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Teaching a toddler is important and challenging in equal measure! Early years of childhood is when they are absorbing like a sponge as they discover the world. Why not make it more interesting and fun for them? For my son, I used to select a weekly or monthly theme and built in all activities around it. This would help me plan and organize too. This way I could cover a lot of things and could retain his interest too.
Underwater life fascinates children and the activities here could help them learn a lot. Good enough for 1.5 – 2.5 year olds!
Start talking about the undersea life. Children find fishes very attractive. This is the time to teach them about different kinds of fishes. Break it up into small parts. Do not make it a sit down and teaching activity at one go. Say, you can tell them how sardines are small fishes and they always move in groups called schools, while they are bathing.
Take bright pictures from the internet and take prints and hang on a string in the nursery to set the theme at the beginning of the month. You can hang all theme-based art and craft activities you do during the day. Inexpensive party décor for the underwater theme can also come in handy.
Music and Rhymes
Sing out theme-based rhymes and dance with your child. Or, simply play on YouTube and dance. Download them and play while you are on a drive together to school.
Let's go Diving Down (Tune – ' Row, Row, Row your boat ')
Let's go diving down
In the ocean blue.
See us swimming with a fish
And with an oyster, too.
Each time you sing substitute a different undersea creature like 'crab', 'shark' etc for oyster.
The Whales (Tune – ' I am a teapot' )
I'm a humpback whale,
I'm very strong.
I leap about
And sing a song.
I like to eat my fill
In the northern Sea
But in the winter,
South I flee.
I am a beluga,
I'm all white.
From head to tail
I'm quite a sight.
You can hear me singing
Way up north,
Playing and swimming
Back and forth.
I'm a mighty orca
Black and white.
In the sea
I'm a beautiful sight.
I'm not very big,
But I am sleek.
I hunt for my food
'Cause I have teeth.
Art and Craft
This theme offers a lot of crafts - right from basic activities like coloring a fish or fish collage to bigger activities. Check out these examples.
Materials Needed: White paper plates cut in half, fabric or streamers, googly eyes, markers
The children decorate the paper plate half with markers and glue googly eyes on.
They glue strips of fabric or streamers to it and hang for some swimming Octopus.
Materials needed: Poster board with starfish drawn on them, scissors, dry oatmeal or sand, glue
The children cut out their starfish. They brush on glue and sprinkle on dry oatmeal or sand.
Enjoy cooking time with your child. Bake some sugar cookies in fish shapes and some star fish sandwiches. Too busy to cook? Just buy goldfish crackers.
You can visit beaches for a picnic. Pick up shells and use it for crafts later. You can visit aquariums. If these are not possible, at least visit an aquatic pet shop. Sing rhymes along the way.
Song and Movie Time
Watch movies like Finding Nemo and series like Octonauts and Bubble Guppies together. Try to listen to music as the theme. Some of the suggestions would be Down By the Bay , by Raffi and The Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium . If you can get some music with ocean waves, play it, children love to hear it.
During playtime make your child walk like crabs. See they can crab walk fast, slow, forward and backwards!
Make them run around the garden swimming like a fish.
This will help develop their gross motor skills while you can enjoy the look on their happy faces. Don't forget to save the memories as photos!
For indoor games, you can have underwater theme board games.
Try these out and if you had a good learning time with your child, check out more activity ideas based on underwater theme for 2.5 - 5 years.
Read more about: 10 Easy Ocean-Themed Games To Try At Home