Are you looking for fun themes to add to your activity program? A Nautical Theme is the perfect theme to add to your Spring or Summer calendar. Whether you are planning a summer camp theme, activities for VBS, classroom or afterschool ideas, or a theme for your senior center. We’ve shared our favorite craft and activities for all ages. Many of these can be used for educational lesson plans, makerspace, sensory needs, and collaborative group projects.
Plan an Ocean Week or Nautical Week where you set up stations for your group to experience each activity hands-on. Refer to the list below for other related theme names. Then, check out over 15+ crafts and activities for your theme!
- Nautical Theme
- Ocean Theme
- Coastal Theme
- Beach Theme
- Under the Sea Theme
Lighthouse Birdhouse Craft Kit
Create this laser cut wood birdhouse with a nautical theme! The slot-fit construction makes it easy to assemble. Decorate with acrylic paints and wood stain. Perfect for decorative indoor use or if you plan to hang it outdoors, use waterproof glue and sealer. This is a pack of 12 and it comes with the jute for hanging.
Our new lighthouse wind chimes come in a pack of 6 and are made out of laser cut wood. Paint or color them with marker, then string the the five chimes on with jute that is supplied in the pack. Hang these in a window and listen to the chimes to set the tone for your Nautical Theme! The projects are individually bagged, which makes it easy to pass these out to the participants in your group. The total height of the chimes is approximately 14 inches.
Add color to your Nautical or Coastal Theme with this pack of four watercolor posters! Each lighthouse scene is pre-printed on watercolor paper. Painting these peaceful seascapes may help reduce fidgeting and stress, and help calm your participants.
If your group would prefer to color on stretched canvas, use this pack of twelve Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Paintings for the craft portion of your Ocean Theme. This is one of the most recognized lighthouses in the U.S. Your group can decide to create their own version or download our Color Key. The kit includes paints, brushes, and basic instructions.
Sand Castle Lighthouse Kit
If you are looking for a maker activity, have your group build their own lighthouses with cardboard cones, terrarium sand, shells, glue and paint. The kid comes with these materials plus instructions, but you can have your group get creative with additional items in your makerspace. The lighthouses can be decorated in many different ways. You can also use this as a project to augment a lesson about the sea.
Wood crafts are becoming more and more popular, and anchors are a staple for a Nautical Theme. Provide your group with this pack of 24 laser-cut wood anchor plaques that can be decorated with paint, markers, and more. They can also personalize it with their own inspirational message or quote.
Messages in a Bottle
We love these new mini glass vials that can be used to create a message in a bottle, ocean potions, or mermaid sand! Fill the bottles with your choice of glitter or sand, write a message on a small piece of paper, then roll it up and place it in the bottle. Then add the black cord to turn it into a necklace! The vials come in a pack of 24 or as a necklace raft kit.
Host a Nautical Week for your program and have your group write a message or dream and capture it using these plastic bottles. The pack comes with 24 bottles and corks. Provide your group with colorful sand or natural sand to create beautiful sand scenes – add sea shells, sea glass, driftwood, and more. They can get super creative. Display the bottles in your classroom or program during Nautical Week, then have students volunteer to read their messages out loud!
Suggested items to add:
This new pack of seashells to color allows your group to express creativity and escape to an underwater world. They can use acrylic paints or permanent markers to decorate. We love how the metallic gold paint came out on the white plastic shells – it almost looks magical! This is a fun, simple, and fast craft activity to add to your Ocean or Beach Theme.
Sand Art Bottles
Kids will love this colorful sand art seashell craft for your Nautical Theme! The pack of twelve includes bottle necklaces, 16 total ounces of sand – 4 ounces each of yellow, blue, pink, and green, and 12 funnels to make filling the seashell bottles easier. Have your group experiment with layering the sand in different patterns and colors. Then they can turn their designs into necklaces. We also love these suggestions from a super crafty customer:
“You can also add some tiny beads or tiny shells to the layers of sand. You may want to write their initials with a permanent marker on the bottom so they know who’s is who’s. I think it’s a great idea to put glue on the inside of the tops before you close them for the last time. This way the kids won’t be able to open the bottles later and get sand everywhere.”
As an alternative, kids can create sand dollar necklaces!
Beach Scene Sensory Tray™ Starter Kit
We are very excited to offer this sensory tray kit with a beach theme as new sensory tool for activity directors. This is a hands-on tabletop experience where kids and older adults can use different materials for creative expression. Encourage your group to use their imagination to arrange the unique materials. It is so much fun to see all of the different designs and layouts – each one comes out so unique. This set includes kinetic sand, natural shells and shell pieces, cotton cord, turtle figurine, sea glass chips, driftwood logs, and an instruction sheet.
Use sensory tubes to encourage sensory stimulation during your Ocean Theme week. This kit includes twelve 5” tubes with lids, shells, sequins, beads, glitter, watercolor paint, and instructions. The finished tubes provide visual sensory stimulation.
Although this is not a craft, these light-up starfish make great accessories while kids are particupating in your Nautical Themed activities. If you have kids with sensory needs and need a tactile and visual stimulation to reduce fidgeting and improve focus, these can provide fun and calming effects.
Another awesome accessory for your program is this new Ocean Drum. Add the relaxing effects of the ocean to your music or therapy program. Rotate the drum in a circular motion to create the sounds of waves crashing on the shore. This is a great way to help kids with auditory sensory and improve gross motor skills.
Collaborative Ocean Craft
Be sure to add a themed collaborative craft kit to your Ocean Theme to encourage kids to work together to create one large piece of art to display! The kit comes with 3 canvas panels with pre-printed ocean scenes, as well as art supplies including paint, markers, paint cups, brushes, sponges, glitter, and little fish pieces to color. It also comes with a complete Educraft® instruction guide.
Set up a few tables or “stations” with small puzzles for kids to work on while your program is centered around an Ocean Theme. Our Sea Turtle and Dolphin jigsaw puzzles are perfectly aligned to the theme. The specialty die cut puzzles have a uniquely designed “animal-shape”. The 100 puzzles pieces are large enough for easy grasping for kids and older adults. You can also include an educational lesson, as the puzzles come with a fun fact insert.
DIY Nautical Decor
Use snap together mini terrariums to make a nautical themed craft, like this seagull sitting on shells with an ocean background. Cut the paper to size, sponge paint it to resemble the ocean, then add a cutout of a seagull or any other ocean animal you’d like.
Our new cotton rope covered wreaths are perfect for a nautical themed craft. The wreath shapes are made from 100% natural cotton rope wrapped around a steel ring base. Perfect for nautical and beach-themed projects! Your group can embellish these with shells, jute, ribbon, sea glass, driftwood, and even a handmade anchors made from clay.
Sun Print Art
All you need is the sun, special sun print paper, and a few starfish (or shells) to make these beautiful sun print paper designs! View the tutorial here.
More Nautical Materials
View our blog for more Under the Sea themed crafts and activities!