ocean week: dory | preschool crafts

Back in June I wrote a post about an Ocean themed week I had a preschool, and the Finding Nemo Audiobook I found to go with the theme. It was one of the last crafts I did before the school year ended, and it was a major hit with the kids.

This summer I’ve been the Camp Director for the preschool aged camps at the community center I work at, and luckily the theme for  first week of camp was Underwater Adventures. Lucky because a) I was already in “ocean craft” mode, and b) there are a ton of ideas and resources out there for an ocean themed week for preschoolers.

I have a lot of other crafts and ideas to show you guys for that week, but I thought I’d start with this craft because I already technically posted about it.

In the morning I played the same audiobook for the camp and they too loved it. Since Finding Dory just came out this past year, the kids were really familiar with the characters and the story, and were excited to revisit the characters at camp.

I set up the craft exactly like the Nemo craft – half a sheet of blue construction paper, with some seaweed drawn on. Because I had already done the Nemo craft, I let the kids know that we were making Dory, but also gave them the option to make a Nemo in addition to Dory. There’s always a few that just love getting their hands dirty and would line up to do handprints all day lol! So I made sure to make extra of the half sheets so kids could make multiple if they’d like.

The actual handprint is set up by using a light blue on half the hand and dark blue on the other half, and then some yellow on their fingertips. I know Dory is actually blue with like a blackish blue stripe, but black can smear and muddy up a craft really quickly so I opted for this instead. I made sure the lighter blue was on the half of the hand with their pinky and ring fingers so when they print, the darer blue is on the bottom. Another alternative is to paint the whole hand blue, and to glue a piece of black or navy paper on to serve as the stripe. It would also add a bit of texture and dimension to the craft, and would be great to add in as a step for older kids.

Again, I used glitter paint, and then also let them shake some glitter on top if they wanted, because it adds a bit more fun to the craft. The kids were also able to draw on their own “water” at the top with glue, and again, shake some glitter on top. We chose silver again for the craft, because there was just so much blue on this craft already, but blue would be pretty as well.

Finally, they glued on some giant googly eyes and we set them aside to dry.

Because we were in camp, and because there was a larger age range of kids, and about 3x as many kids, we also brought them back out at the end of the day, once the paint dried, and let them decorate with markers. The older kids (we had some that were 4 and 5 years old) drew on bubbles, and more seaweed. The littler kids put on some sea animal stickers I brought to camp, so it felt a little bit more personalized.

I love the way handprint art turns out because it’s always so cute – tiny hands are all perfect for crafts like this and end up being a great keepsake for scrapbooking, or even for creating greeting cards. I’ve found that the kids also just love having their hands dirty, and a lot of them enjoy the sensory part of making a handprint, versus just coloring in a picture.

Have any of you had an ocean’s week at school? I’d love to know what sort of projects you all did 🙂 Let me know in the comments down below!

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