-month-old is asking me, “Go ocean?” But I redirect him by putting the hose back in the sandbox.
Some of Our Favorite Ocean Toys and Books
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.
I have always worked with small children in child care centers until I fell down my basement stairs and injured myself and can’t lift heavy things. My love was messy art I loved it and they did to. I love your blog. I guess the teacher in my will always be there.