Kids' Corner

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation partners with the National Marine Sanctuary System, NOAA, and like-missioned organizations across the U.S. to support educational activities that engage the next generation of ocean stewards. Keep checking back as we’ll update this page with even more partner and grantee educational resources.

Follow along with our CHOW Kids Corner agenda!

Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2020 featured a Kids Corner, with activities to help engage kids in similar themes to the larger conference. You can find the activities noted on the Kids’ Corner Agenda on this page. Follow along here for a fun-filled day of learning and connecting to the great outdoors. 

Click for the full agenda!

Welcome to the Water (Ages 5 -12)
It’s time to begin your journey into the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes that fill the planet! But how do we get there?

A BOAT!! Start your Kids’ CHOW by learning about boats and seeing if you can successfully construct your own with an activity provided by NOAA !

How You Can Help Against Pollution (Fun for All Ages)
Now that you have your boat all ready to go, take some time to learn about one of the greatest threats that our waterways are facing: Pollution. Pollution comes in lots of different types. But it all affects the ocean. Learn more about a specific type of pollution called Marine Debris in this video by the Georgia Aquarium. Then enjoy their challenge with the accompanying activity page.

Choose Your Own Adventure time!!

Teamwork Makes the Sea Work (Fun for All Ages)
Did you know that 71% of the Earth is covered in water. Imagine how many different species of plants and animals live in that 71%. And none of it could survive without the help of others. From everything from symbiotic relationships to the food chain, marine species need each other to survive. Check out these marine species working together to share some important lessons about our oceans in the Daily Bubble, brought to you by the Aquarium of the Pacific!

Note to parents: Links to YouTube

Learning to Navigate Our Waters (Ages 8 and up or for younger kids with the help with a big sibling)
Right now, the adults are learning about the new tools that help us learn how to explore our waterways. Can you learn the original way we used to navigate the ocean? See if you can complete the Nautical Chart Challenge created by NOAA and become an expert mariner!

Inspiring with Art (Fun for All Ages)
Take a break from learning for a little while and get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy our vast array of coloring pages and fun crafts to choose from, including:

  • Become an Ocean Guardian! Check out the activity book created by NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine Debris Program. Learn about the ocean and why it’s important through word searches, games, and coloring pages. Kids can also sign the Ocean Guardian Pledge to protect the ocean and all the creatures that live in it.
  • #WorldOceanArt Coloring Pages by our partners NOAA Oceanic Exploration and Research, Ocean Exploration Trust, and Schmidt Ocean Institute. Share your finished coloring pages or other ocean-themed art using the hashtag #WorldOceanArt. And tag #VirtualCHOW too! Kids and adults are welcome to share their art!
  • The Day You Discovered the Ocean! Make sure to check out the “The Day I Discovered the Ocean” coloring book from our partners at the Ocean Discovery Institute. Color the images and read along in both English and Spanish as a group of kids learn about the ocean with the help of their friend Odi.

New Perspectives on Nature (Fun for All Ages)
Do you have questions about the world that you’ve always wanted to ask? Like why are some animals slimy or
do animals lose teeth or even what does animal poop look like? So do these kids at the Shedd Aquarium. Check
out the other questions they had and their answers in a video series called “Sea Curious”.

Note to parents: Links directly to Shedd Aquarium website

Backyard Biodiversity (Fun for All Ages)
Biodiversity is the theme of this year’s Capitol Hill Ocean Week. Biodiversity means the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat. While the adults learn about biodiversity in the water, you can discover the biodiversity in your own backyard! Follow this activity by the Shedd Aquarium to see how!

Note to parents: One part of this activity recommends use of scissors. Adult or older sibling supervision recommended. Other parts of this activity do not require supplies.

Become an Ocean Leader (Fun for All Ages)
With the help of the Georgia Aquarium team, you already learned about marine debris and the dangers it has on the ocean. Now is your opportunity to use that information and become an ocean leader! With the help of this NOAA activity page, create your own posters teaching people why it is important to protect our marine environments. You can help us change the world!

Choose Your Own Adventure time!!

Understanding Our Waters (Fun for All Ages with the help of an older sibling)
The ocean is a vast place. People often say that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do the bottom of the ocean. Did you know that the ocean has zones. Or do you know why the ocean is salty but rivers and lakes aren’t? Learn more about what makes the ocean unique with an activity from NOAA or one from  Ripley’s Aquarium.

What is Climate Change? (Ages 5 and up)
You’ve probably heard about climate change and how it is affecting the polar bears and the Arctic? But how? What does that mean exactly? Find out more from this NOAA activity page and complete their activity to share what you have learned with others. 

Diving with Technology (Fun for All Ages)
You may be stuck inside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the wonderful underwater world. Check the Virtual Dives of the National Marine Sanctuaries to explore the magic found under the water. Also, see if you can complete this scavenger hunt in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Remembering to Protect Marine Life (Ages 3 and up)
When you don’t live near the coast or a Great Lake it may be easy to forget about marine life. But as we have learned today, marine life is very important and needs to be protected. From the smallest krill to the largest shark, all marine life needs our help. To help you remember, try making this penguin headband from Monterey Bay Aquarium so that marine animals are always on your mind!

Explore Your Aquariums  (Fun for All Ages)
Even though we can’t visit aquariums right now, many of them have cameras set up so you can see the amazing animals there anytime! We’ve included a list of some of our partners’ live cams in the Aquarium Live Feeds section. Sit back and enjoy some live feeds of aquariums all across the country showcasing all kinds of different animals from jellyfish, to sea lions, to penguins, to whale sharks!

Activity Pages

Puzzles, games, word searches, mazes, and more! Learn more about how you can help our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes through these fun activities.

Educational Videos

Aquarium Live Feeds

Coloring Pages

Our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes are full of life and color with amazing animals and their habitats. Here are some of our favorite coloring pages. We’d love for you to share your finished product with us on Facebook or Twitter, @marinesanctuary, Instagram at @marinesanctuaryfdn , and use the #WorldOceanArt hashtag.

Kids Versus Scientists Challenge

On Monday, June 8th–World Oceans Day–the 2020 National Ocean Sciences Bowl winning team from Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, Missouri took on some of the top experts in ocean science. Watch the full NOSBs vs. PhDs competition here.

At Home Science


Story Time

Learn more about our national marine sanctuaries!