This is another activity that is super easy to put together. While it does take a bit longer than the 30 seconds required for other activities, you can still have this done in way less than 5 minutes and your preschooler can help make it! This ocean themed I Spy Jar is sure to be a hit with your preschooler or toddler.

– Life Over C's ocean theme i spy jar for preschoolers

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Ocean I Spy Jar

  • Ocean Animal Beads
  • Blue Vase Fillers
  • Paper Crinkles
  • Plastic Jar

How to put together the Ocean Themed I Spy Jar:

Open the jar.

Layer each of the materials in the jar and repeat several times. Be sure to push the beads toward the outside of the jar before you add more paper crinkles, otherwise they will be hidden and there will be nothing to spy.


Make sure that the jar is well filled, so that the paper crinkles hold the beads in place. See above reason.

Avoid the bummer.

Once your jar is pretty stuffed, put the lid back on.

That’s it!

You may be asking why we used green paper crinkles if this is supposed to be an Ocean I Spy Jar…

I absolutely… did not think about it…


Actually it was all I had on hand from a sensory bin that we did (sharing soon!) and we had used it for seaweed in there, so we just decided that the animals were tangled up in the seaweed.

If you don’t want to use your imagination that way….hehe, you can definitely use blue paper crinkles instead.

Either way will work just fine.

We used the jar to talk about colors and animal names with my preschooler. Most of the ocean animal names are still not familiar to her. She much prefers the farm animals. I would guess that’s because farm animals have fun sounds and actions that go along with them. Ocean animals….. not so much.

Do you love this activity?

Pin it for later!

– Life Over C's ocean theme i spy jar for preschoolers

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:

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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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One Comment

  1. I have crinkle paper I’ve been saving and didn’t know what to do with it. Now I know! Thanks for the idea!