Ocean Preschool Lessons

I am so excited to begin sharing preschool lessons with you! So many of you joined my little family through our Toddler School lessons over the past two years, and I can’t wait to see where this preschool journey takes us. I watched my son grow in his love of learning, develop fine motor skills, learn the alphabet, and learn to count to 10. As we begin this new preschool adventure, I will be creating lessons that build on the skills we have already learned in new and exciting ways! I hope you enjoy beginning this journey with us!

The first unit I get to share with you is our Preschool Ocean Unit! It is filled with activities that take us on a trip down under the sea. Make sure to read to the bottom of this post for a special free resource you can use to get started learning right away!

Ocean Unit Overview

During this week, children will work on the following:

Kicking Off Ocean Week


To begin our new week, I set the stage for learning by talking about what the ocean is. We read the poster and discussed what my son knew about the plants and animals that live in the ocean. We wrote these on post-it notes and placed on the poster.


Next, we got into our scuba gear and got ready for a trip down under! We tied ribbon onto the sides of the scuba tank to make a backpack and added ribbon to the sides of the mask so my son could wear one.

Pretend Play Activity

Pretend Play

We love pretend play in our home since it allows imagination to run wild! This is so important in the creative development of a child’s brain. I created an ocean themed pretend play center. I painted a tri-fold board and then cut an opening to hold our puppets in. It was the perfect puppet show backdrop!

Pretend Play

Pretend Play

Then, I cut out ocean animals and glued onto craft sticks. We have had more puppet shows than I can count in the past few days.

Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are always one of our favorite learning tools. In this unit, we used sensory bins to work on ordering numbers within 10, identifying letters, and counting within 10.

Sensory Bin

This sensory bin is all about learning through play. First, I filled a large bin with water beads. You can click here to grab the water beads on Amazon. Then, I laminated the numbered fish cards. I added the cards to the bin right before we were ready to play so the paper wouldn’t get wet. We went fishing for fish in the bin and then ordered the fish from 1 to 10.

Sensory Bin 2

We also enjoyed matching letters while working on letter names and sounds through this sand and sea sensory bin. I turned the blue letter tiles upside down to represent the water and added some sand to represent the beach. As we turned over the letter tiles, we matching on the matching letter mat.

Fine Motor Activities

Let’s just say that I obsess a bit over including as many fine motor activities as I can into our day. As a first grade teacher, I know the importance of fine motor skills and how they relate to a child writing independently. In this unit, we work on squeezing, pressing, grasping, lacing, tracing, cutting, gluing, and coloring…to name a few…

Melting Ice

Our favorite fine motor activity this week was trying to free the ocean animals from the ice block. This also provided the opportunity for science integration and vocabulary development as we discussed the states of matter. We also experimented with different water temperatures to see which one would be the most effective.



We also enjoyed tracing the alphabet on ocean alphabet cards and getting in some great cutting practice.

Art Activities

Watercolor Paint

This unit was filled with so many fun art activities! We love watercolor paint so we created an underwater illustration. First, we colored the fish and kelp with crayons and then we painted over with liquid watercolor paint. Then, we sprinkled kosher salt on top of the paint before it dried. The salt added “bubbles” to our painting. The salt part of this activity works best if you use watercolor paper. You can click here to grab watercolor paper on Amazon.

Ocean Fossils

We also made salt dough fossils by pressing our ocean animals into small pancake rounds of salt dough. Then, we baked them to dry them out.

Math and Science Activities

Ocean in a bottle

This week, we made an ocean in a bottle. To make your own, add 2/3 water to the bottle and 5 drops of blue food coloring. Swirl to mix. Then, add baby oil or another cooking oil. Fill to the very top. Add the lid and make sure it is screwed on tight. Turn the bottle side to side and watch what happens when a wave is formed!

Math Clip Cards

This unit focused on counting numbers within 10. We worked on this by counting ocean animals and clipping the clothespin onto the correct number. You can grab these clip cards for FREE at the bottom of this post.

Math Number Mats

We also used these hands on number mats to form each number. To play the game, draw a card. Then, place the same number of bubbles into the ocean that were shown on the card.

Math Number Mats

We also worked on graphing numbers to 10 using this math graphing sheet.

Next Steps

I hope you enjoyed following our preschool journey this week! To help get you started, you can download these ocean math clip cards by filling out the form below. If you want to download the printable materials in this unit, just click here to download this Preschool Ocean Unit from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. It comes with 5 lesson plans and all the printable materials you will need to make teaching your preschooler as easy as possible. Make sure to tag me @theprimarybrain on Instagram if you share any of the activities you make. I would love to see! Or, just send me a message to say hello or ask a question! I hope you enjoy playing and learning with your little ones this week!


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