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 current experiment is a fun way to see currents form right before your eyes!

– Life Over C's 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!

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials Needed for Ocean Currents Science Experiment

  • Hot Water
  • Cold Water
  • Ocean Figurines
  • Ice
  • Blue Food Coloring
  • Red Food Coloring

Begin this beach and ocean experiment by filling the clear baking dish about 1/3 full with cold water. Add a few drops of blue food coloring. You won’t want the blue to be too dark or you won’t 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. The goal in this ocean science activity is to have very cold water.

– Life Over C's 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!

Warm 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.

When 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.

More STEM Learning Fun: Building Block Challenge Cards

– Life Over C's 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!

– Life Over C's 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.

– Life Over C's 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 mixes together to create lukewarm (and purple) water which is what it also does in the ocean. This easy ocean science experiment is truly magical! Who new there were layers of the ocean?

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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:

– Life Over C's 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!

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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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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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