Have you ever watched a nature documentary with your kids? Kids love seeing the animals (and animal babies!) up close and in their natural habitat, in ways that it’s almost impossible to see in the wild. I am always looking for ways to extend learning with more than one activity about the same subject. We have paired a great movie with a craft to celebrate SEA TURTLES!
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Before we went to Mexico on our trip this summer, we studied as much as we could about sea turtles. To start off, we watched Turtle: The Incredible Journey. Have you seen this!? The cinematography is phenomenal!! You and your kids will follow a female loggerhead turtle on an extraordinary 2 year, 9000 mile journey from a beach in Florida, up the coast of North America to the frozen north, across the ocean to Africa, and then back to the beach where she was born. Oooh, and awww at the baby sea turtles in the first 30 seconds!
Make Your Own Sea Turtles
After the film, make this simple turtle craft. Gather the materials:
Check out photos of sea turtles on-line. Notice how sea turtles have large front flippers (unlike land tortoises) for swimming, and smaller back flippers that can be used for digging their nests in the sand. They have streamlined shells that can be anywhere from olive-green to yellow to browns, reds, or even black. Sea turtles cannot retract its head under its shell as land turtles can, and generally they have the same type of camouflage on its limbs and head. The top part of the shell- called the carapace- is either oval or heart-shaped, and is covered with a layer of horny plates called scutes (except the leatherback turtle). We were told that adult males have longer, thicker tails than females.
Once you draw your sea turtles with the oil pastels, paint blue water over the entire pictures with the watercolors. Now you have your own sea turtles!