This non-fiction book is full of interesting facts about octopuses, and is engaging for preschoolers or elementary age children. Did you know that an octopus can change colors depending on its mood? And did you know that an octopus doesn't have any bones and can squeeze through a crack the size of its eye?
Next, the kids each made an octopus. I used the octopus from here, enlarged as big as I could get it on an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper. The kids sponge-painted the octopuses, and when they were dry I cut them out and glued them to a blue background.
Next, I printed out the numbers 1 through 8, plus the corresponding number words, from this website. We cut the numbers apart and glued one by each of the octopus' arms. The kids traced each number, then placed that number of "suckers" (we used paper reinforcers) to the arm.
Next we read Tickly Octopus by Ruth Galloway.
While reading this fun fiction book, we enjoyed picking out true facts about the tickly octopus that we learned from our non-fiction book.
For lunch we enjoyed octo-dogs on a bed of seaweed (you can tint the noodles green or blue and add mustard eyes to your octo-dogs if you think your kids will still eat them).
Finally, we demonstrated octopus propulsion using a water-filled balloon and a glue bottle top, from Awesome Ocean Science by Cindy A. Littlefield, as described by Almost Unschoolers.
So much fun! We actually did this when Pal's sisters (who are 9 and 7) were visiting one morning, and they were so impressed and entertained...although G thought our octopus looked more like a duck!