Children love hands-on activities, and since we have been reading underwater books lately, I created a variety of ocean themed math activities to have fun while learning with my kids.
Read Aloud Books for Under Water Themed Math Activities
- Underwater Counting Even Numbers by Jerry Pallotta & David Biedrzycki
- Ocean Counting Odd Numbers by Jerry Lappotta & Shennen Bersani
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OVERVIEW DESCRIPTION of the BOOK Underwater Counting Even Numbers
Read Aloud Focus Skills:
- Counting by 2’s 0-50
- Identifying even numbers
- Numeral and word match 0-50 (even numbers only)
Facts about ocean creatures are weaved perfectly with counting even numbers zero-50 in Underwater Counting Even Numbers by Jerry Pallotta & Davis Biedrzycki. The other ocean counting books we have read lately focused on 1-10, which were perfect for my younger child. But since my preschooler loves a challenge, this book helped push her to count higher numbers. We ended up playing with Underwater Counting & Ocean Counting book activities for days!
OVERVIEW DESCRIPTION of the BOOK Ocean Counting Odd Numbers
Read Aloud Focus Skills for Ocean Counting Odd Numbers
- Counting by 2’s with odd numbers 1-49
- Odd numbers 1-49
- Numeral and word match 1-49 (odd numbers only)
Learning to count will be fun and engaging for your child when using the Ocean Counting Odd Numbers book by Jerry Pallotta and Shennen Bersani. My daughter always forgets the numbers 13 and 16 when counting, so I have been trying to help reinforce counting through books lately. This book was an excellent read-aloud for me this week and helped my daughter practice counting correctly multiple times while searching for ocean animals on each page. My kids loved the illustrations in this book, as well as the challenge of counting higher numbers than they usually count. I love a good book that is entertaining or has a great story and can bridge the gap to other subject areas, such as math.
Ocean Counting Craft for Preschoolers
We made 50 paper fish after reading the above books using paint and a fish-shaped sponge. I know I’ll use this often, so I laminated them and painstakingly cut them each out by hand. Only when I was cutting out the last few fish, I realized I could have used the Cricut machine to do this cutting, and also, I forgot to take a picture of this process to share in this article.
But it was worth the cutting. My kids loved making the number line with just even and then odd numbers to see how long it stretched across the floor. Then we sorted ocean-themed figures and used our number line to sort and count again. Days of hands-on learning made it all worth it in the end!
Tip– Paint the paper however your child designs, let it dry, laminate the paper, THEN use the Cricut machine to cut out the 50 fish for you. I fit six fish per page, but fitting 10 per page will also work well. It depends on how long you want your number line to reach. We have a long hallway in our house, so making larger fish made it more exciting to see if we could get to the front door while counting.
Materials for Making Fish Counters 1-50
- Washable paint (mine are from target– not affiliated link, love these paint colors)
- Sponge (OPTIONAL- hot glue gun to attach sponge handle)
- Fish shape (or make your design)
- Paint trays or mess-free mats
- Foam brushes (Michael’s– not affiliated link)
- White paper
- Laminator & laminating pouches
- Scissors OR Cricut machine
- Permanent Marker OR Cricut markers
Steps for Making Fish Counters for this Underwater Math Activity
*If you are using a Cricut machine, skip the steps listed and see * notes below)
- Create your fish shape with a thin sponge.
- Cut out the sponge (OPTIONAL: add a handle with leftover sponge & hot glue together)
- Set up paint supplies, mats, and drying area.
- Let your child fill their fish sponge with a layer of paint, covering the entire sponge. We used a foam brush to apply the colors.
- We painted the sponge surface with a mixture of red, orange, purple for our odd number fish and blue, green, and purple for our even number fish design.
- Then lightly press the fish sponge onto the paper. Lift and repeat this process about six times per sheet of paper.
- We reapplied more paint after each page was complete, or every six fish were stamped.
- Set the paper to the side to dry and continue stamping the fish design to create 50 fish. We made 26 of one design and 26 of another pattern. This way, we had even and odd fish that are easily identifiable.
- After the paper is dry completely then laminate each sheet.
- Then, cut out each fish by hand.
* If you use the Cricut machine, paint six sheets of paper one design and another six sheets of paper with another mixture of colors. Make sure the paper is completed painted before drying and laminating.
I turn my setting to thick cardboard and cut my laminated paper. Try cutting one fish out first and see if you like the size before cutting all 50 counters.
Sea Creatures Number line Counting 1-50 Activity
After reading the book Ocean Counting Odd Numbers by Jerry Pallotta & Shennen Berani, we made a number line counting 1-50. We made a pattern to represent odd and even numbers. This was a engaging way to practice AB patterns for my children.
Math Skills Practiced During this Ocean Number Activity
- AB Pattern identification
- Counting by 2’s
- Identifying odd and even numbers
- Practice counting 1-50
Materials for Sea Creature Number Line Counting
- Ocean animal counters (I used the ones from Lakeshore Learning– not an affiliate link)
- Number flashcards 1-50 (Fish Counters from above craft)
- Sorting trays (We love ours from Lakeshore Learning– not affiliated link)
Steps for Number Counting Activity with Ocean Counters Odd vs. Even Numbers:
- Form a pile of ocean counters on the floor and instruct children to sort them by color and then shape using sorting trays.
- Then using number flashcards, make a number line on the ground near the pile from 1-10. Our cards are different for even and odd numbers for easier identifying.
- Then have your child place the counters below the number line numbers to represent the number with the ocean counters. For example, one sea turtle, two starfish, three stingrays, etc.
- Then pull away the even numbers from the line to show just the odd numbers 1,3,5,7,9.
- Let your child practice counting by 2’s to count 1-10 using the number line created.
Steps for Odd Number Counting 1-49 Activity with Ocean Counters:
- Form a pile of ocean counters on the floor and instruct children to sort them by shape or color.
- Then using number flashcards, make a number line on the ground near the pile from 1-49, using only odd numbers.
- Have children count 1-49 aloud and place ocean counters for each number counted. We used pointers for added fun.
Make it Into an Ocean Math Game with Counting Numbers Practice Activity
- Show a number card on the floor.
- Challenge children to use ocean counters to represent the number shown.
- Repeat this process until the child shows mastery of counting numbers 1-10 or if the child needs help, reteach using the number line again.
- Then continue with higher numbers if the child is ready to move forward.
TIP: For added fun, try this activity outside with a water bin activity described below.
Outdoor Counting Ocean Animals Bubble Search
My kids love playing in the water, so we brought our indoor counting activity outdoor, and it turned into a bubble party. We have been using the leftover hose attachment from water balloons to make the most incredible bubbles over the last few months. So my kids made their water bin extra bubbly to make finding the ocean animals more challenging. They have so much fun searching through the bubbles for the items.
They helped each other to reach more significant numbers I was asking them to find. I loved how well they behaved together; it is something we have been working on lately. I’m glad this activity brought out the best in their sharing abilities. I used two separate bins for playing, just in case.
Materials Needed For Ocean Bubble Water Activity
- Deep bin with 3+ cups of water.
- 3-5 squirts of paint foam (LakeshoreLearning Not Affiliated Link) or a few drops of food coloring.
- Ocean counter (Lakeshore Learning/ Not Affiliate Link)
- Recycled water balloon hose attachment or straws
Steps for Playing Counting Ocean Animals Bubble Search
- Set up the bin with water, ocean figures, and food color or foam paint.
- Create a colossal bubble layer on the surface of the water. Kids’ favorite part!
- Ask for different amounts of animals as they search through the bubbles to find the items.
- For example, “Please find four orange sea creatures.”
- “Please, find 2 dolphins.”
Tip: Instead of using one large bin, I used two small containers for this activity, which helped my children work together to find the items I requested.
The Other Books We Loved with Ocean Themed Math Activities include;
Please see my other posts related to ocean themed math activities.
- Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood and my post Ten Little Fish Counting Activities .
- 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle and follow up activities in my post Counting Activity with 10 Little Rubber Ducks.
- Island Counting 1 2 3 by Frané Lessac and follow up activities in my post Counting Activity After Reading Island Counting 1 2 3 .
- Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jeanette Canyon and follow up activities in my post Counting Activities with Over In The Ocean Book.
THANK YOU for visiting Live Learn Literacy!
I hope you found some of the play ideas here helpful. For more activities for young learners please see my other posts. If you have book you would like to see follow- up activities related to please contact me directly at Chris.C@MorenoMade.com or @livelearnliteracy on Instagram.