Ocean conservancy might sound a bit boring to children of any age.
So instead, let’s teach them about ginormous gray whales, sea turtles that have been around since dinosaurs, predatory bull sharks, blue-footed boobies, bearded Arctic seals, the cockscomb cup corral, and don’t forget the magnificent flappy-winged manta rays!
The ocean would greatly benefit from some care and compassion, and kids can be part of it. It doesn’t matter if your child lives near the ocean or has never even stepped foot on a beach — learning about marine life will be a fun and compelling discovery for them as there is so much to explore.
Teaching Children to Care for the Ocean and Its Inhabitants
We put together five websites that will help teach and inspire your children to develop an appreciation for ocean life and all that surrounds it. These sites are interactive, filled with fun activities and jam-packed with ocean-related information that will get your children learning and keep them engaged.
If you’re looking for great programs that are available to watch on YouTube, Netflix, and other popular streaming platforms, check out our article about the best underwater documentaries!
Every Adventure Starts Small: Project AWARE
Project AWARE is a marine conservation organization that supports local actions that protect the most vulnerable marine species and decrease pollution. They have a whole section dedicated to children called the “Kids Conservation Zone.” Here kids can learn about ocean preservation through interactive activities, like wordsearch, coloring-in sheets and witty informative videos.
They have an extensive library of resources that encourages children to connect to the ocean in a fun way. Kids will learn what they can do to help protect marine life. There is even a certificate that you can print for your Ocean-AWARE Kid, encouraging them to keep up the good work.
→ Get the Ocean-AWARE Kid certificate and so much more at the Kids Conservation Zone.
Ocean Conservancy for School Kids: World Ocean Day
Looking for a website that not only separates its resources into age group, but also into time and subject matter? Well look no further, we have the website for you. World Ocean Day has a mission to inspire children to become advocates for the ocean. They have created a free site that makes looking for ocean resources pleasurable, easy and efficient.
It’s simple to use and there are over 100 resources to choose from, everything from learning about plastic-free schools to decomposition rates to nautical language. All you need to do is tick the boxes that apply and then click on the suggested link.
→ Let your children investigate ocean resources themselves at World Ocean Day.
Up Close and Under Water with PADI Scuba Divers
Representing the world’s leading scuba diver training organization, PADI has put together a list of their favorite documentaries to help kids get enthused about ocean conservation and marine debris. Adventuring under the sea is not something that is accessible to all of us, but these documentaries will have your kids feeling like they are deep diving with the professionals into the spectacular underwater world.
What makes it better is that this is also a great activity to do as a family. If you love or are interested in more marine-life documentaries, then make sure you read to the end of this blog as we will be including a few of the videos as a bonus.
→ In the meantime, your kids will love watching these stunning documentaries that PADI has assembled to hook your little ones on ocean conservation.
Marine Biology Blog for Teens and Kids: Sea Beneath
Sea Beneath is a marine biology website aimed at kids and teens to help educate and inspire them to protect the ocean. Some of the articles are interactive, like “SHEhorses vs. HEhorses” where after reading about male and female seahorses, the viewer can complete an interactive quiz.
Many of the posts are created this way, encouraging the reader to really engage and take part in the subject matter. There is also a wonderful “Sea Beneath” Facebook page with additional information to enjoy.
→ These interactive quizzes, like having kids identify various butterflyfish, are delightful and lots of fun, and Sea Beneath offers lots more fun games to inspire ocean protection.
Big Kid-Friendly Ideas About Marine Biology: The American Museum of Natural History
As part of their website, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) has a great science section aimed at kids called OLogy, (meaning “the branch of knowledge”). There is a specified section on Marine Biology that is definitely worth checking out.
There are amusing games, stories, videos and hands-on activities that will have kids entertained for hours. The main page has a simple colorful design that’s super easy for children to navigate on their own. Kids can learn about the ocean’s many different ecosystems, the millions of small living corals, microscopic phytoplankton and kelp forests.
→ The Ology Marine Biology site cleverly invites kids to dive deep into finding out why the ocean is like a layer of cake, what it’s like living in the mangroves, how whales stay warm in chilly water and so much more.
Bonus: Notch, The Rescued Dolphin
A fantastic way to engage your kids in marine conservation is to instill some empathy for ocean life. Meet our friend Notch the dolphin, who one day approached our dive team for help with a hook and fishing line stuck between his mouth and pectoral fin. The divemaster quickly went to work and freed the wild bottlenose dolphin.
I had the breathtaking opportunity to witness and film the whole Notch rescue (watch the video here), and that inspired me to write a book about Notch.
It takes us on a journey from playing with his family, through the entanglement with a fishing line, his search for help, and finally his rescue by scuba divers.
Notch’s book is great for children of all ages (and even adults who like a good underwater story) and it’s available on this website.
A Call to Action
The five great oceans take up 71% of our planet and benefit us in so many ways — from supplying oxygen for all the earth’s inhabitants to providing various kinds of work for people all around the world.
This is why teaching our kids how to protect both the oceans’ inhabitants and ecosystem is so important. It is also one of the ways that we can act in conserving the ocean.
My hope is that this post has both inspired and given you some thoughtful resources to help teach your children about the benefits of safeguarding the ocean and marine life.
But don’t stop here, there is a whole ocean world out there for both you and your little ones to discover and explore.
Share your favorite ways to raise kids as good stewards of the seas in the comments – we love to hear about all the ways we can ensure a brighter future for our oceans and the creatures that live there!
And in the meantime, download our free coloring book featuring Notch the dolphin and other marine life around Hawaii. Guaranteed to keep kids busy for hours!