Tide Pool Animals
A visit to the tide pools at low tide is a delight for children of any age. The colorful animals and plants are beautiful, and easy to see. This project can help prepare your child for a trip to the tide pools, or give him a permanent way to remember some of the many creatures he saw and touched during his visit.
What You Need:
For the Tidepool and In General
- 17 inch by 17 inch piece of thick brown butcher, or craft paper
- Blue tempera paint
- 3 brown paper lunch bags
- Scrap paper
- Masking tape
- Green cellophane paper or green construction paper
For the Sea Anemone
- Toilet paper roll
- Green tempera paint
- Green crepe paper filler, or plastic grass
For the Sea Urchin
- 2-inch Styrofoam ball
- Purple tempera paint
For the Sea Star
- Orange construction paper
- Yellow tempera paint
What You Do:
General Tide Pool
- Mentally prepare yourself. This is a long term project that will probably take several days to complete.
- Create a two-and-a-half inch cut three inches from the corner of one side of the brown paper.
- Repeat step 2 for the other three corners of the brown paper square.
- Fold over the cut side and staple it to the other side of the cut, creating an edge for the tide pool.
- Have your child paint the bottom of the tide pool with the light blue paint. Let dry.
- To create the tide pool rocks, have your child stuff the three lunch bags with paper and tape or staple them closed.
- Ask your child to glue the rocks in the tide pool wherever he wants.
- Have him spread some glue on the rocks, and sprinkle in some sand to make it more realistic.
- Have your child cut some seaweed strips from the green cellophane or green construction paper.
- Let your child glue the seaweed strips where he would like in his tide pool.
- Have your child create the sea anemone by using the scissors to cut one inch slits in the top of the toilet paper tube that are about a quarter of an inch apart.
- Ask your child to press the fringe down, so it's nearly perpendicular to the body of the sea anemone. The fringe is the anemone's tentacles.
- Paint the anemone with the green tempera, making sure to paint both sides of the fringe and inside the tube at least two inches.
- Sprinkle the top of the fringe with glitter to represent the sticky stinger cells, which the anemone uses to catch food and protect itself.
- Let dry, and stuff with green filler.
- Position the anemone in the tide pool.
- Show your child how to cut the first Styrofoam ball in half with the knife. Let him cut the rest.
- Have your child paint each Styrofoam ball half with purple paint.
- Ask your child to stick lots of toothpicks in each Styrofoam ball half, they will be the sea urchins' spines.
- Paint the urchins’ spines purple as well.
- Let dry, and position them in the tide pool. Sea urchins eat lots of seaweed, so your child might want to position them near the seaweed strips.
- Help your child cut one or two five-armed sea stars from the orange construction paper.
- Place a couple spoonfuls of yellow tempera paint in the cup.
- Add a spoonful of sand and stir.
- Have your child decorate his sea stars with the sandy paint. You might tell him that the sandy paint represents the thick, spiny skin of the sea star. Let dry.
- Have your kid position his sea star in the tide pool.
Seaweed, sea anemones, sea urchins, and sea stars come in many colors. For instance, some sea anemones are red and many starfish are purple. You might want to figure out what the tide pool life in your area looks like so your pretend tide pool resembles the real ones close to your home. Alternatively, you can let your kid's imagination run wild. Have him use use whatever colors he wants when making his tide pool. Another animal you might want to add to your tide pool is the mighty barnacle.