If you have been following along, you know that my kids and I recently completed a preschool ocean unit. Well, no study of the ocean would be complete without seeing some of the wonderful animals of the ocean in person! We are fortunate to live within an hour’s drive of the ocean, so we have many resources at our disposal for seeing ocean animals up close, so there was simply no excuse not to take advantage of them. 🙂
In this post I’m sharing some details from our visit to some local tide pools and an aquarium to see some beautiful sea creatures up close.
Note: For more resources, printables and activities related to the ocean and its inhabitants, please see my ocean unit study page.
Visit to the tide pools
We are very fortunate to live relatively close to the beach. Even better for the purposes of our ocean unit, we are just about an hour away from some really fantastic tide pools at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. After looking at a tide chart to see when the tides would be particularly low, we settled on a date and got out of our house really early in the morning so we could be at the tide pools not long after low tide.
The sight when we arrived was breathtaking – this photo doesn’t even begin to do it justice!
We climbed all over the tide pools and were able to find and identify many of the animals we had been learning about during our ocean unit. I couldn’t take very many pictures because I was too busy holding my kids’ hands on the slippery rocks, but I did manage to capture a photo of this beautiful sea anemone.
And my fearless daughter was more than willing to check out the many hermit crabs in the tidal region.
After we finally finished exploring the tide pools, we walked down the beach a ways where we found some seals lounging around off shore.
This was such an amazing way to give my kids an up close experience with life in the ocean.
Visit to the aquarium
To finish up our ocean unit, my mom and I took the kids to an aquarium to continue exploring ocean life up close.
We saw all sorts of different sea anemones, including these tube anemones that were so different than the sea anemones we found at the tide pools.
The kids enjoyed checking out the variety of animals in the different displays.
One of my favorite displays was the jellyfish.
The highlight for the kids – especially my daughter – was the touch pools. In one touch pool the kids got to feel sea stars and sea cucumbers, and in the other, the kids got to touch bat rays and skates.
All in all, visiting the aquarium was a wonderful way to wrap up our ocean unit!
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