A workshop inspired by the ocean – a Workshop for Groups


Paper Sharks

Ocean themed craft activity

Method /

To prepare:

  • Lay out the paper, glue, scissors, pens and example Shark Faces on athe table
  • Have the ‘Ocean’ playlist playing in the background.

To begin:

  • Ask your group if they would like to make shark faces - it can help if you have some examples to show them.
  • Begin by cutting a shark body from grey paper and sticking it onto the blue paper (for some groups it may work best if you cut the bodies out before the session.
  • Use black paper to cut out a mouth shape, and then cut small triangles from white paper to create teeth. Again fro come groups it may be better if you cut these before the session.
  • Glue your mouth and teeth to your shark face.
  • Finally, add some googly eyes to your shark!

You could also:

  • You could also add some waves to the background, with strips of paper or draw them on with felt tip pens.
  • When everyone has finished have a look at the different sharks that have been created.
  • What different expressions have the sharks got? Are any of them happy? Or hungry for food? Which one looks the friendliest? And which the scariest?
Image credit:
Image credit:

What you will need /
  • Paper in grey OR newspaper
  • Blue, black and white
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue
  • Scissors
Downloads available /
Playlist available /

Warm Up

My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean - Movement and Song

Water inspired song and movement

Method /

  • Begin by introducing the song My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean
  • Ask if anybody knows it? If they do ask if they could sing it to the rest of the group?
  • Go through the song line by line so that the whole group is able to learn it.
  • Once you have tried all the lines sing the song through in its entirety.


  • Spread the blue fabric out in between the group. Explain that you are going to sing the song again, but this time you are also going to make the waves on the water using your fabric.
  • Begin by singing the song gently and creating gentle waves.
  • Then speed up and begin the make the sea rougher and rougher.

You could also:

  • Add paper boats to the water and “sail” them across your fabric.
  • Get a couple of members of the group to blow bubbles over the watery scene that you have created.
  • Take suggestions from members of the group for different conditions on the water and create them as a group.
What you will need /
  • A sheet of blue fabric, which is large enough to stretch out between the members of the group. Or a white bed sheet if that is easier.
  • A selection of paper boats.
  • Bubbles.
  • My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean Songsheet for the group leader
Downloads available /
Playlist available /


Fabric Waves

Focus energy and attention with a nautical rhyme

Method /

  • Stretch out a piece of blue fabric so that everyone in the group is holding it. A large bed sheet works really well for this! Or a parachute if you have one.
  • Explain that you are going to think about moving the fabric like the ocean.
  • Can the group think of ways to move it?

Things to try:

  • Gently shake up and down to the rhythm like a calm sea
  • Shake it so that you get ripples in the fabric - try slow and fast
  • Get one side higher than the other like a wave - try and move the high side round the group
  • Make crashing waves by holding it high and bringing it low quickly
  • Make gentle waves by moving the whole sheet up and down slowly - almost letting it float down to the ground.
  • Any other movements that you can think of…


  • Explain that you are going to put on music and try your moves with musical background.
  • “If I Had a Boat” by Lyle Lovett is a good one to use.
  • When the track finishes ask what kind of sea you created. Was it calm or rough? Would it be a good day to go out on a boat?
  • Now, put on a different piece of music from the playlist -the Jaws theme is ideal
  • Repeat the activity and see if the movement changes!
  • As the music ends lay the fabric on the table and give yourselves a round of applause.

What you will need /
  • A large blue sheet OR parachute (any colour)
Downloads available /
Playlist available /

Main Activity

Beyond The Sea

Sing a sea themed song and create your own actions

Method /

  • Hand out the lyrics to ‘Beyond The Sea’ by Bobby Darin and ask if anyone recognises the song.
  • Read through the song line by line to begin with so that everyone is familiar with the words.
  • Next, have a go at singing the song. Taking the lead go through each section with you singing the song, and asking the group to sing it back to you.
  • Now it is time to try singing along with the music! Play the music from the playlist and sing along!
  • Next, say that you are going to try adding some actions to your song. Go through the lyrics and add a simple action for each line. Ask the group for suggestions - the actions can be anything. They don’t need to be complicated!
  • Once you have come up with an action for each line of the song you can sing the song the whole way through as a group along with your actions!
What you will need /
  • A copy of the lyrics for each member of the group
Downloads available /
Playlist available /

Main Activity

Ocean Collage

Create a group collage inspired by the ocean

Method /

Lay out a large piece of paper, pens, scissors, a selection of images, collage materials and glue sticks.

  • Begin by having a look at the Ocean images and having a discussion about them.

Questions that you could ask:

  • What can you see in them?
  • What does the Ocean look like in the different images - calm and peaceful or dramatic and rough waves?
  • What colours can you see - is it just blue? What kind of blue is it?
  • What animals are in the images?
  • Are there any animals you don’t recognise?
  • How does the coral look? Rough or smooth?
  • How does the sunlight fall on the Ocean?
  • Are there any people in the images?
  • If people had to choose one image as their favourite which would they choose and why?
  • As people respond to the pictures you can jot responses down, dotted over the paper.


  • Explain to the group that you are now going to create a large collage of the Ocean
  • Invite the group to cut up the images and stick them on the paper, along with adding any other collage materials or drawing things!
  • Maybe draw some waves and invite people to stick froth along the edge of them. How will the waves looks? Small or big?
  • Cut out rocks and coral for the bottom of the sea.
  • Cut out seaweed.
  • Where will the different animals be in your Ocean?
  • Are there any people on your Ocean collage? What might they be doing?
  • Are there any other words you can use to describe how the sea looks?
  • What sounds might you hear?
  • What noise does the sea make?
  • Are there any beaches or islands in your Ocean?
  • How does the Ocean make you feel?
  • Have you ever travelled on the Ocean?


  • When your collage is finished look at it for one final time as a group.
    What you will need /
    • Large sheet of paper that everybody can see - blue paper is nice if it is available
    • Coloured pens and pencils
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Other collage materials
    • Ocean images
    Downloads available /
    Playlist available /

    Main Activity

    Shells - Sensory Poem

    Creating a poem inspired by shells

    Method /

    • Bring out the shells that you have got for the activity – explain that you are going to use them as inspiration to create a piece of poetry.
    • Begin by looking at the shells as a group – What are they? Where might they have come from? Which ones stand out? What do they look like?
    • Then hand a shell out to each person – how does it look close up? How does it feel? Is it light or heavy?
    • As people react to the shells write down everything that they say – you will use this to create your poem.
    • Finally invite people to tell you what the shell reminds them of. How does it make people feel?
    • Finish by reading back the poem that has been created, or by getting somebody in the group to read it.
    • After the reading ask the group if they can think of a name for their poem.
    What you will need /
    • A selection of shells
    Downloads available /
    Video available /

    Warm Down

    Ocean Waves

    Gentle physical activity to end a session

    Method /

    • Begin by asking everyone to hold hands with the person either side of them.
    • Tell the group you are going to send a wave around the group.
    • Start by raising one of your arms and ask the person next to you do to the same. Then, ask them to continue passing the movement on to the person the other side of them, and so on so it travels around the circle.
    • When it reaches you again, pass the wave back the other way.
    • You could also try adding suitable sounds to your wave like “swoosh” or “splash”
    • Give yourselves a round of applause to finish!
    What you will need /
    Downloads available /