Coral Reef Diorama

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Today, Travis and I did an activity in conjunction with our Taste of Thai recipes to help him learn about the coral reefs of Thailand.

There was a lot in this lesson that was new for Travis, including guided imagery, but first I had to set the stage! I asked him if he knew what a scuba diver was and he correctly answered someone who dives underwater (thanks Fireman Sam!).

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I showed him an included picture with scuba gear and then we mimed climbing in to all this equipment. Shimmy shimmy into your wet suit! This part was silly and fun.

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Next up was our imaginary trip: a guided imagery about scuba diving in a coral reef. I knew this would be a bit of a challenge for my four-year-old, so instead of asking him to sit quietly with eyes closed, I had him paint a box blue for our upcoming diorama while I read the scenario. This allowed his hands to keep busy as he listened, and he liked the process!

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For a simple, little-kid diorama, we made a version using play dough blobs as the base onto which we could add shells, fish stickers, and fake coral.

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To make the coral, thread beads onto pipe cleaners – great for fine motor skills!

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While we worked, I played Raddish’s suggested video in the background so he could see real examples.

Travis’s favorite part was using play dough to make the body for snails and hermit crabs who could live in our shells from the craft store!

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He was so proud when he thought one of his shell creations looked like a narwhal.

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Meanwhile, I made a few more tropical examples for him to see.

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Bigger kids can delve a lot further into this homeschool lesson. Raddish also provided a list of discussion questions about the coral reef and links to further reading about what they are and how to protect them.

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But for my preschooler, this simplified lesson was good fun!

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