our homemade OCEAN aquarium

M, M and I spent an entire morning working on a homemade ocean aquarium. (I love an activity that inspires that amount of focus!).  I was inspired by this simple interactive aquarium from Made by Joel.

what you need:  cardboard box ~ box cutter ~ thread ~ washers ~ paint ~ markers ~ paper ~ ocean books

I cut holes in the side and the top to let light come in from the sides.  I made a few slits for the sea life to hang. ** I was hoping that the fish would slide back and forth, but they don’t slide very well.  I still love the slits because the kids are able to take the fish out and move them around easily.**

We sat down and looked through a couple of our ocean books. We talked about the colors that represented water.  Little M choose green for the background.

I propped up a book (after M and M agreed on a page of course).  They both chose different Rays to create and spent quite a bit of time working on them.

I was very excited to introduce a new technique to Big M.  When he finished the blue of his Eagle Ray, I suggested he wait for the paint to dry before adding white spots.

Deciding how to hang the sea life was a challenge.

I tried a bent paper clip…it didn’t work at all!

I tried a button…that was better.

The washer was perfect!  I love that I could tie the thread it two places so that our pieces hang nicely.

We added shells.  I hot glued some, and Big M suggested we leave some that could be moved and rearranged.  Such a great idea!

What all day projects have you been working on?

This post is a part of our OCEAN week.

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  1. says

    Nice idea! I wonder if my daughter would be up for slowly building her aquarium, but we need to postpone it until we are back from vacation.

    • Jillian says

      It would be a great activity to do over time. Each step was really its own project. Have a nice vacation=)

  2. Cathy Dalrymple says

    I have done this in a preschool and prek class for years. I used shoe boxes to do this, the kids loved it, the whole project took 1 week to finish with over 20 kids.


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