I have some awesome Coral Collages and STEAM Station activities to share with you today from our Mother Goose Time Ocean Commotion theme. We loved these activities this week! It’s been so fun to discover the coral reef colors, explore plants and animals on the ocean floor and see what is inside an ocean cave.
Coral Collages and STEAM Station Ocean
One thing we noticed about coral reefs is how colorful they are! It’s kind of hard to describe a coral reef to a child when we can’t see them in our environment or interact with it, but the beautiful photos and videos on YouTube really help. I explained coral reefs as like an underwater garden. The coral is alive and other creatures hide and feed in there.
The bright colored cornstarch noodles and straws against the blue paper made a wonderful representation of a coral reef!
Cutting, fine motor skills, planning art, using visual and tactile senses, and squeezing glue were all involved in creating our coral collages.
It’s exciting for young children to use different art materials like the cornstarch noodles and straws! They always want more. I try to disperse the colors so everyone has a variety.
Coral Matching Card Game
Using familiar materials in a new way creates interest and encourages participation. This time, we sorted the matching cards into envelopes that I taped to the wall.
This makes good use of our space and allows the activity remain up for the day or two to give children an opportunity to revisit it and try again.
Coral Reefs STEAM Station
How about this super fun hands-on way to learn about coral reefs?! This STEAM Station uses simple materials you already have like:
- Play Dough
- Pipe cleaners
- Pasta or Cereal
I like divider trays like this to encourage each child to select colors and materials they are interested in using.
We used the coral photo as inspiration while creating our coral.
Even our littlest lady (2 years old) was able to participate – she watched me and then divided up her dough and started sticking in pipe cleaners. I showed her that it might be helpful to use a larger lump of play dough so the pipe cleaner had more to stick into, but she had the right idea!
Love this big colorful coral!
There all different kinds of coral that grow in the ocean so this one was interesting too. Love the colors!
Our amazing coral STEAM Station coral creations!
There are so many interesting and unique finds in the ocean.
These can be taken apart and the materials can be used again.
Respect the Reef Block Activity
Recently we replaced our flooring which led to some reorganization of our space. Now I have room for a complete block center! This month we are learning about the meaning of being respectful.
We want to be respectful in the way we live and treat others. We also need to be respectful of our environment. Coral reefs are fragile and we don’t want to damage them because they are beautiful. Ocean animals live there and find food as well as safety in the coral reefs. Pollution and boats can damage the coral, ruining it for everyone. We want to be respectful. But what does respectful mean to a child? I explained it as “careful” and “kind”.
A lot of words like this do not mean much to young children but I believe this activity really was meaningful! First, we used our blocks to build a coral reef, topping it with our colorful blocks. Then we carefully walked around the block coral reef, being careful and kind to our friends and the block structure so it wouldn’t topple over. Of course, it became fun to jump and watch it fall, but everyone earned their “I am respectful.” bracelet.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the Coral Collages and STEAM Station as well as the other fabulous coral related activities as much as we did! More Ocean Commotion fun coming up!