I remember my parents taking me to the aquarium when I was a kid and obsessing over seeing the sea lions. Now, as a mom, I see that same wonder and awe in my children’s’ eyes when they see the shark exhibit at the aquarium. As your children are searching for their favorite ocean animal or fish, encourage them to discover new creatures and ocean life with our free printable aquarium scavenger hunt for kids. This can also be perfect for an ocean themed preschool field trip!

– Life Over C's vertical image with free printable aquarium and ocean scavenger hunt for kids with clip art images of various ocean and marine life.

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Aquarium Scavenger Hunt for Kids

  • Paper
  • Writing Utensils

Using the Free Printable Aquarium Scavenger Hunt for Kids


When your child is looking for specific items on the list they will have to classify objects by colors, sizes, shapes and even textures.

As your child finds each item, have them cross off the picture and then draw the object on the second page. Encourage them to use descriptive words including positions and locations.

This activity can be used on a field trip with students or one on one with your own kiddos. What an awesome way to celebrate a preschool ocean theme.

The aquarium scavenger hunt items that are included in this printable are: jellyfish, clownfish, dolphin, eel, sea urchin, seal, octopus, squid, turtle, shark, coral, seahorse, lobster, starfish, and manta ray.

In addition to learning about observational skills, here are some more ideas for what you can teach using the aquarium field trip scavenger hunt:

  • Which object was the easiest to find?
  • What object was the hardest to find?
  • Did you find other objects that are not on the sheet?
  • What animal or plant did you not see that you wanted to?
– Life Over C's Kids will love this printable aquarium scavenger hunt that is perfect for a preschool ocean theme.

What Can Preschoolers Learn From The Aquarium Scavenger Hunt for Kids?

  • Which words start with ‘S’?
  • Which words have a ‘E’ in them?
  • What pictures contain two separate words?
  • Can you think of other words that start with ‘O’ like in ocean?

7 Ways to Build Skills with the Aquarium Scavenger Hunt for Kids

Engaging in a scavenger hunt can be a fun and educational activity for kids, fostering the development of various skills:

  1. Observation Skills: Scavenger hunts encourage children to pay attention to their surroundings, observe details, and identify specific items on their list.
  2. Critical Thinking: Our children will use prior knowledge to investigate and problem solve where they think one of the ocean animals might be hiding. For example, a clown fish might be hiding in some coral.
  3. Teamwork and Collaboration: Have your children work in small groups or pairs to practice brainstorming and team work. Collaborating with a friend can provide us with clues and ideas we may not have thought of.
  4. Communication Skills: Whether communicating with team members or seeking assistance, children practice verbal and non-verbal communication during a scavenger hunt.
  5. Spatial Awareness: Navigating the hunt area helps kids develop spatial awareness and a sense of direction as they move around to locate items.
  6. Creativity: Designing or participating in creative scavenger hunts encourages children to think outside the box, fostering imaginative and innovative thinking.
  7. Physical Activity: I have never met a kid that doesn’t love running outside and searching for ‘treasure’. Your child will engage gross motor skills by exploring and moving those little legs.

Overall, scavenger hunts provide a holistic learning experience, combining physical activity, cognitive challenges, and social interaction in a fun and interactive way.

How To Use This Free Aquarium Scavenger Hunt for Kids:

Ocean theme preschool activities

This scavenger hunt for kids is so simple to make and easy for children to understand. If some of the objects are not found in your hunting space, feel free to search the gift shop or look for pictures around the aquarium.

Print out a copy of the scavenger hunt for each child.

A clipboard or something hard to set the paper on could help prevent tears or tiny holes in the scavenger hunt as the kids are exploring.

Provide each child with a crayon, pen or pencil (and please remind them not to run with a sharp writing tool!).

Be sure to express the importance of staying together especially in crowded, public areas.

Extend the Activity:

Create a Clue: If you feel like your child may have a difficult time finding the objects, create fun clues for them to help them feel successful.

Take a Picture: Instead of, or along with, your child drawing a picture of the object, take their picture beside or close to what they have found.

Sorting the Sea: Have your child sort through the pictures in different ways. For example, sort animals that have red on their bodies or sort by plants and animals.

Do you love this free printable Aquarium Scavenger Hunt for Kids?

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– Life Over C's Fun scavenger hunt for kids to do on a trip or field trip to the aquarium.
– Life Over C's Printable aquarium scavenger hunt for kids to use on a field trip.
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Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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