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Mermaid + Pirate Themed Toddler Activities and Crafts

July 20, 2020

Treasure Chests

These little treasure chests are going to have so so many uses. We’ll be using them during our sensory rice play to load them up with rice and empty it out. PERFECT to satisfy a childs transporting schema, fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination!

We’ll also be using them for treasure hunts. I picked up some little coins and gems from Poundland and we’ll be popping this into our Moon Sand as an activity to search for them and then put them in our treasure chests.

These can also be used as a seperate activity to do colour sorting our counting, eg adding coloured pom poms to each segment or counting a number of items into the treasure chest.

What you’ll need:

Little tip: I actually painted the boxes with white acrylic paint before the kids painted what they wanted too because the dark-coloured cardboard was affecting the paint colours and the logos were showing through.


Okay so this one is super easy. Just collect your toilet roll tubes and paint them. If you have a husband like mine, you should have enough toilet roll tubes within a 48 hour period! Can I get an amen?

As above, I painted these with white acrylic paint prior to the craft so that the paint would show up better for the kids.

I was planning on doing this with two cardboard tubes with one inside of the other to make it like a proper telescope but the kids just got annoyed with the smaller one!

So this is probs the easist DIY ever, just paint the tube and add some washi tape!

What you’ll need:

  • Paper Tubes (I always save ours from our toilet roll)
  • Paint
  • Washi Tape
  • Glitter (optional, it’s not for everyone but if we don’t glitter bomb our crafts my daughter gets pissed!)

Egg Box Pirate Ship

Idea + Image from DLTK Kids

What you’ll need:

Okay so another super simple craft but has the potential to have SO MUCH fun!

Simply paint half an egg box (the bumpy side!), paint it, and make two holes on the inner “bumps” of the egg cartons and add your sticks. Lastly, cut squares in your card or felt, putting a hole on each end; stick the skewer through both holes and set sail!

Peg Doll Mermaids

What you’ll need:

Paint the clothespins different skin tones and paint the dress/body. Let dry. Cut wool the desired length of the hair and hot glue it to the top of the head. Cut the mermaid fin out of felt, fabric or card and glue it into the slit of the clothespin. Decorate with sequins, glitter, or markers!

Mermaids Tails

What you’ll need:

  • Paper Plates
  • Paint
  • Glitter (optional, it’s not for everyone but if we don’t glitter bomb our crafts my daughter gets pissed!)
  • Glue

The hardest part about this craft was actually mixing the different paint shades! I swear. No matter how much white I added, it just created the same shade of pink! Anyway, we got there in the end. I then just cut them down in different sizes and hot glue gunned them together. The glitter is optional but I think it adds a nice touch right?

I then picked up these ready made paper people from Poundland (they defo still have them as I just checked) so the kids could create their own Mermaids and add the tails.

Mermaids Necklaces

This is an amazing threading activity for hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. I got the pipe cleaners and beads in Poundlandm but this activity has so much longevity. You could make bracelets together, collars for toys etc.

What you’ll need:

Little tip: Once I cut the pipe cleaner to size, I twisted the two ends together and hid the spikey sides under a bead.

Sea Themed Sensory Rice

What you’ll need:

  • Rice
  • Food Colouring
  • White Vinegar
  • Freezer Bags

Dying rice is so dang easy I even shocked myself. You literally add rice to a bag, I then sprayed it with some Stardrops White Vinegar (so nothing fancy!) and then added a few drops of food colouring and then shook it all up. To dry I led the rice out overnight on an old towel.

Little tip: If you’re adamant you want to keep different rice colours separate maybe consider different towels. The rice dries to the towel a little so can get mixed together when you’re trying to get it off into your play station. For this activity, I obviously mixed them all together anyway so it didn’t matter but in previous stations where I’ve wanted different colour rice for different sections I had to be more careful!

Beach Themed Moon Sand

Moon Sand is a lot of fun. A GREAT sensory play activity, its literally just flour mixed with oil (I use baby oil) mixed together until you’re happy with the consistency. I like to have it so that it feels powdery and looks like flour but is also easy to manipulate into balls.

I like to use baby oil as it makes our skill feel amazing afterwards!

For this activity I will add the moon sand a couple of washing up bowls (I buy mine from Poundland) into a Tuff Tray (we have this one and this one – we also have a stand but I think these are a bit of a waste of money!) and the kids can literally be as messy as they wish. I my add a couple of small bowls (rameken size) for them to make sandcastles and we will use the shells to do some imprint shapes. You could also use the sand to spell out letters or numbers if you’re currently practicing letter/number recognition.

  • Flour
  • Baby Oil

What you’ll need:

Shell Counting

I bought two packs of shells from Hobbycraft which we’ll also reuse a lot for different crafts and I also created this printable to practise some counting.

Water Beads & Sea Animals

I hate water beads. Hate hate hate. My son loves them. So we do it for him, thats unconditional love riiiight? Anyway, I found these ones of Amazon which I am SO impressed with. They are a little pricier for other beads I found but they come with a tonne of sea creature toys which are amazing quality. The water beads are also reusable (surely I can’t be the only one who never knew this?!) so they can be reused for other activities and the animals are great for other games too.

These beads are also non-toxic – which is great cause Rory ate one so keep an eye out for that! Oh AND they’re biodegradable (so guilt-free!)

For water bead play, I put the water beads in a couple of washing up bowls (I buy mine from Poundland) into a Tuff Tray (we have this one and this one – we also have a stand but I think these are a bit of a waste of money!)

I then just add a tonne of different kitchen utensils like plastic takeaway containers or tupperware, jugs, bowls, wooden spoons, measuring cups, funnels.

Sensory Playdough

This playdough recipe is the best.damn.thing. It makes a HUGE batch that is non-toxic and you can add your own colours and scents (I use essential oils) to make it a full sensory experience.

Playing with Playdough is AMAZING to promote and support fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, muscle strenghtening, creativity and it can be really calming for toddlers (especially is you’re adding in the right essential oils – think lavender or chamomile)

The initial cost so cheap and one round makes a HUGE batch that lasts forever AND then you still have all the supplies to make more.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup salt (I just buy a cheap bag from the supermarket specifically for craft.
  • 4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbs of vegetable oil 
  • Essential oils or food coloring if desired

Combine all ingredients into a sauce pan and stir together over low heat. Stir constantly until a dough begins to form and pulls away from the edges of the pan. It doesn’t take long! If you’re using food coloring and essential oils add a few drops of each before you remove from heat. If you’re making more than one color with your playdough then wait to add the food coloring. Remove from pan and place on the counter to cool. Gently knead and pull of sections to add food coloring too. I like to mix them in freezer bags to avoid getting food coloring on your hands! Store in a freezer bag for up to 2 months! 

Baking Mermaid Cakes

Screen Time:

Book Ideas:

Full List of Supplies:

This is the extensive list if you choose to carry out all of these activities! Don’t be too overwhelmed by it. If you want to go full Pinterest Mum and do all of them, you go girl! Otherwise just pick our what you’d be comfortable with or you know your kids would respond well too!

  • Egg Boxes
  • Paper Tubes (I always save ours from our toilet roll)
  • Paint
  • Peg Dolls (I bought mine in Poundland but I think these from Amazon would actually work better because they can stand)
  • Water Beads (I picked up these because they’re blue and come with little sea creatures too!)
  • Washi Tape
  • Glitter (optional, it’s not for everyone but if we don’t glitter bomb our crafts my daughter gets pissed!)
  • Sequins

This blog post contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission for recommending the product to you. It doesn’t add any cost to your purchase. It just really helps to support this blog post! Thank you x

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