We have wanted to go to the new California Academy of Science for months and months, well, since it opened, but the insane queues with young kids and the $25 per ticket have meant we've been waiting. On Tuesday we finally got to go with a field trip group for the bargain price of $10 per ticket! Yippieeee!!!
I was quietly disapointed that they didn't let kids younger than six into the planetarium there, because astrophysics is what my masters is in and I was curious and wanted to see the kids geek out with that stuff too.
The kids adored the aquarium there though. I mean REALLY adored it and the fact that the scuba crew were down there cleaning the tank at the same time we were there just blew their little minds. It was great! Sadly the photos are a bit naff because we took our crippled little point and click camera.So, today while they were still psyched over the coral reef experience I drew out a load of the animals that we'd seen in there with a Sharpie for them to make thier own reef in the livingroom. I scanned in the drawings to make multiple copies.
There are five pages of drawings here that you can print out yourself if you want. Each page has two reef creatures for kids to colour and cut out. Just click on each thumbnail to get the full sized image and remember to check "fit to page", especially if you are printing on A4 rather than US letter size.
Also I've got a page with them all on together for if you have older kids and want to make a smaller tank out of a box maybe.
Finally, a crib sheet for what colours these guys actually are. My lot knew what colour the Blue Tang and the Clownfish were from good old Finding Nemo. We didn't stick to the right colours all the time though ;)
So, I fixed up one of our blue double bed sheets in the livingroom and the kids coloured and cut the reef animals and as they did each one they came through to tape it up with double sided sticky tape.I added rocks from newspaper and coral from the final left over bits of the dollar store crepe streamers. Then they all spent a while sticking on blue circle stickers as bubbles (I think this was the favourite part for the guys that had just turned three).I cut out some more fish shapes from some cheap adhesive labels and the kids coloured those in however they felt and stuck them on the reef too.The four year olds then told me that we needed a diver like in the real reef tank, so, not wanting to have to draw an entire diver, I just drew out the legs and flippers on some card and they coloured them in and we stuck them on too.
Finally they dragged out any suitable fishy type soft toys to add to the display. Even Spongebob was there. My youngest daughter was adamant about Charlie from "charlie and lola" being on the reef for some reason. My youngest also wanted to go and put on one of the numerous homemade mermaid tails that we have and pretended to swim around with the fishies!
Our livingroom looks mighty interesting now, especially seeing as the rocket ship is still alive and kicking after two months of space missions!