Coral Reef STEAM Preschool Ocean Investigation Station

If you’re looking for ideas for an ocean preschool theme, here’s a fun Coral Reef STEAM Preschool Ocean Investigation Station. Check it out!

collage of Coral Reef STEAM images with text: Coral Reef STEAM Activity for Little KidsLast week we learned about coral reefs and I’m totally convinced that they’re one of the most beautiful naturally occurring things in the world. Give your preschoolers and kindergartners the opportunity to make their own amazing three-dimensional coral reef designs with this Coral Reef STEAM activity. 

Coral reefs are living structures found underwater and are home to a diverse group of sea creatures. Coral reefs are fragile. Boating and pollution can damage coral reefs. 

I love all things STEAM and the little guy does too. The Invitation to Create and Investigation Station ideas that we get via our Teacher Guide each month are definitely favorites around here.

This is just one of the awesome coral reef craft ideas we’ve done! We’ll be sharing lots more really soon! 

Of course, they’re all kinds of quick & easy too. Because what more could a preschool homeschool mama ask for, right?

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if an item is purchased through one of these links.  For more information, see my disclosures here.

A huge thanks to Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) for providing us with their Experience Preschool curriculum for free in exchange for sharing our honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. It’s been such a huge blessing to us! As always, my opinions on awesome stuff for little kids are 100% my own.

Keep in mind that all preschoolers do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best mama judgement when planning activities for your little kids. 

Each month, we receive a themed kit that includes a picture book, magnetic storytelling pieces, a few sets of manipulatives, and just about everything you need to do lots of activities and projects.

child rolling out play dough on table
And while we’re on the subject, we keep stumbling across so many fun activities that we could do over and over again and those are usually the ones that turn into blog posts.

child pushing pipe cleaners into play dough
This Coral Reef STEAM Preschool Ocean Investigation Station was no exception. We actually left it out so that the little guy could explore off and on throughout the day.
coral reef STEAM activity images with text: Stringing Coral Reefs Investigation Station for Preschoolers

Coral Reef STEAM Preschool Ocean Investigation Station

Fine Motor (5.1), Patterns and Sorting (18.1) 

What you’ll need

  • Play-Doh
  • Stringing Materials
  • Pipe Cleaners

Here’s how to do it

Set Up

  • Set out clumps of play dough and pipe cleaners. Encourage children to stick the pipe cleaners into the play dough.
  • Set out an assortment of stringing materials. Encourage children to create patterns if desired.

Questions

  • What can you put on your coral reef?
  • Did you make patterns on the pipe cleaners?
  • What sea creatures do you think live in coral reefs?

The little guy had a blast creating his own coral reef sculptures with the stringing materials. We used straws that were cut into small pieces, large beads, and of course lots of different buttons.

child pushing colorful pipe cleaners into play dough
Everything was organized via a divided tray and set out on the little guy’s workspace so that he could pick and choose exactly which materials he wanted to use.

child pressing pink, yellow, and blue pipe cleaners into play dough
We looked at pictures of coral reefs online and talked about how colorful they are and how we could make our own with the materials that we had.

child stringing beads onto pipe cleaners
The Teacher Guide mentioned encouraging little kids to stick pipe cleaners into the play dough, so we started with that and the little guy just sort of took over from there and did his own thing.

child pushing beads onto piep cleaners
I always try to be mindful of ways that we can extend our activities.

preschooler stringing cut straw onto pipe cleaner
This particular activity encourages fine motor skills as well as creative thinking and problem-solving skills. All three of which are so important for little kids.

preschooler stringing beads onto pipe cleaners to make coral reef craft
Something that I noticed was that if the little guy added too much weight, the pipe cleaners would separate from the play-doh. That’s why some of the pipe cleaners were looped.

preschooler stringing large button onto pipe cleaner
You gotta love when there’s a little bit of engineering going on too.

preschooler pushing buttons and straw pieces onto pipe cleaner
Of course this was also a great activity for working with patterns and sorting. You could ask your preschooler to use the stringing materials to create a pattern or even sort them by color.

preschooler adding straw piece to coral reef craft
I love homeschooling preschool and I totally wouldn’t trade this time with the little guy for anything. It’s nothing less than amazing to see him learning and being creative.

preschooler putting cut straw pieces on coral reef craft
Its actually kinda hilarious because if you ask him about school, he’s all like no way! He’ll most likely respond with something along with lines of, “I don’t go to school. I do school at home.”

preschooler picking up straw piece to use for coral reef craft
And you know what? He totally owns it. He loves being here. He knows when the kids go to school and when they get home and how much more time he has to just hang out.

preschooler adjusting pipe cleaner on coral reef craft
We probably only spend about an hour a day on preschool homeschool stuff, which is exactly the way it should be. You know, because thanks to the wonderful play-based curriculum that we’ve been blessed with, the little guy is thriving.

coral reef craft made from play dough, pipe cleaners, beads, buttons, and straw pieces
Don’t forget to check back if you’re interested in seeing what we’re up to with our Ocean Commotion theme this month. And if you missed our preschool space post, you can check it out here.

coral reef STEAM activity images with text: Colorful Coral Reefs Ocean Commotion Art for Preschoolers

Looking for more insight & inspiration? Here are the top 10 most popular posts from The Keeper of the Memories. You’re definitely not going to want to miss these!

MGT-Blog-Transparent-300x300As a Mother Goose Time blog ambassador, I receive the Mother Goose Time Preschool curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. As always, my opinions on awesome stuff for little kids are 100% my own. Keep in mind that all preschoolers do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best mama judgement when planning activities for your little kids. #mgtblogger

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collage of Coral Reef STEAM images with text: Coral Reef STEAM Activity for Preschoolers

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