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Many preschool students find the concept of mermaids to be fascinating. To encourage this interest, teachers can plan preschool mermaid activities which involve story discussion, crafts, dramatic play, and dance. The following classroom activities help preschoolers to use their imaginations through creating their own mermaids and pretending to be mermaids or mermen themselves!
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Before beginning the preschool mermaid activities offered below, use these age-appropriate books to entertain students with stories of mermaids or to initiate basic questions and discussion topics:
• Mermaid Sister, by Mary Ann Frasier
This book tells the story of a human child and a mermaid child who become "sisters". After reading the story, ask students to point out the ways in which the girls differ and the reasons why the mermaid child goes back to the sea.
• Dear Mermaid, by Alan Durant
In this book, a human girl exchanges letters with a mermaid who left her purse on the beach. Show the children the removable letters and talk with them about what happens in the story.
• The Little Mermaid, (Little Golden Book) by RH Disney
Many children will recognize the story of Ariel, the mermaid princess who wishes to become human and live on land. Talk with the preschoolers about the ways in which Ariel's life changes once her fins become legs.
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This mermaid/merman craft activity provides preschoolers with the chance to design metallic "fish scales" and to decorate with crayons and yarn.
- Blue construction paper (one piece per child)
- Posterboard cut-outs in mermaid/merman shapes (two per child)
- Crayons or markers
- Metallic paper in several colors (two or three half-sheets per child)
- Pre-cut strands of yarn (for mermaid hair)
- School glue
1) Give each student a piece of blue construction paper and two mermaid/merman cut-outs. Ask the children to glue the cut-outs onto the paper.
2) Hand each preschooler a few sheets of colored metallic paper. Show the students how to rip small pieces of paper from the sheets and glue the pieces onto the bottom half of their cut-outs (where the "fish body" and fins are). The children can mix and match small pieces of colored paper to make shiny scales.
3) When the bottom portions of the mermaids and mermen are completely covered, the children can use crayons to decorate the upper body and face areas. The children can give their mer-creatures seashell necklaces and colorful upper-body clothing. They can also draw fish and other sea creatures in the surrounding blue "ocean".
4) Allow each student to glue small bits of yarn onto the heads of their mermaids/mermen to make hair.
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Dramatic Play and Songs
Several students at a time can pretend to be mermaids and mermen while stationed at a dramatic play activity center in the classroom. This play area can be set up with the following props:
- Mermaid and merman costumes (these can be purchased inexpensively in the Halloween off-season or donated by parents)
- Large blue cloth or blanket (placed on the floor to represent the ocean)
- Toy sea creatures (plush lobsters, crabs, fish, etc.)
While wearing the mermaid costumes, students can wiggle on the "ocean floor" and pretend to swim with their underwater friends. Preschoolers can also have fun moving their arms and waving their "tail fins" to songs such as "Part of Your World" and "Under the Sea" from "The Little Mermaid" soundtrack.
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Teachers can integrate preschool mermaid activities as part of an ocean theme, an imaginary creatures theme, or a fairy tale theme. Preschoolers will enjoy learning about some of the differences between humans and fish through listening to mermaid stories and role-playing as mermaids and mermen. For additional fun, arrange a screening of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" movie during classroom free time.
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The Little Mermaid--http://www.amazon.com/Little-Mermaid-Disney-Princess-Golden/dp/0736421777/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1290640256&sr=1-3