Mermaids and Sea Monsters
Whether your children are into fantasy characters, myth-busting, or prehistoric sea creatures this theme day focussing on Mermaids and Sea Monsters will offer a lot of fun.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do.
Manatees and Dugongs were often mistaken as mermaids in the past. You could also use this theme day to research these unusual sea creatures.
Any song from the Disney movie The Little Mermaid would work for this theme day.
If you have any other suggestions please email us at email@example.com
You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Mermaid Coloring Page” or “Sea Monster Coloring Page” or print out my Mermaid and Sea Serpent Colouring Page.
JOURNALING QUESTION PROMPT:
Write out one or more of the following questions in the family notebook or on a piece of paper to glue in your family scrapbook: What are mermaids? What would a mermaid’s castle be like? Can you name some famous sea monsters? Do you believe in mermaids and sea monsters? Why/why not? Invent your own sea monster (what does it look like? Where does it live? What is its name?)
Choose the level of your child:
¨ Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
¨ Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
¨ Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
¨ Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
¨ Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
¨ As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or a poem about Mermaids or Sea Monsters.
Print out a Mermaid and Sea Monster Word Search:
Check here for the answer keys:
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books about mermaids or sea monsters.
Go to the library with your child to find some books about sea monsters and mermaids.
Go to the library on your own to find books about mermaids and sea monsters from both fiction and nonfiction to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject. Reserve them if you can to save time.
Here are some picture books about mermaids:
· Donnatalee: A Mermaid Adventure, by Erika Tamar and illustrated by Barbara Lambase, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1998—Kate and her family leave the city one hot summer day for a day at the beach where she imagines she is a mermaid named Dannatalee.
· Imagine You’re a Mermaid, by Mer Meg and Lorelei Lucy (aka Meg Clibbon and Lucy Clibbon), Annick Press, 2003—This fun little book reveals the life of a mermaid.
· The Little Mermaid, from the story by Hans Christian Andersen and illustrated by Charles Santore, Running Press, 2009—This is the original story of the Little Mermaid which I must warn is rather sad in its ending.
· Mermaid Dance, by Majorie Rose and illustrated by Mark Jones, Blue Apple Books, 2009—The mermaids gather on the evening of summer solstice for a party in this beautifully illustrated book.
· Mermaid Dreams, by Mark Sperring and illustrated by The Pope Twins, The Chicken House, 2006—Meriam, who doesn’t like it when her mom brushes her hair, relays her underwater adventures to her mother who finds mysterious things like sea shells and sea weed caught in her hair. Is Meriam a little girl or a little mermaid?
· The Mermaid of Cafur, by Evelyn Foster and Olwyn Whelan, Barefoot Books, 1999—This one has a different twist to the mermaid tale by having an evil mermaid queen who captures a boy only to be rescued by his brave sister.
· Mermaids on Parade, by Melanie Hope Greenberg, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008—A little girl dresses up as a mermaid to join in the Coney island parade held every June.
· Mermaid Tales from Around the World, retold by Mary Pope Osborne and illustrated by Troy Howell, Scholastic Inc., 1993—This is an interesting book, good for older children as there are only 12 illustrations (one per story), with French, Irish, North American Indian, Greek, Irish, Ukrainian, Nigerian, Japanese, English, Chinese, Iranian, German and Danish.
Here are some picture books about sea monsters:
· Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent, by Bill Peet, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1975—Cryus is a gentle sea monster who ends up following a ship across the ocean because he wants to protect it.
· The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating, by A.W. Flaherty and illustrated by Scott Magoon, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007—A little girl tosses her oatmeal overboard on her ocean liner trip to Scotland and inadvertently feeds a little sea serpent who becomes the famous Loch Ness monster by growing big and strong due to the oatmeal.
· The Sea Monster, by Chris Wormell, A John Maschler Books, 2005—A lonely sea monster likes to hid amongst the sea shore rocks to watch the people at the beach until one day he witnesses a little boy trapped in the ocean tides. This book offers a different twist in that the monster is hidden and nice.
· The Sea Monster’s Secret, by Malka Drucker and illustrated by Christopher Aja, Gulliver Books/Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999—Based on a tale from the Tlingit people native of Alaska engraved on a totem pole about a man who slays a sea monster and then wears the skin and is able to swim underwater and provide for his tribe as well as trick his mother-in-law.
· The Sea Serpent and Me, by Dashka Slater and illustrated by Catia Chien, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008—A little girl finds a tiny sea serpent in her bath water whom she befriends and promises to return to the beach when it stops raining but it continues to get bigger and bigger and the weather doesn’t improve.
Here are some nonfiction/learning titles:
· Fooled You! Fakes and Hoaxes Through the Years, by Elaine Pascoe and pictures by Laurie Keller, Henry Holt and Company, 2005—Older kids will like this longer book with eleven different real life hoaxes in it. The reason why we’ve included it for this theme day is that there is a chapter about the Fejee/Feejee/Fiji (I’ve seen it spelled three different ways) mermaid hoax.
· Manatees, by Kathy Feeney, North Word Press, 2001—To learn more about the creatures that many sailors in the past thought were mermaids try this book; it has a lot of information and photographs.
· Mermaids Most Amazing, written and illustrated by Narelle Oliver, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2001—This one offers facts from mermaid myths around the world and at the end of the book relays some legends from different cultures like the Australian Aboriginal story of Yawkyawk, a native American tale, and Indian tale, a New Zeland Maori story of tohunga, and the Irish tale of the Soul Cages.
· Ocean Monsters, by Natalie Lunis, Bear port Publishing, 2009—This book examines the real-life sea monsters form the past, namely dinosaurs from the ocean.
· Real Life Sea Monsters, by Judith Jango-Cohen and illustrated by Ryan Durney, Millbrook Press, 2008—This is a good book for early elemnatry students to read on their own or out loud to the rest of the family. It looks at three different “sea monsters” (kraken, mermaids and sea serpents) and shows what each was probably in real life (giant squid, manatees, oarfish).
· Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist, as investigated by Kelly Milner Halls, Rick Spears and Roxyanne Young, Darby Creek Publishing, 2006—Older kids would probably find this book of mysterious creatures very interesting.
· Unsolved Mysteries: The Loch Ness Monster, by Martin Delrio, The Rosen Publishing Group, 2002—Older kids might like this information packed book about the history of the mysterious Loch Ness monster of Scotland.
PAPER TOWEL ROLL SEA MONSTERS:
Materials: Paper towel roll, green paint (paper or plastic to cover the table, paint brushes, old clothes or art smock), scissors, blue paper, white glue, tape, black markers, damp cloth for sticky fingers
Step 1: Have your child paint the paper towel roll green then let it dry.
Step 2: When the paint is dry help your child cut the paper towel roll into smaller hoops and then cut each hoop across to make one curled strip of paper.
Step 3: Fold over the two ends of each strip of green toilet roll paper and apply glue.
Step 4: Arrange the hoop on blue paper (as the water) to look like the loops of a sea monster coming out of the water.
Step 5: Use tape to keep the folded (glued) parts down.
Step 6: Do the same with each strip leaving one.
Step 7: Cut the last paper roll strip into a long oval shape with a flat bottom and then have your child draw the sea monster’s face.
Step 8: Fold a small part of the flat bottom of the oval face and apply glue.
Step 9: Press the glued portion onto the paper where the head is supposed to be and apply tape to keep it in place.
Step 10: Let it dry and then display it!
Materials: Magazine pictures of women (try to use ones that have their arms away from their bodies), blue paper, green paper (or green crayons), child safe scissors, glue stick, damp cloth for sticky fingers, markers, additional stickers or fish etc. (optional),
Step 1: Help your child cut out around the magazine photo of the woman and then cut across about midway (removing the legs which will be replaced with a fish tale).
Step 2: Help your child cut out a fish shape from the green paper that will fit at the bottom of the woman’s picture as her mermaid tail (another option is to give your child green crayons and have him/her draw a fish tail in the next step).
Step 3: Glue the fish tale onto the magazine photo and then glue the whole mermaid to the blue paper (or have your child glue the half photo of the woman to the blue paper and draw a mermaid’s tale with green crayon).
Step 4: Encourage your child to embellish the picture by adding scales to the mermaid tales or by drawing background scenery or designs or fish etc., or by including underwater stickers.
Step 5: Display or glue in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.
THREE PART SEA MONSTER:
This craft works best with 3 people!
Materials: Three sheets of white paper (one for each person), pencils, crayons.
Step 1: Fold each sheet of paper twice to make three sections (as if you were folding the paper to fit into an envelope).
Step 2: Open each piece of paper and lay it so the long part is horizontal.
Step 3: At the top of the page for each folded rectangle write the following words: head (for the first rectangle), body (for the middle rectangle), tail (for the last rectangle).
Step 4: Along the each fold draw two short lines horizontally to indicate where the drawings should connect (make sure the lines extend a little on each rectangle so they can be seen when refolded).
Step 4: Refold each piece of paper so that only the rectangle with the word head is showing.
Step 5: Give each child or family member a piece of paper and instruct them to draw the head of a sea monster connecting it to the small lines drawn on the side of the fold.
Step 6: When everyone has drawn their heads, refold each piece of paper so that the word body is shown and then pass the picture to someone different (the object of the craft is that each person gets to draw a different part of the body without seeing what the other has drawn) and instruct them to draw a body without looking at the head. (Remind each person that the body should connect with the small lines drawn on the two folds of the middle).
Step 7: When everyone has drawn a body, refold each piece of paper so that the word tail is shown and then pass the picture to someone different and instruct them to draw a tail without looking at the head or body (remind each person that the body should connect with the small lines drawn on the left fold of the rectangle).
Step 8: When everybody has drawn a tail pass the paper back to the original person (the one who drew the head) and have each person open up the paper to reveal the sea monster.
Step 9: Have everyone use crayons to colour their sea monster then display or glue into your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.
HINT: You could also encourage older children to write a story about the sea monster in the drawing.
Fish crackers would make an easy Mermaid/Sea Monster snack.
Mermaid/Sea Monster Slushy:
Ingredients: A (398 mL) can of pineapple (if you use sliced pineapple you’ll need to chop each slice into smaller pieces), 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp of sugar, about 8 ice cubes, blue food colouring.
Step 1: Place all ingredients into a blender (including the juice from the pineapple) and blend on high until it turns into an icy slushy drink.
Step 2: Pour into cups and enjoy!
Munch on a mermaid/sea monster friendly lunch and have a tuna sandwiches or tuna melts.
Cook up some fish or for pickier kids fish sticks for this theme day.
For more daring children serve some sushi rolls with sea weed on them (my niece loves them so yes some children will eat them).
You can always cook up some sea shell pasta and toss with your child’s favourite pasta sauce.
Mock Madeleine Cookies (shell cookies):
Find a Madeleine cookie recipe online or in your favourite cookbook then use a muffin tin instead of a Madeleine mould as we did to create round cookies. Then use little tubes of Scribbler icing to draw shell lines on them to make them look like clams.
For an easier mermaid or sea monster dessert make some blue Jello.
For information on mermaids check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mermaid
The Feejee/Fiji mermaid was a real mermaid allegedly caught in 1842 but it ended up being a hoax. Check her for information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiji_mermaid or here: http://thehumanmarvels.com/?p=61 http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/archive/permalink/the_feejee_mermaid/
Canadians have a few of there own mysterious sea monster in British Columbia. One is Ogopogo from lake Okanagan. Check here for information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogopogo and here http://www.ogopogoquest.com/Legend.html . Another is Caddy, the Cadborosaurus of Cadboro Bay: http://moonlightinvestigation.blogspot.com/2008/10/caddy-sea-monster.html
Another North American water creature is Champ from Lake Champlain. Check here for info: http://www.csicop.org/si/show/measure_of_a_monster_investigating_the_champ_photo/
There are many legends and ancient stories of various sea monsters. Here are a few:
Kraken - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraken
Leviathan - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviathan
Scylla - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scylla
Charybdis - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charybdis
For information on Dugongs check here and click on Dugong Site for lots of great information and video: http://sydneyaquarium.myfun.com.au/Habitats-and-Animals/Dugongs-at-Mermaid-Lagoon.asp
For information on Manatees check here: http://www.webcoast.com/environment/manatees.htm
Look here to learn about Christopher Columbus mistaking Manatees for mermaids: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/columbus-mistakes-manatees-for-mermaids
For information on how to adopt a manatee to help protect an endangered species.
Q: What do sea monsters like to eat for dinner?
A: Fish and ships.
Q: What did the mermaid say to her friends?
A: Long time no sea.
Q: Where do mermaids go to see movies?
A: The dive-in
Q: What is the name of the unluckiest monster in the world?
A: The luck Less monster
Q: What did the sea say to the mermaid
A: Nothing, it just waved
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows with mermaids or sea monsters.
Here are some mermaid titles to consider:
· Backyardigans: Into the deep
· Dora the Explorer Saves the Mermaids
· Disney’s The Little Mermaid or its prequel Ariel’s Beginning or Sequel Return to the Sea
Here are some sea monster titles to consider:
· Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster
· The Water Horse
Pretend you’re a family of sea monsters or mermaids and go to your local pool for a swim.
Paper Loop Sea Monsters
Three Part Sea Monsters
Mock Madeleine Cookies
Sailors used to think dugongs were mermaids
Loch Ness, Scotland, without the monster
Photo: C Wright
Photo: C Wright
Statue of The Little Mermaid
Photo: Microsoft Word Clip Art