We have an ECE (early childhood educator) mama at our co-op who creates the most delightful lessons for our group of children. Today we are going under the sea and learning about Jelly Fish.
She started the morning with the children gathered in a circle and she read them a book about the amazing life of a sea jelly. The first thing she taught the children was that they are no longer called Jelly Fish but Sea Jellies. Fish have a backbone but Sea Jellies do not so we shouldn’t be calling them fish! After circle time the children went through several activity stations.
1. Water Colour Painting
The children used watercolour paints to paint the ocean layers. The deeper you go in the ocean the darker it gets.
Notice how she taped down each piece of paper to the table. This worked well for the toddlers and preschoolers.
Her own daughter had prepared this chart as a visual when they talked about the ocean layers.
The water colouring painting activity came first, then the children visited the other activity stations and finished the morning back at the painting station. Once the water colour paints were dry the kids got chalk to draw sea jellies onto their water colour backgrounds. Most of the paintings were quite ‘abstract’ but here is one where you can distinguish the sea jellies.
2. Sensory Bin
The sensory bin activity station had water beads. These sensory water beads were throughly enjoyed by all the children. Plastic sea creatures added to the fun.
3. Drawing Station
Writing, colouring, stickers, and drawing materials gave the children an opportunity to record some of the information they learned at the beginning of the morning.
4. Make a Word Station
The preschoolers liked moving the large letters around to make the word – sea jelly.
5. Balloon Partner Game
This was a good activity to work on cooperation and communication. The children could find a friend and pass the balloon sea jelly back and forth in the air and pretend that it was swimming in the ocean.
6. Paper Bowl Craft
Small paper bowls turned upside down were crafted into sea jellies. The children had a choice of ribbons, yarn and crepe streamers for their sea jelly tentacles.
The bodies were painted and we helped the children tie on their ribbons.
That’s one happy looking sea jelly!
7. Sea Jellies in a Bottle
This was an idea from Pinterest and you can check out the instructions here. The sea jellies are made from plastic grocery bags and put in water with food colouring.
If you flip the bottle upside down the sea jelly slowly floats to the top. It fascinated many of the children. My friend did say that it was tricky to make so don’t attempt this one unless you have a full free evening on your hands.
8. Dancing with Scarves
The children listened to instrumental music and danced with long silk scarves to move like sea jellies. They swirled around the room avoiding predators (chairs) and other sea jellies.
What a beautiful morning spent under the sea. Feel free to use these ideas if you would like to take your daycare group for an underwater sea adventure.