One of my jobs as a co-op preschool parent is to help plan, organize, and prepare some of the art projects for the last couple months of the school year. The theme for March is underwater exploration, and so I decided it might be fun to create a little coral reef scene.
I used some sponges and paint to make my little reef. And I roped my my husband and our unwitting houseguest (I have a feeling maybe this was not a part of his vacation plans!) into helping me cut out a few hundred little fish to help decorate the scene. It's simple, but the projects have to work not only for pre-kindergartners but also for toddlers. Projects also have to be able to be completed in a pretty short amount of time so they can't be too in-depth.
I had fun putting it together and think turned out pretty cute. Hopefully, the preschoolers will have some fun with it, too!
Just for fun, here are some facts about coral reefs that I found:
- Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems and are often referred to as the rainforests of the oceans. A great variety of fish, more than 4,000 species, and other organisms, such as sponges, jellyfish, crustaceans, and turtles, inhabit coral reefs.
- Coral reefs develop in shallow, warm water (between 70° and 85° F), usually near land.
- Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems on Earth.
- Coral reefs are the largest living structure on the planet.
- Although coral reefs cover less than 1% of the Earth’s surface, they are home to 25% of all marine fish species.
- The Great Barrier Reef (off the coast of NE Australia) is the largest coral reef in the world. It is over 1,257 miles long!
- Reef growth is extremely slow. An individual colony grows ½ inch to 7 inches a year, depending on the species.