Ocean Currents Science Experiment

Every child who has ever watched Finding Nemo has heard of ocean currents. Seriously educational stuff there folks! While Finding Nemo is definitely not the most educational movie of all time, it can really spark curiosity in kids to find out more about ocean currents, like the East Australian Current, and how they are formed. This ocean currents science experiment is a fun way to see currents form right before your eyes!

Explore the deep, blue sea with this ocean currents science experiment for kids. Learn how currents form and watch as they are created right before your eyes!

Materials needed for the Ocean Currents Science Experiment:

Cold Water

Ice

Boiling Water

Red and Blue Food coloring

Clear or white large baking dish


First, fill the clear baking dish about 1/3 full with cold water and add a few drops of blue food coloring. You won’t want the blue to be too dark or you won’t be able to see the currents forming.

Add a 1-2 cups of ice to the cold water and stir. Let it set for a few minutes for some of the ice to melt. Our goal is to have very cold water.

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Explore the deep, blue sea with this ocean currents science experiment for kids. Learn how currents form and watch as they are created right before your eyes!

Lukewarm water will not give you the same results. (Trust me on that!)

While the ice is melting, boil about 4 cups of water. Add red food coloring to the boiled water, this one you will want to make darker.

Once both sets of water & dye are ready, gently pour some of the boiling water into a corner of the baking dish filled with cold water.

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Explore the deep, blue sea with this ocean currents science experiment for kids. Learn how currents form and watch as they are created right before your eyes!

Then, watch as currents form right before your eyes!

Explore the deep, blue sea with this ocean currents science experiment for kids. Learn how currents form and watch as they are created right before your eyes!

The hot water will push through the cold water creating currents. In the ocean these are faster moving strips of water (like the East Australian Current…)

As an added bonus, we got to see some eddies form! Eddies are circular moving currents and you can see them very clearly in this picture.

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Explore the deep, blue sea with this ocean currents science experiment for kids. Learn how currents form and watch as they are created right before your eyes!

Eventually the water mixed together to create lukewarm (and purple) water which is what it also does in the ocean.

ocean currents STEM science experiment featured image

Planning for an Ocean Theme? We’ve done all the work for you!

We now have interactive thematic lesson plans for toddlers (18-35 months) AND preschoolers (3-5 years)! Get ready for fun and learning with unit lesson plans for your OCEAN THEME. Explore a variety of themed hands-on activities! Easy to follow lesson plans include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners. For more information, click on the graphics below:

Ocean Preschool Lesson Plans
Ocean Toddler Lesson Plans
Ocean Preschool Lesson Plans
Ocean Toddler Lesson Plans
Explore the deep, blue sea with this ocean currents science experiment for kids. Learn how currents form and watch as they are created right before your eyes!

Have fun exploring the ocean with this super fun ocean currents science experiment for kids!

More Marine Biology Activities to Explore:

 Marine Mammals or Fish? from Still Playing School

Ocean Animals Food Chain Printables from Living Life and Learning

How Do Fish Breathe? from Parenting Chaos

Why Can’t Freshwater Fish Live in the Ocean? from Schooling a Monkey

{FREE} Ocean Animals & Plants Cards from Preschool Powol Packets

Ocean Animal Addition Cards from The Kindergarten Connection

Ocean Animal Vocabulary Cards from The Letters of Literacy

Super Simple Edible Coral Reef from Lemon Lime Adventures

Coral Reefs Game from Line Upon Line Learning

Number Bonds with Shells from Kidz Activities

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