09 November 2009

Co-op Day: Under the Sea

This year a few homeschooling friends and I have been getting together for a monthly co-op. There are 6 moms and 18 kids ranging from our big second-graders to just under a week old! This month I was the hostess and had a blast planning a morning of ocean-themed fun and learning.

While waiting for everyone to arrive, the kids worked on coloring a printable mural and cut-outs from learningpage.com.

Next came worship. We sang Deep and Wide and Peace Like a River. We read a few Psalms that talked about the ocean like Psalm 89:9, Psalm 93:4, and Psalm 148:7.

After the group worship time we divided the kids up into 3 groups and they rotated through 5 different activity centers led by different moms.

Art center:

The kids made their own aquarium using paper plates, cornmeal sand, crepe paper seaweed, and foam stickers from Joann's. Unlike my example, they also decorated their plate before putting anything else on.I prepared the front of the aquarium top beforehand, since it was both time consuming and tricky for little hands to do. I used blue plastic wrap taped to the back of a paper plate.

Confession time: I did not take a single picture during our time together. These were taken after everything had been cleaned up and put away!

Science Center

:The kids learned about floating and sinking by making a hypothesis about which objects would float in both fresh water and salt water. Both an uncooked egg and a potato should float in the salt water and sink in the fresh water.

Sorting Center:

What's the difference between whales and fish? Inspired by this activity, we made a giant Venn diagram with two hula hoops to sort different characteristics written on index cards.

Reading Center:

We had lots of books available for the kids to read or look at independently or have read to them. I don't think my local library had any ocean-themed books left after I raided all the shelves! Here's a list of some good ones:

Turtle In The Sea

Mister Seahorse



A House for Hermit Crab

My Visit to the Aquarium

The Magic School Bus Gets Crabby

The Rainbow Fish

10 Little Rubber Ducks

Is This a House for Hermit Crab?


One Small Place by the Sea

Miranda's Beach Day

Drama Center:

The kids played charades, pretended to be different animals, and put on a puppet show based on some of stories they had read.

After centers we finished up with a "sharing" time. This seems to be a favorite activity for everyone! The kids are able to present something they learned, read something they've written, or recite a poem or verse they've memorized. Some of the little ones just like being in the spotlight! It's great because public speaking is one of those skills that are hard to develop when you're homeschooled.

This was our third meeting and the kids are really starting to feel more comfortable with each other. Meeting for co-op once a month has been great for all of us and our kids since it makes coming together a treat and not a drudgery. Hopefully our co-op will continue to be a blessing to us all!


  1. Wow! Thanks for this resource! I especially like the aquarium.

  2. Ha ha. Who has time to photograph when the excitement is actually going ON? :-)
    I love the paperplate craft. Too cute. Sort of a mini diorama. Clever.

  3. oh, my goodness - how cute are those aquariums?! we'll be doing those before too long around here!!