Ocean Resources for Kids of All Ages

It’s never too early for kids to start learning about the wonders of our ocean

Our ocean is a magical place, and it’s easy to become mesmerized by all it has to offer. No matter where you live, it’s never too early to teach children to love—and care for!—our ocean and its incredible wildlife. 

Whether it’s understanding the importance and impacts of picking up trash on beaches or singing songs that celebrate our sea, here are 10 delightful ocean resources for kids that are sure to pique their curiosity and expand their minds. If you have a young child in your life, you are probably familiar with their favorite go-to questions such as, “Why?”, “How?” and “Why?” … and we’re hoping these resources help with answers!

Books About the Sea

Books—especially those with vibrant photography or illustrations—are perfect to introduce children to our ocean and all its majestic wildlife. From learning the alphabet with marine mammals to exploring the deep sea with brave ocean explorers, we’re here to share suggestions that allow kids to experience our ocean from wherever they are, right in the palms of their hands. Excite their imagination by diving into this ink-credible list of books that kids will love

Explore Google Earth’s Ocean Tools

Our ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, yet there is still so much to be discovered. Through Google Earth’s incredible tools, your young one can explore the depths of our ocean, take quizzes and make a trip around the globe, all from a computer or smartphone.

1) Discover the wonders found under the sea with Google Earth Street View imagery collected by Underwater Earth and The Ocean Agency. Dive in and explore.

2) How well do you know our ocean’s biggest creatures? Test your knowledge with this ocean safari quiz.

3) Search for seadragons and inspect the incredible underwater life Sydney, Australia, has to offer. Start your virtual expedition and learn about a diverse set of ocean animals and their unique homes.

4) Join Dr. Enric Sala on his mission to protect the last truly wild places in our ocean as he visits Franz Josef Land, the Revillagigedo Archipelago, the Galápagos Islands and the coastal waters of Gabon. Explore the last pristine seas.

Ocean-Themed Songs

Music provides a lot for our children, from having a positive impact on their development to helping them learn. And what better way to teach kids about the magic of our ocean than with these family-favorite songs? So grab an instrument (makeshift is great!), clear your throat and start your singing—and dancing.

NOAA Resources and Activities

America relies on the team of world-class professionals and scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to do essential work to conserve our ocean’s resources for sustainable use and expand our understanding of the ocean through important scientific research. NOAA also has a wide variety of resources and activities for kids of all ages that help make learning more interactive and engaging. Check out their website full of activity books, thematic video series, games, hands-on science experiments and more. 

Nat Geo Ocean Portal

Did you know that a shark can grow and lose up to 30,000 teeth in its lifetime? Weird, but true. With educational music videos, puzzles, fill-in-the-blanks, photos and so much more, the National Geographic Kids Ocean Portal has your children covered when it comes to exploring and learning about our ocean and the wildlife that live there. And we bet the adults will want to join in as well!

Clean Up and Track Your Trash Collection

Picking up trash is not only good for our planet and our ocean, but it can also be fun! And if you have kids in your life who are anything like my four-year-old, then they are probably better at using a cell phone than you are. Before you head out to clean up your neighborhood, park, beach or waterway, first visit the app store on your smartphone and download Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell® app. We make it easy for you and your kiddos to record each item of trash you collect on your journey, and you’ll even be able to see the total weight of trash you cleaned up and earn special badges. It’s also exciting to have your young one choose their favorite ocean animal and see if you can collect trash equivalent to its weight. 

Visit an Aquarium or Zoo

Taking a trip to an aquarium or zoo is a wonderful opportunity for children to see marine life up close and learn more about their habitats. And if you’re unable to visit an aquarium or zoo in person, many facilities offer livestream webcams so you can enjoy our ocean friends from wherever you are! One of my favorites?—the livestream from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland.

Wildlife Library

Is a seahorse actually a fish? Are all clownfish named Nemo? Get ahead of your children’s ocean-related questions, have the answers at your fingertips and learn a bit yourself. Take a deep dive with your kids into Ocean Conservancy’s Wildlife Library and learn more about the lifespans, habitats, preferred foods and conservation status of some incredible ocean species.

Get Crafting

Break out the glue, stickers and markers and get crafting. From ocean-themed sensory bins to alphabet shell hunts to paper sea turtles, these fin-tastic activities are sure to spark creative expression, help refine motor skills and provide you with some new decorations for your home—all while educating your child about our ocean. And hopefully you can use things you already have at home: a clear bin, bowl or jar, scissors, markers or pens, cotton swabs, sponges and yes, even a potato masher!

Ocean Conservancy Trivia Tuesday

Tuesdays are known as “Ocean Conservancy Trivia Tuesday” in our house—and we’re very competitive. Join in on the fun and start a weekly tradition of testing your kiddos’ ocean knowledge by texting “TRIVIA” to 52551 to join our Trivia Tuesday mobile list. (Keep score and let us know how you stack up against everyone!)

Our work is focused on solving some of the greatest threats facing our ocean today. We bring people, science and policy together to champion innovative solutions and fight for a sustainable ocean.
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