I only wanted to order Julia Donaldson's Room on the Broom book but there was…
Even if you don't live by the sea, you can always bring it to your playroom. One of our favourite sea themed stories is The Little Mermaid. Many summer and sea related words and phrases can be learned from the story: under the sea, mermaid, fish tail, crab, seagull, ship, storm, beach, sea witch, octopus, tentacles, voice, seashell, castle, prince, seaweed, etc.
The Little Mermaid Crafts
Maria Montessori's well-known saying "what the hand does the mind remembers" applies to language learning, too. That's why we always do some arts and crafts related to the story or topic we are working on.
For example, to learn about underwater animals we made a cupcake liner sea animals picture. We only made a crab, an octopus and fish, but sharks, turtles, jellyfish and oysters can be added, too. While we work, we speak in English, describe the animals, talk about the picture.
What animals live in the sea? What sea animals have you never seen? Let's make a sea scene together. We use cupcake liners and googly eyes to make sea creatures. What colour cupcake liner do you need for the octopus? How many tentacles do you add?
We made a paper boat for Prince Eric on one occasion. It was also a good opportunity to introduce paper folding. "Origami for kids is full of developmental benefits," says Yuki Martin creator of Yuki's Origami Blog. "It helps kids learn about geometry and math, build fine motor skills and sequencing skills, develop creative and intellectual abilities and much more -- not to mention it is a fun activity that requires only a piece of paper."
Then we used the paper boats to make paper plate sea pictures.
Little Mermaid Pin the Tail
Sometimes, we play the pin the tail game with the kids. Pin the tail on the mermaid gives a twist to the traditional game.
Look at Ariel! Her tail is missing! Here it is. You should pin it to her body. But oh no! Ursula, the evil sea witch blindfolds you and spins you around. She doesn't want you to help Ariel.
Princess and Prince Guess Who? Game
I created a Princess and Prince Guess Who? game to the girls to learn the names of some story characters and to practice describing people. We play it like this: someone describes one of the characters and the others have to guess who it is.
She's a princess. She's wearing a yellow dress. She's got long brown hair. She's got a rose in her hand. Who is she?
You can download the cards in PDF for free:
An Under the Sea themed Alphabet Cards printable is also available and it's free to download: