Today is World Ocean Day, a day in which we are reminded about the importance of oceans’ in our everyday life. We have put together some activities to bring the ocean closer to home and spend some quality-language-time with the little ones while talking about the sea.
Fun Ocean facts for your bilingual (and monolingual) Kids
Use these fun facts to start a conversation, probably many of us adults had no idea about some of these facts, either.
- Oceans cover 71% of Earth’s surface, and they hold 97% of our planet’s water.
- The oceans provide more than 70% of the oxygen that we breathe.
- 94% of living species on earth live in the ocean
- Oceans help in regulating the weather and climate.
- Only 3 people have ever visited the deepest part of the ocean (Mariana Trench), while 12 people have been to the moon.
- The longest mountain chain in the world is almost completely submerged (Mid-Ocean-Ridge). 65,000 kilometers in total.
- Coral reefs use “sunscreen“.
Marine Animal Fun facts for Bilingual Kids
We chose some of the cute underwater animals that appear in our Underwater Adventure, we hope you enjoy these.
- Jellyfish: have been around for over 500 million years, longer than dinosaurs.
- Dolphins have names, they use a unique whistle to identify and call each other.
- Turtles have an amazing sense of direction
- Seahorses are masters of camouflage
World Ocean Day Bilingual Activities for Kids
Underwater Treasure Hunt
Use our fun facts above to put together a fun bilingual treasure hunt, after discussing World Ocean Day and reading some of the related books. Kids learn best when information is presented to them in various different ways. A treasure hunt is a playful method that allows kids to remember more details. A treasure hunt can also help to introduce new vocabulary in the not so strong language.
Beach Clean-up (or Water body close to you)
Gather friends and family to clean a beach or a water body close to you. You can explain how currents and different waterways bring garbage to our oceans and therefore pollute the habitat of underwater flora and fauna. Even better if you can gather a group that speaks your home language, so you can have a win-win language moment.
Follow the events organized worldwide by the UN
Organize an Ocean Awareness Presentation for School
Make a fun presentation for your language class in school with marine protection as a topic. Make your friends aware of why it is so important to protect our oceans
Visit the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian has complied loads of interesting facts about our oceans, marine wildlife and we love their Stories of Ocean Optimism from around the World.
Watch One Ocean on BBC or Our Planet on Netflix
One Ocean is a Wildlife documentary, presented by Sir David Attenborough explain new worlds and animal behaviors throughout the oceans. And download a free Oceans poster thanks to Open University. If you are looking for different languages you can watch Our Planet on Netflix narrated, once again, by Sir David Attenborough (he is simply the best), however, although you will miss Sir David’s very special voice over it is also available in ten languages with local narrators. Among them Penelope Cruz for European Spanish and Salma Hayek for the Latin American Spanish version.
Arts & Crafts Projects for Kids for World Ocean Day…
…of course with Recycled Materials…
…and in many languages.
Are your kids stone collectors like mine, then you probably have a large collection gathering dust underneath the bed? This is the time to make them shine. A beautiful rock fish or fish rock (not sure which way is more correct) arts project by Hello Wonderful
20 Ocean Crafts by Artsy Momma, An amazing round-up of 20 easy arts and crafts projects you can make with household items,
An Underwater World by Hong Kong ABC a beautiful underwater world that your kids can continue playing with. Just remember to skip the googly eyes, just draw funny eyes.
A Marine-Themed Arts project can also become a fun board game thanks to Ocean Child Crafts
Ocean-related Children’s Books in various Languages
Books are simply the best resource to learn about new topics and new vocabulary (ok, fair we are biased here, but really nothing beats books). Kids love finding things in the illustrations and ocean books are simply amazing for this. Especially when it comes to bilingual kids, children learn through the images, the text, the shapes and colours, and underwater creatures are amazing sources of conversation topics. “What colour is that fish?” , “Do they have stripes or dots?”, “What do you think they eat?”, etc…
So here we have a round-up of amazing underwater reads that we have loved over the years and some that have been highly recommended to us. From more scientific, descriptive books, to beautiful and inspiring underwater stories, to even jaw-dropping pop-up books. All books are available in more than one language. Happy Reading!!
TimTimTom’s Underwater Adventure written by Saskia Reusens and illustrated by Katrien van Schylenbergh
Our first book “The Underwater Adventure” was based on our love for the sea Our illustrator Katrien van Schylenburgh outdid herself in creating gorgeous and funny underwater creatures that can be found throughout the book. The main message of the book is that regardless of what your child looks like or what languages he/she speaks they can become the hero of the story and save an endangered marine turtle.
The Big Book of the Blue by Yuval Zommer
After The Big Book of Bugs and The Big Book of Beasts, The Big Book of the Blue is the third in Yuval Zommer’s series (we just heard there are two more). Zommer’s enchanting illustrations will bring the underwater world to live for budding oceanographers and marine biologists.
Deep in the Ocean by Lucie Brunellière
Gorgeously illustrated it is a real experience for the senses. We have found the book in French, English, Portuguese, Italian and even Basque
Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
In this book, kids learn about the miracle of life and how daddy seahorse carries baby seahorse eggs in his tummy. Available in many languages.
Ocean by Britta Teckentrup
Under the Ocean Written by Anouck Boisrobert and Illustrated by Louis Rigaud
Check out this video so you can see how beautifully handcrafted this book is.
We were able to find this gorgeous pp-up book in English, Spanish, French, and Polish.
Océano Written by Emmanuelle Grundmann and illustrated by Helene Druvert
This large book explains the mysteries of the ocean, how does a wave form? Admire the show of the corals or the ballet of luminescent creatures. We found it in Spanish and English.
I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean By Kevin Sherry
The funny story of a giant squid that things he is the largest creature in the ocean. Kids will enjoy the surprise at the end. We have been able to find it in French and English and it has a follow-up book called I’m the best artist in the Ocean
We hope you enjoy World Ocean Day, why not make a week full of activities and remember, try to use your minority language as much as possible.
A bilingual and personalized story that will spark your kid’s imagination and language ability.
You can customize the name and look of the child and choose any combination of two out of ten available languages.
(Some available language combinations: English-Spanish, English-German, English-Russian, English-Chinese, English-Portuguese, English-Italian, English-Dutch, English-French, French-German, Russian-German, Spanish-German. You can combine any two languages!)
The books are now also available in one language
TimTimTom – Reading in Two Languages is Double the Fun