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I recently completed a preschool ocean unit with my two kids, 4-year-old QBoy and 3-year-old XGirl. As part of our ocean unit, I thought it would be fun to create some ocean-themed sand paintings. For me, this was a fun way to bring an art component to our ocean unit study. And using sand was a brand new art medium for us, which made it even more fun.
Note: For more resources, printables and activities related to the ocean and its inhabitants, please see my ocean unit study page.
To make our ocean-themed sand paintings, I gathered the following materials:
- Ocean-themed stencils
- Colorations sensory sand
- Clear contact paper cut to fit the stencils
- A tray for each kid to contain the mess
We started by peeling the backing off the contact paper.
Then we laid the stencil on top of the contact paper.
Then the kids selected their preferred color of our Colorations sensory sand and brought it to the tray. (Having a tray was a huge help for containing the inevitable mess that ensued during this activity!)
The kids then began sprinkling sand onto the sticky contact paper showing through the stencil.
Once the stencil had been filled in with sand. . .
. . . we peeled the stencil off, and the kids continued adding a contrasting color of sand to fill in the rest of the picture. In this case, QBoy chose blue sand to represent the water his whale was swimming in.
When the kids were done, I mounted their artwork, sand side in, on card stock. I used tape all around the edges to contain any sand that might come off.
Here is XGirl’s finished artwork.She made a fish, a sea star, and a boat.
Using the stencils and sand together allowed the kids to create some pretty precise artwork that came out looking very nice, even though the process itself was appropriately messy. All in all, the kids were super pleased with their ocean-themed sand paintings.
More resources for learning about the ocean
More ocean posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Ocean Montessori activities
- Learning about ocean animals
- Salt water and waves science
- Shell activities
- Blubber experiment
- Ocean animals book & 3-part cards
- Ocean Printables Pack
- Ocean Do-a-Dot Printables
- Ocean I Spy
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