The weather where we’re living right now is still quite warm; unseasonably so, if we’re being honest. Even so, our kids have definitely started getting back into fall mode now that school is starting up again, coming home each day excited about what they learned and ready to ask us more questions and read about their favourite topics or combine those with their creative skills (like the little craft lovers they are) rather than immediately wanting to run around outside, like they’ve been doing the last few months through the summer. That’s why we weren’t surprised in the least when they came home from school the very first day ready to talk our ears off about sea creatures and the ocean, since that was the topic of their first reading exercise in their new classrooms! We adore the fact that they’re creative enough kids to think of the concept of using their school topics as crafting inspiration all on their own, so we’ve been spending some time lately looking up awesome resources that will help us keep up with them, helping them to make all kinds of cool ocean themed things until they move onto the next awesome topic.
Just in case your kids adore sea life and ocean facts just as much as ours do, if not more, here are 15 of the cutest and most fun ideas, designs, and tutorials we’ve come across so far in our search!
1. Yarn and paper plate jellyfish
Are your kids quite little but still already creative enough to grow board of simple cut and paste crafts after a while? Then perhaps they’ve have a better time making something out of differently textured supplies combined in one place, just for a little something different! We love the way Non-Toy Gifts upcycled the paper plates they had in their pantry and some old scrap yarn from their knitting stash to create these funny, colourful jellyfish! The ones with big googly eyes made our kids giggle.
2. Paper plate and Goldfish cracker craft
Speaking of slightly unconventional crafting supplies and DIY tool combinations, our kids have always adored the idea of crafting with food and, to be honest, we don’t mind it either because it keeps them busy and happy for longer when we can give them DIY and snack time all at once. That’s why we thought these paper plate and gold fish cracker “under the sea” scenes featured on Surviving A Teacher’s Salary were such a good idea! Just be sure to remind your kids to keep track of which crackers they’ve already put glue on so they don’t get an unpleasant surprise in any of their snack handfuls.
3. Ocean in an egg carton
So far, we’ve talked about upcycling ideas, cut and paste techniques, and mixed media crafting, but what if you’re having trouble choosing which one to show your kids because you think they’d like all of them at once? Well, who says you have to choose between those things in the first place? We’re huge fans of the way The Imagination Tree put them all together by building an ocean inside an emptied egg carton, complete with actual seashells.
4. Paper plate ocean crabs
Are you actually really into the idea of repurposing those old paper plates you’ve had lying around unused into as many different kinds of sea creature as possible because it’s a simple and affordable idea but your kids also adore it? In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how ABC Creative Learning made funny little ocean crabs by painting their paper plates red, folding them in half, and embellishing them with paper legs and googly eyes. Our kids made theirs sparkly too!
5. Handprint and crafting stick fish puppets
Are the crafts that are usually the most successful in your household definitely the ones that your kids can enjoy making throughout the crafting process itself, but also continue using afterwards, having fun playing with whatever they’ve made? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at the way Southern Made Simple made funny little fishy puppets using popsicles sticks and traced handprints cut from awesomely patterned and brightly coloured crafting paper. Try adding some rhinestones for a bit of sparkle that will glint like an actual fish’s scales!
6. Sun catcher jellyfish
Were your kids pretty intrigued indeed by the idea of making handcrafted jellyfish because they’ve always been enamoured with the mysterious looking creatures, but they’re a little bit older than the paper plate and yarn craft is really meant for, so you’re worried they won’t be that interested in that particular project? Then perhaps you’d prefer to make something like these jellyfish sun catchers that are made to mimic stained glass! I Heart Arts n’ Crafts guides you step by step through the process of piecing together tissue paper and adding strips of gift ribbon all along the bottom.
7. Painted paper plate and yarn seashells
Has it actually always been the seashells your kids have adored when it comes to the topic of the ocean and the seaside, rather than the actual creatures themselves? Well, don’t fret just yet, because there are plenty of kids’ crafts out there for shell lovers too! We’d definitely suggest taking a look at the way A Crafty Life made strategic cuts and strung some yarn in lines to make adorable paper plate seashells. We adore their pretty sponged and sprayed painting techniques!
8. Ocean play dough craft
Have your kids actually always been the kind of hands-on little crafters that enjoy being able to squish and mould whatever they’re making, getting a lot of satisfaction from creating shapes out of their bare hands? In that case, we think perhaps this adorable ocean play dough idea outlined in clear, full instructions on The Imagination Tree might be right up their alley! Our little ones played with theirs for hours because they loved that they got to make it from scratch themselves, as well as the fact that it sparkled and that they could lodge different shells and “sea glass” marbles into it, taking them out and changing them around to make different scenes at whim.
9. Ocean in a bottle
Have you always been a big fan of play and crafting that involves some element of learning or thinking as well, even if it’s just something that helps your kids focus and be still for just a moment? Then we think perhaps your family will find this “ocean in a bottle” craft from Happy Hooligans just as beneficial as ours did! Our kids adored making it themselves (with our help), learning about why the colours in the bottle don’t run into each other, and getting to shake the bottle and relax for a moment as they watched the contents inside swirl and toss just like real ocean waves would.
10. Soap sea foam sensory play activity
If you’re going to put lots of time, effort, and potentially mess into making an ocean themed craft from complete scratch, would you rather make it something that really gives your kids a unique and interesting kinetic play experience? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Parkland Players made this super fun sea foam soap! Our kids played with this for hours on end, but we’d certainly encourage you to take it outside on a warm day or perhaps put down a tarp or some towels near the bath tub.
11. Button fish craft
As you’re scrolling through our list so far, have the ideas you’ve been most enthusiastic about helping your kids to make always been the ones that involve some kind of repurposing element, but so far you haven’t seen one that uses things you’ve already got stashed away? Well, if you’re a sewing lover of any level like we are, we have a feeling you’ll quite enjoy the way I Heart Crafty Things used simple cut and paste techniques to turn spare buttons in all different sizes and colours into cute little fishes swimming through a bubbly ocean. They eve managed to reuse some spare paper correctors to make the bubbles! That’s pretty crafty, if you ask us.
12. Newspaper shark craft
We know we’ve talked a lot about how our kids got their inspiration for all these ocean themed crafts by learning about the creatures who call the ocean home at school, but what if your kids are a little older and gleaned their interest from slightly scarier places, like shark movies? In that case, we think perhaps they’d get along a little better with something like this hilariously ferocious looking shark made from a piece of newsprint. Craft Books for Kids shows you how to cut the shapes to make it happen.
13. 3D sea urchin kids craft
Have your kids definitely always been the kinds of crafters who love to create things that are a little more structure, forming the shapes from just about anything they can get their hands on? Then we’d be willing to bet that they’d have a total blast making something textured and cool, like this funny sea urchin! I Heart Crafty Things teaches you how to make it from paint, foam spheres, and wooden dowels or large toothpicks.
14. Cupcake liner seahorses
Are you actually still looking for different ways to help your kids get crafty with things you’ve already got in your household somewhere, while still working within that deep sea theme they love so much? Well, if you’ve a family of bakers, particularly cupcake lovers, like we are, we have a feeling you’ll like this simple cut and paste cupcake liner craft just as much as we did! The Pinterested Parent shows you how to make it happen using folded cupcake liners in all different colours, glue, construction paper, and funny googly eyes to top their little horses’ faces off.
15. Egg carton sea turtles
Did your kids have a total blast making their egg carton ocean scenes, while you appreciated being able to repurpose something that wasn’t being used otherwise, but now they’re asking to make more seaside themed things from egg cartons, so you’re on the hunt for ideas again? In that case, look no further than this fantastically cute sea turtle idea featured on Emma Owl! We think their little pom pom heads are adorable.
Have you and your kids made other ocean style DIY crafts and projects that you loved but that you don’t see anything quite similar to here? Tell us all about what you created and how you did it or link us to photos of your finished work in the comments section!