Ocean-Themed Sensory Play

by Meghan

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The girls had so much fun a few weeks back with our patriotic colored-ice sensory play, this week we decided to do it again.  Only this time, we traded in the red, yellow and blue stars for neon-colored ocean animals!

Ocean-Themed Sensory Play

 Ocean-Themed Sensory Play

Sensory play with ice is rapidly becoming the girls’ most requested activity.  This week we traded in our star molds for a sea creature Jell-O mold I found at the grocery store.  Sensory play with ice is super easy, and requires the most basic of supplies.


Ice cube tray or mold
Food coloring
Bowls, buckets, cups

Cost: Free to less than $5
Prep Time: Less than 5 minutes (allow for ice to freeze several hours to overnight)
Clean-up Time: Less than 5 minutes

To create our vibrantly colored sea creatures, I added 3-4 drops of food coloring to each mold.  When I make them again, I could definitely use less.

Ocean Themed Sensory Play Making the Ice

Shape Matching

Since we also have a ton of ocean-themed sand toys, I added a fun matching dimension to our sensory activity.  I laid out the various sand molds and asked Lil’ M if she could match the creature to the right mold.  Even though they weren’t all perfect matches in shape or color, she did pretty well.  Next time, to make it more evident, I am going to try to match the sea creature color to the sand molds.

Swimming with the Fishies

After the girls matched all the ice sea creatures we had sand molds for, they dropped them in the water.  Big M declared they were turning into baby fish as they melted!

Ocean Themed Sensory Play with Ice Sea Creatures

Once they were all melted, and the water turned brown… the girls thought they could make more by just refilling the mold!

They got very excited that the remaining food coloring in the mold filled each creature with color, but sadly disappointed when I told them we had to put it in the freezer overnight for them to turn to ice again.

Ocean Themed Sensory Play Sea Horse

What is your favorite water play activity?  Adding the elements of ice and color makes for some fun additional topics for discussion, covering STEM and color theory.  If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our other favorite outdoor activity, Billions of Bubbles!  You can find them both, along with all our favorite finds from around the web on our Outdoor Activities board on Pinterest.

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Helen @ Peakle Pie July 17, 2015 - 6:58 am

Love this idea – great summer fun too! Thank you for joining in with #WeLoveWeekends last week. Your post has been featured via Peakle Pie on this week’s We Love Weekends! Thank you again for sharing and hope to see you joining in again soon!

PGPBMeghan July 17, 2015 - 7:53 am

🙂 Thanks for the feature and for visiting!

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Ali Gilbert July 13, 2015 - 5:16 pm

I LOVE that you also add the cost of this activity. Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday! Looks like a lot of fun.

PGPBMeghan July 13, 2015 - 7:59 pm

I’m glad it’s helpful – for me, the things that matter is how much it costs and how much playtime do they get out of it relative to how long it takes me to prep and clean-up. Bonus points if there is a demand for repeat performances!

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I love the shape matching! What a great sensory activity. Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday

PGPBMeghan July 10, 2015 - 6:48 am

Thanks – the girls did too!

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