A trip to the ocean is certainly filled with wonder and excitement for children! The Wikki Stix ocean-themed activities below are great extension ideas to use at home after a trip to the ocean or for creating and learning when a trip to the ocean isn’t possible. Kids will love creating the diorama, learning with fishy math, and making fish crafts to accompany ocean stories!
Wikki Stix 3-D Ocean Diorama
The ocean diorama is a miniature “shoe-box” theater to encourage young kids to create and play with an ocean theme!
Materials needed: one shoe box per craft, tape, wrapping paper or tissue paper, assorted colors of Wikki Stix, assorted ocean pictures from magazines, and a sharp knife (adult only).
Invite the children to completely cover the shoe box with wrapping paper or tissue paper. Have the children tear or cut ocean-themed pictures from an old magazine to decorate the inside of the box.
Creating the fish: Set out assorted colors of Wikki Stix on a table. Invite the children to create any kind of fish desired. Younger children may wish to make a simple fish design: have the children form and “X” from the two ends of each Wikki Stix strand. Fold the two ends toward the center to complete the fish (see photo above). The children can fill in the basic design with additional Wikki Stix and add black eyes or other fish features, if desired.
To make the fish MOVE: On the top of the shoe box, cut 3 sides of a rectangular shape and tear or cut away any loose wrapping paper. Lift the remaining cardboard flap. Insert one strand of Wikki Stix through the rectangle and attach the Wikki Stix created fish to the bottom of that strand. As the children play, they can dangle and move the fish along the rectangular path (similar to making a puppet show). After playing, the children can attach the Wikki Stix strand to the cardboard flap for later use.
Additional objects for the diorama: the children can create any additional objects for the diorama with Wikki Stix as desired. Some suggestions might be: fish, crabs, jelly fish, seaweed, sharks, and coral.
Wikki Stix “Fishy” Math – One-to-One Correspondence
One-to-One Correspondence is the knowledge that a certain number relates to a specific quantity of objects. The goal is to help young children gain confidence not only with number recognition, but to help them move beyond just recognition and toward the question: How many items make up any specific number?
Materials needed: Wikki Stix, scissors, and one sheet of white paper per child.
Invite the children to create the fish by setting the Wikki Stix out on a tray or at a table. The fish for the math game can be made in the same manner as the fish for the diorama (instructions above).
Place any Wikki Stix created number on the fish. The children can cut small pieces of Wikki Stix to create the number of oxygen bubbles that correspond to the number indicated by the fish (see photo above). Note: Wikki Stix can be cut with safety scissors, but younger children may need assistance with cutting (or pieces can be cut prior to doing the activity).
Other “FISHY” learning suggestions:
Literacy: created Wikki Stix letters to place on the fish. The children can match two uppercase letters to form a pair or match an uppercase letter to the lowercase letter. By creating the letters with Wikki Stix, children will gain the extra tactile layer that enhances learning. Older children can create sight words, word families, or other words that have been introduced.
Wikki Stix Fish Creations
Download the Fish Template PDF Here
Materials needed: One fish template (linked above) and assorted colors of Wikki Stix.
Print the fish template(s) and laminate or cover with clear contact paper. The children can use the fish template to create any color of fish desired. Invite the children to trace the fish outline with Wikki Stix. Once the outline is complete, the children can use assorted colors of Wikki Stix to fill in and decorate their fish. The fish creations can then be “lifted” from the template and used as a display craft at home or in the classroom.
The Wikki Stix fish crafts are fun to create as extensions to ocean-themed books. Below are a few suggested titles that your children will enjoy as they learn and play with the ocean-themed Wikki Stix crafts:
- Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae
- Dolphins (Animals That Live in the Ocean) by Valerie Weber
- Down in the Deep, Deep Ocean! by Joann Cleland
- Eye Wonder: Ocean by Mary Ling and Sue Thornton
- Gone Fishing: Ocean Life by the Numbers by David McLimans
- How Many Fish in the Sea?: A Book about Oceans by Tagliaferro
- I Am a Sea Horse by Speed Shaskan
- I’m The Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
- In Sea Star Ocean by Elizabeth Gatt
- In the Ocean by Brighter Child
- Into The A, B, Sea: An Ocean Alphabet Book by Deborah Lee Rose