Monday, June 27, 2016

Shark Playdate

Shark Playdate
               Make your own aquarium
               Shark face collage
               Shark anatomy lesson
               Shark and Fish ABCs
               Snack: Shark Fin Jello Cups
Make Your Own Aquarium:
Clear or blue tinted mason jars
Water + blue food coloring (food coloring not needed if you get the blue tinted mason jars)
Aquarium plastic animals (I found sharks at Michael’s)
Aquarium plastic rocks and plant life
Glycerin (optional)
Give your toddler a mason jar with the water and blue food coloring already in it OR give them just the empty mason jar. Have them assemble their mini aquarium with the supplies above. The best thing about this aquarium is there is no right way to do it! Hope they enjoy it!

Shark Face Collage:
Two shades of blue construction paper
Gray, black and white construction paper (I used gray craft foam for the shark body to make it feel real)
Googly eyes
Glue and scissors
Start by prepping your cut outs ahead of time; my kids always go crazy when they see me with scissors. I started by precutting shark heads with the gray construction paper/craft foam, teeth with the white construction paper, a wide open mouth with the black construction paper and waves with the darker shade of blue construction paper. Have your toddler assemble the various pieces of the collage and top with two googly eyes!
Shark Anatomy Lesson:
I gave each toddler a picture of a shark and we practiced identifying the different parts of the shark: tail, snout, eye, gills, teeth, dorsal fin, and caudal fin. You can print out the shark anatomy names and have your toddler glue the words next to each shark feature as you go over them too! I prepped each sheet for each kid to make it easier by putting each shark picture in a gallon size ziplock bag and precutting the words out.
Here is an attachment you can print for your own use.
Once completed, this is what it would look like.
Shark and Fish ABCs:
Large piece of cardboard (I got a large foam board from Walmart, but you can use cardboard from old boxes too)
Gray paint
Black sharpie
White foam sheets
Gorilla glue or a similar strong glue
Paint brushes
Scissors or exacto knife
Colorful foam sheets or plastic fish (I found some great ones at Walmart)
Optional empty cardboard box for the base of the back of shark
I started the night before by prepping the shark. I cut out a huge shark head with an open cut out mouth using my large foam board. I cut out the mouth without teeth (it was too intricate to cut the teeth out one by one). Using the colorful plastic fish I got from Walmart, I wrote a letter from the alphabet onto the bottom of each individual fish using a sharpie. You could label the fish with numbers or shapes too!

This part is optional, but my kids love to paint, so I involved them in the painting process. We painted the shark gray. Once the shark was dry, I cut out large triangle teeth using my white foam sheet. I used Gorilla glue to glue each tooth in place. I would advise laying the shark head down on a counter with newspaper under it so that the teeth can lean on something while they dry in place.
Finally, you can glue an empty cardboard box to the bottom back of the shark if you would like an easy way to catch your fish.
Once the shark dried, we practiced our ABCs by “feeding” the shark each letter of the alphabet in order. You could also practice spelling if your kids are at that level. You could even write numbers on the fishes to practice counting.
Snack: Shark Fin Jello Cups
Blue jello cups
Whip cream
Gray foam sheets (for shark fin)
Small clear plastic cups
Plastic spoons
Follow the directions on the blue jello packaging to make your jello.
Cut two matching shark fins out using your gray foam sheets. Glue them back to back with the end of your plastic spoon sandwiched between the two pieces.
Assemble your cups by putting your blue jello in the plastic cup first (ocean). Then add a layer of whip cream (waves). Finally stick your shark fin spoon into the cup and serve!
If I could do it again, I would have waited to put the whip cream on right before serving. It was a really humid and hot day and it melted a little faster than I had liked.

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