A Book and a Big Idea: Commotion in the Ocean

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Since we love beach books for kids around here, we’ve been busy making ocean themed crafts this summer. We’re making jellyfish crafts, octopus crafts, and even some beach pudding snacks!

crafts for Commotion in the Ocean

We recently read Commotion in the Ocean, and my kids were delighted by the colorful story of ocean life.

This classic book from Giles Andreae is a perfect anchor to a beach or ocean unit study. Each page depicts a different ocean animal.

I even found this fun video on You Tube!

My kids had a hard time deciding what ocean animal to craft, so we ended up with a variety.

Jellyfish Craft for Preschoolers

White card stock
Washable paint in your choice of colors
Curling ribbon
Crepe paper in different colors
work trays
painter’s smock or old clothes
Glue gun

Before you get started, print two jellyfish templates for each artist. (Many thanks to Disney Family Fun!)

jellyfish craft for children

Lay the templates out on the work trays and let your children paint them.

easy ocean crafts with kids

As they are drying, have them pick out colored ribbons and crepe paper to create the tentacles.

When the jellyfish bodies are dry, you’re ready to put the pieces together. Take the glue gun or glue stick and attach the ribbons and crepe paper to the flat portion of the jellyfish body.

easy jellyfish crafts for preschoolers

Then, glue the two halves of the body together, leaving the flat portion open.

jellyfish crafts for kids

This will allow the jellyfish tentacles to ‘jiggle’. Want to make your jellyfish puffy? Add a few cotton balls inside as well.

jellyfish craft

Looking for more beach themed crafts and books for preschoolers? Don’t miss this great list at The Homeschool Classroom.

Octopus Craft for Preschoolers

My children also worked on an octopus craft. For added fun, we searched out YouTube for octopus videos.

White card stock
Washable paint in your choice of colors
Curling ribbon
work trays
painter’s smock or old clothes
Googly eyes
Circle Stickers

First, print this octopus template on cardstock, or trace onto foam sheets.

easy ocean crafts

Do your kids need fine motor skill help? Let them work on cutting the octopus out with kid scissors.

If you’ve got children who would rather not paint, you could use chalk pastels or Do a Dot markers for decoration.

fun octopus crafts for kids

After everyone finishes painting their creations, sprinkle glitter on the wet paint and set them aside to dry. To create the suction cups, you can use circle stickers. You could also glue pony beads on for a three dimensional look.

fun octopus crafts

easy octopus craft for kids

Add a bit of curling ribbon, and you can hang your ocean creatures in the window.

After all that artwork, it’s time for a snack!

Beach Pail Pudding Snack

I surprised my children with some Beach Pail Pudding Snacks for fun. They’re used to healthy snacks, so this was way more fun!


1 quart of plain vanilla yogurt
Whipped Cream
1 package of ‘blonde’ cookies – we used Golden Oreos, but you could also use vanilla wafers or even Nutter Butters for a fun twist
Swedish Fish or Goldfish Grahams
Small clear cups

Mix the vanilla yogurt with a small amount of whipped cream. Fill the cups, then stick in the fridge.

snack for ocean study

Put your kids to work, crushing up the cookies.

crushed cookies

Once your cookies are crushed, bring out your cups.

ocean study snack

Gently spread the crushed cookie sand on top, and add fish.

snack for ocean unit study

Grab a spoon and enjoy!

snack for ocean unit study

You can collect more ideas from my beach and ocean Pinterest board.

Don’t miss my friends at iHomeschool Network for their Book and a Big Idea posts! You’ll find crafts from books like Skippyjon Jones, The Kissing Hand, Blueberries for Sal and more. It’s going to be a great resource for planning homeschool crafts this fall!

Big Book of Homeschool Ideas


  1. It looks like the kids had an amazing time putting together their crafts. The jellyfish are super cute.

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. 🙂

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  2. Those are some cute beach crafts and some cute kids! I’m pinning this to my Beach board – thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Mammasaurus says

    Cool ideas – love the jellyfish craft!
    Popping over from the Parenting Pin It Party, now following you on Pinterest – I’m pinterest.com/loveallblogs on there!

  4. Karen Bell says

    Some great ideas. I love the jelly fish.
    Popping over from parenting pin it party. I will pin and follow.

  5. Cute crafts and the book looks like one my kids would love!

  6. I love book-related activities so much! Thanks for linking up to Raising Imperfection this week while I’m a co-hostess! Please come back to Mommynificent on Friday to see if you were featured.
    I am starting a new link-up party this week for all things book and reading related on my blog, Mommynificent. I’d love to have you join us with this post and any others you’d like to share. Hope to see you at Booknificent Thursday this week and every week!
    Have a magnificent day!

  7. Love the jellyfish – too cute! Looks like they all had a blast 🙂

    Thanks for joining in with MMM!

    ~Michelle @ 5MFSN

  8. Love the ideas Dianna – makes me wish I had preschoolers still 🙂 Lots of fun!

  9. I love all these adorable crafts! I think my daughter would really like the octopus!

  10. Anne at Left Brain Craft Brain says

    Love those jelly fish! They would make really cute gift tags. Thanks for sharing at the Love to Learn Linky.

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