Do- It- Yourself Programming Ideas: Ocean Week
Living in the California, it is important for children to know about the ocean, and how they can help to protect it. Libraries can hold a fun ocean-themed event anytime of year, but Earth Day is a great holiday to focus on oceans. There may even be local environmental groups in your area that you can partner with, to offer guest speakers as part of the event.
For refreshments, offer bottled water and gummy fish, fish crackers, or fresh fruit slices. Special thanks to Luz Zepeda of the Orange Cove Branch Library (Fresno) for many of these ideas!
Go Fish Card Game: Many children already know how to play “Go Fish,” but teen volunteers can assist those who haven’t played before. Use these special large cards, which feature illustrations of ocean creatures: Amazon.com: Giant Go Fish Card Game for Kids - Large 5x7 Inch Cards - Play Go Fish and Old Maid Using 1 Jumbo-Sized Deck of Cards : Toys & Games.
Under the Sea Scavenger Hunt: Use this free printable at Aquarium Scavenger Hunt | Online Scavenger Hunt - Edventures with Kids (kcedventures.com), and help children find the various sea animals in books or on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s website: Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Loteria del Mar: Use these Loteria cards from the Monterey Bay Library (available in English and Spanish): Lotería | Games | Monterey Bay Aquarium. If possible, have bilingual teen volunteers run the game to assist families.
Shark Beanbag Toss: DIY Shark Bean Bag Toss Game | Party Ideas & Activities by Wholesale Party Supplies. Use three beach sand pails and three toy sharks to make this simple game. Have players stand 5 feet from the buckets and toss the sharks, awarding prizes for how many they can get into the buckets.
Fishing Game: Make simple fishing poles out of bamboo rods (found in the gardening department of any hardware store) and string. Attach a small magnet on the end of the string. Print out various colored paper fish, attach a paper clip, and put the fish in a small empty wading pool. Players ‘fish’ for a paper fish using the magnets. Award prizes based on what color fish is caught.
Seashell Picture Frames: https://www.fun365.orientaltrading.com/project/glitter-diy-sea-shell-frames. Glue small seashells to these wooden frames, and decorate with paint and glitter glue.
Lego Sharks: https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/lego-sharks-kids-shark-week-activities. Many libraries already own Legos for various programs, and your teen volunteers can help children make Lego sharks using any colors.
Paper Bag Jellyfish: Make these fun Jellyfish paper bag puppets using googly eyes and paint or markers: Paper Bag Jellyfish Craft (and color mixing too) - No Time For Flash Cards.
Sea Otter Paper Bag Puppets: Sea otter puppet | Activities | Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Penguin Headbands: These simple penguin headbands are very low cost, just construction paper and gluesticks - Penguin headband | Activities | Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool