Underwater worlds are magical. Oh, the stories that can be told about seahorses, mermaids and hidden treasures!
Throughout the years I’ve noticed how tents are simply irresistible to children. When we decided to do an activity around the “underwater” theme, I knew I wanted to create a true underwater small world. A place where my little ones could hide away and pretend to REALLY be under the water for a while.
When I saw my 4 1/2 year old daughter putting on her mermaid dress, slip into the tent and heard her singing songs about dolphins and whales, I knew I pulled it off!
I hope our project will inspire many amazing underwater small worlds under dining tables around the world!
Creating an Underwater Small World
To create our underwater world we simply strapped our ocean ceiling to the table.
This ocean ceiling is surprisingly easy to make! (You can find the tutorial here.) Or you can simply use a blue sheet, blanket, sarong, baby wrap or whatever you can find and tie it around the table somehow.
On the floor we put an old yellow curtain, some pillows and soft toys.
Once our ocean ceiling and ocean floor were set up, we started making some simple ocean animals from materials we had in our craft cupboard. We tend to wing it but should you be looking for some proper inspiration on what to make, I’ve collected a few gorgeously creative ideas for you:
– Fish Paper Craft from Buggy and Buddy
– Finding Nemo Inspired Paper Plate Crafts from I Heart Arts and Crafts
– Jelly Fish Recycle Craft from Teach Me Mommy
– Hermit Crab Craft from Craftulate
– Cupcake Liner Fish from Learn with Play at Home
– Rainbow Fish from Parenting Chaos
– Fine Motor Jellyfish Craft from Buggy and Buddy
– Rocking Paper Plate Crab from Crafts on Sea
– Easy DIY Mermaid Tail Craft from Playground Parkbench
– Underwater Treasure: Pony Bead and Prism Suncatchers from Rhythms of Play
This was the fun bit for my daughter. As she saw me working on the ocean ceiling, sewing it all together, the anticipation started building. Keeping her busy with ‘her work’ while I was finishing up mine, made our underwater small world an epic mother/daughter collaboration.
Making the Underwater World Come Alive
After a whole lot of crafting, it’s time to put it all together.
The children can hang their ocean art work from the ceiling and together you can think about other things from around your home that could belong in an underwater small world. There could be blankets, pillows, dress ups, a pirate treasure, bubbles, mermaid tail dress ups, soft toys, felt animals and whatever you can come up with.
If you are using a sheet or blanket or something else as the ocean ceiling, now is also the time to perhaps attach some crepe paper or fabric scraps to the ceiling. You can do that with safety pins, duct tape or plain painter’s tape.
On the ocean ceiling I made I attached some buttons where you can easily hang the crafts and some felt animals from.
This is how our underwater world looked when we were finished:
I sure hope you’ll be up for some great memory making rainy day crafty play activities with this underwater small world under the table idea.
Should you like to read more about small world play, why it’s great for your child’s development and how you can easily get started at home, you can do that here.
If by any chance you’d like to have a look at a few other (no sew!) small worlds I’ve created, be sure to click through to the Dinosaur Small World, Zoo Small World, Bear Hunt Sensory Small World and read about the time I turned my daughters bedroom into a hospital!
And here’s another great ocean pretend play idea: how to make an under the sea fort from Building Blocks and Acorns.
By the way, did you know that this post is part of the A to Z Rainy Day Activities Blog Hop hosted by Something 2 Offer? You can find them all here.
I’m pretty sure all this will keep you busy for a while!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, and please share your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you,