Explore the ocean and all its wonders with these awesome ocean summer camp activities. If you’re looking for something different this year to keep your kids entertained while they’re on summer vacation, we have loads of ideas for you.
These activities work well for a backyard summer camp or a day camp, or a sleepaway camp using an ocean theme. These under the sea camp ideas are sure to get your kids excited for a summer full of learning and fun!
Ocean Summer Camp Theme Activities
Ocean-themed summer camp activities are not only fun and exciting, but they also promote learning through play. If you’re looking to incorporate an ocean theme into your next summer camp session, we’ve got some ideas for you!
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
Fun Ocean Summer Camp Activities
Get the kids excited for the beach with a seashell sensory bin filled with sparkling sand and pretty shells of all shapes and sizes. Don’t forget shovels, miniature pails, and other implements to scoop and pour with!
This is such a fun activity for a play date or would make an awesome favor for a summer birthday party. Our ocean slime is made with our amazing crystal clear slime. To make it blue, we added a little food coloring. Layering the blue slime with the clear slime gives it an authentic ocean water look, perfect for adding some ocean animal toys.
Kids will have so much fun learning about density with this neat ocean-themed experiment. It’s hands-on and perfect for kids around kindergarten or early elementary age. For this experiment, you’ll create an ocean floor, ocean water, sea life, the sky, and even some fluffy clouds to top it all off.
This fun sensory bin is filled with sand, water, and all sorts of ocean critters like starfish, crabs, shells, and coral. Add any ocean animal toys you like! It’s fun digging around in the deep blue sea to see what kind of treasures you can find.
Turn an ordinary paper bowl into a magical jellyfish with long, colorful ribbon tentacles. As you can see, you don’t have to stick to ordinary colors. The ocean is full of bright, gorgeous colors of all kinds, so we went wild with color on our jellyfish!
Nothing will be more fun on a scorching hot day than this frozen sensory bin filled with all sorts of interesting sea life toys to examine. To make it challenging, have kids race to see who can melt their blocks the fastest using water, their hands, a magnifying glass, and sunlight, or other methods.
Slime is all about the sensory experience, and that doesn’t get any better than this gritty, stretchy sand slime. But, don’t worry—you can find sand in craft stores or home improvement stores if you don’t have any near you.
This cute fishing-themed game is fun to play on a rainy day. It’s a cute way for kids to learn their colors, too. Just ask them to catch a fish of a certain color. It’s perfect for a quiet time activity or road trip game, too.
The best way to learn about how important it is to protect our ocean is through a visual, hands-on exercise that shows how quickly litter and pollutants can affect the water and ocean life. For example, kids can easily see how oil spills and plastic waste can damage the ocean ecosystem.
Different types of animals live at different depths in the ocean. Find out which animals belong where in this educational ocean zone activity!
Here’s another terrific beach-themed sensory bin filled with sand, rocks, sea glass, and a lighthouse. Of course, you can add boats, crabs, or anything you’d like.
Longing to hear the sound of the ocean waves? This DIY ocean drum will get you close! The soothing sound of the beans sliding around mimics the sound of the waves gently rolling against the seashore.
Learn about the beautiful blue and green colors that make up the color of the sea. This fun craft is super easy for preschoolers and up. Just dab on the paint using pom-poms and spread it around, allowing the colors to mix and mingle. This would make a beautiful backdrop for an ocean animal silhouette.
Use our one fish, two fish printable to make an awesome summer camp snack for the kids. We put goldfish in ours, but you could also do some with Swedish fish or gummy sharks.
These shark suckers will go over swimmingly with the kids after a long day of summer camp at home or away. They’re easier to make than you think using Jolly Ranchers, Airheads, and gummy sharks.
Easy Under the Sea Camp Ideas
Killer Whale Paper Bag Puppet by simpleeverydaymom.com: Did you know that killer whales aren’t actually whales? They’re the largest dolphin species! These majestic creatures are a sight to behold, and their distinctive look inspires this paper bag puppet. They’re easy to put together with the printable template.
Coffee Filter Watercolor Fish by ourkidthings.com: Create vibrant little fish using coffee filters and watercolor paints. You can also make this if you don’t have watercolors; use food coloring instead. Note, however, that the colors will be less vibrant if using food coloring instead of watercolor paints.
Ocean Sensory Bottle by thebestideasforkids.com: Create this fun ocean sensory bottle for kids. You only need 3 supplies to make the perfect calm-down activity, and you can personalize it with toys or seashells too!
Beach Themed Summer Camp Ideas
Sand Dollar Cookies by easyfamilyrecipeideas.com: If you’d like an easy ocean summer camp recipe, these sand dollar cookies are it! The cinnamon sugar cookies are topped with almond slices to create that sand dollar look.
Giant Shark Suncatcher by andnextcomesl.com: This is so much fun! Kids will work together to create a giant shark suncatcher on contact paper. Together they’ll use the scissors and sticky paper for their new masterpiece. This project also improves fine motor skills, but most importantly, it’s about having a great time while learning essential life skills like sharing, cooperation, and teamwork!
Octopus Handprint Craft by simpleeverydaymom.com: Kids will love this octopus handprint craft that only requires a few supplies. You can make it with preschoolers or elementary-aged kids, and the template comes free! It’ll make a cute little summer camp keepsake.
Recycled Plastic Egg Whale Craft by artsycraftsymom.com: Turn blue plastic Easter eggs into adorable whales with some bits of paper, a marker, and googly eyes. They’re so easy and make great little toys to play with.
Egg Carton Oyster Craft by steamsational.com: Upcycle some egg cartons to make these cute oysters, complete with a pom-pom pearl inside.
Paper Plate Octopus by artsycraftsymom.com: The colors on this octopus craft are just stunning, and the painted bubble wrap tentacles look like the real thing. They’d make super cute decorations for an under the sea party outdoors with the tentacles blowing in the wind.
Egg Carton Narwhal by steamsational.com: Aren’t narwhals fascinating creatures? They seem mythological, but they’re very real! This easy craft made with recycled egg cartons is sure to pique the kids’ interest in this special animal.
Paper Plate Seashells by artsycraftsymom.com: This craft makes a great fine motor ocean unit activity. Paper plate seashells are painted and then threaded with yarn to create a unique look.
Ocean Themed Outdoor Games
Cupcake Liner Octopus by 123homeschool4me.com: Doesn’t this happy little octopus with his curled-up tentacles make you want to smile? It’s a super simple craft that kids can complete in about 10 minutes or less, so it’s perfect for preschoolers.
Edible Jelly Beach Small World by findingmyselfyoung.com: Who said you shouldn’t play with your food? Permission is granted when it’s as fun as this edible beach small world. Let your ocean animal toys dive into the blue Jell-O sea or walk through the coconut sand.
Jellyfish Discovery Bottle by steamsational.com: Doesn’t the wispy thing in this discovery bottle look like a real jellyfish? It’s not, but it does help you understand a bit about how jellyfish float and move throughout the water. It’s also a fantastic calming activity.
Mermaid Slime by livinglifeandlearning.com: Magical sea creatures like the mermaid are fun to include in your ocean activities. Kids will love the shiny teal slime. Add mermaid toys or seashells if you’d like.
Under the Sea Summer Camp Ideas
Ocean Jello by easyfamilyrecipeideas.com: Blue Jell-O packed with Swedish fish or gummy sharks will make a refreshing snack on a hot summer day.
Easy Beach Snack by glitteronadime.com: What could be more fun to eat than these bear-themed beach snacks with Teddy Grahams chilling out on Airheads beach towels? Yum!
Shark Party Games by theresjustonemommy.com: These shark-themed games are a must for summer camp. Our favorite is the ‘Feed the Shark’ game, where you toss fish (balls) into the shark’s mouth. You can then use the giant shark mouth for photo ops.
Egg Carton Floating Whale by barleyandbirch.com: This darling egg carton whale really floats thanks to the lid on the bottom. Have kids race theirs across a bin of water to see which one will go the fastest!
Water Themed Summer Camp
Paper Plate Turtle by taminglittlemonsters.com: This simple turtle is easy enough for toddlers or preschoolers, but elementary kids will love it, too. It’s a great craft to start a conversation about these amazing but endangered creatures and what we can do to protect them.
Sand Dollar Resin Coasters by thesoccermomblog.com: For a great take-home craft for the kids, make sand dollar resin coasters. It’s a great way to bring the beach home, and they’ll last for years.
Mason Jar Aquarium from craftsbyamanda.com: Build a faux aquarium in a mason jar! Not only is it fun to make, but it’ll be a great decoration for the kids’ rooms. Add aquarium rocks, blue water, and ocean animals or mythical creatures like mermaids. It’s up to you!
Origami Shark Craft by hawaiitravelwithkids.com: Paper folding just got a lot more “jawesome.” These sharks are super simple to make but will be a big hit with kids of all ages.
Mermaid Playdough by picklebums.com: Make some sparkly playdough and use these mermaid playdough mats to decorate your own mermaid. It’s such a creative invitation to play. Don’t forget to add lots of sequins, beads, glitter, and shells to your tray.
Paint Scrape Surfboards by barleyandbirch.com: These mini surfboards are a fantastic craft for little ones or even tweens and teens. Add magnets to the back to put them on lockers, filing cabinets, or the fridge.
Ocean Theme Outdoor Activities
Paper Plate Jellyfish by taminglittlemonsters.com: Use paper or plastic straws to make bendy tentacles for this paper plate jellyfish.
Light Up Reef Craft by thecrafttrain.com: It’s amazing what you can do with an empty egg carton, some tissue paper, and some tealights. This gorgeous underwater scene will make a fantastic nightlight, too.
Shark Cupcakes by easyfamilyrecipeideas.com: Celebrate the last day of summer camp with some shark cupcakes! You won’t believe how simple they are to decorate. You can even use your favorite boxed cake recipe for the cupcakes.
Water Wing Fishing Relay by theresjustonemommy.com: This fun relay game is made even tougher by wearing water wings (or arm floaties).
Paper Roll Fish by thecrafttrain.com: Start saving your empty toilet paper rolls now to make these easy painted paper roll fish. Decorate them with a complementary color of paint or add stickers, foam, or paper to create patterns.
We hope that these ocean summer camp activities will help you create an epic summer of learning and fun for your kids. Pin this list of fun ideas to save it for later!