When it comes to summer, the aquarium is a wonderful place to spend some time. However, it isn’t always possible to head to the aquarium. There are many locations that do not have an aquarium near them, while other families are still staying indoors due to Covid-19 and the new delta variations. There are a few ways you can bring the aquarium to your home without spending a small fortune. These ten tips can help you make the best possible decisions when it comes to introducing your family to the aquarium without stepping foot outside of the house.
1. Marine Based Crafts
Crafts are one of the finest ways to introduce children to almost anything. When it comes to marine crafts, there are so many options to choose from. Children can create fish with their hands, make jellyfish out of paper plates, or simply use a paper bag to make a shark puppet. If you’re not sure where to begin your journey, you will find so many options online that it will be hard to choose where you’d like to begin. When you finish up with your crafts, then hang them up in a section of the home. This will create a little aquarium. These crafts will not only bring a sense of pride to your child but will spark their curiosity about the ocean. This can help you introduce different types of marine life to them or open them up to lessons about the sea.
2. Visual Media
When it comes to visual media, there are lots of great options available that you can choose from based on your child’s age group. Disney+ for instance offers many kid-friendly documentaries and TV shows that can help engage your child while showing them a taste of the ocean. You will also find science-based shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy and the Magic School Bus on Netflix, which will inspire many school-aged children. If you have preschoolers then ocean-inspired movies might be the best way to inspire their interest in the subject.
3. Virtual Tours
You might be surprised by how many aquariums are running virtual tours. During such trying times, many aquariums decided to open up their exhibits to the world by posting tours that anyone and everyone can enjoy. Most of these tours are actually free of cost too, so you might want to check out your favorite aquariums website to see what they have to offer. If you have a favorite animal that you would like to see, then you might do some research to see if there is a camera positioned onto their exhibit at certain aquariums. This can help your family enjoy the animals all the more. It will also give you the chance to learn from aquariums that you normally wouldn’t be able to visit, which can also be exciting.
4. Download Activities
If you’re looking for a great place to start, then your favorite aquarium probably has some awesome activities for your children to check out. Many websites will offer resources about their exhibits; however, some even allow you to download the content they have on hand for visitors. These activities often offer information about the animals as well as fun games and activities designed to help children learn and enjoy marine life. Some of the facilities will even allow you to download storytime videos that take place in front of exhibits. Of course, you will also find content on websites based on homeschool activities and more.
Books are definitely one of the best ways to help your child learn about the world around them. Books are a great resource for engaging young minds while helping them to pick up new and exciting information. There are so many exciting books about aquariums and marine life available, so you might start your adventure at the local library. There are even magazines dedicated to teaching children about marine animals. Subscribing to these is surprisingly cheap and will provide your child with a new monthly theme that will allow them to embrace the marine world while gaining even more excitement about the aquarium.
6. Marine Lamps
Surprisingly enough, you can actually find lamps that mimic the movements of marine life. The lamps can be found in many stores and come in all shapes and sizes. One of the most popular options is the jellyfish lamp due to its very realistic nature. These science-inspired lamps won’t break the budget. You can try to create your marine lamps as well, but they might not offer the same realistic vibe. This is easily done with shadow lights, which can help inspire your child’s imagination as well. If you’re interested in making your own, then there are great websites to help out. You can also find shopping guides to help you choose the right lamp for you if you do choose to purchase one.
7. Sensory Activities
Sensory activities are one of the best ways for children to learn. There are so many sensory activities that you can choose from to engage in a wide variety of age groups. Sensory bins with a marine-life theme are always a fun option. You can mold toys inside of a container using Jell-O, which will allow children to add some squishy fun to their playtime. You can also use a sand-themed bin that allows children to dig with seashells. Allowing children to touch items like starfish, coral, and seashells which can all be purchased if you don’t have them in the home can also help stimulate the mind. You can also create a sensory room where you play with the sounds of the ocean and have children guess what they are. You should be able to find the sounds of whales, dolphins, and more online for free.
No matter the age of your child, they can engage in a little research to help improve on their knowledge of marine life. You might start by having your child pick a fish or other sea animal to look into. Younger children might be able to pick up basic facts about the fish, such as its name, colors, and interesting fact. Other children might be able to take on a lot more. There are lots of images you can print and enjoy too. If your child learns about a fish, you can post the picture up and slowly add more pictures around it to represent your child’s knowledge while building their own personal aquarium.
9. Set Up Home Exhibits
If you’re really missing the aquarium experience, then you might consider setting up one of your own. Obviously, you won’t be able to recreate the huge tanks of fish and other marine life, but you can set up an aquarium that will allow your children to use their imagination. You can use stuffed animals, paper mache projects, and more to create the effect. You can even utilize videos about the sea creatures to make the aquarium feel more realistic. This should add a touch of fun that will keep everyone busy for some time. Your kids might even enjoy it so much that they set up their own aquarium during playtime.
10. Consider Your Own Aquarium
Although it is definitely not the same as visiting the aquarium, you might consider getting your own small aquarium. If you want to keep things really simple, then a beta requires little space and in some instances no upkeep. There are small aquariums that use plants to nourish the fish and clean the cage, which can definitely be helpful if you have young children. A goldfish is another simple option that will allow you to easily introduce your child to the world of marine life. There are lots of helpful guides so you can responsibly take care of your aquarium without worry.
Although it might not be easy to get to an aquarium right now, you will find that there are lots of great ways you bring the aquarium home to you. These ten ideas are just the beginning and will ensure you feel confident about sharing the world of the ocean with your children without having to worry about traveling long distances or exposure during these trying times.