Seahorses are so-named for their horse-like head shapes and upright swimming style. While most seahorses are small, some can grow as large as 14 inches long. The resemblance to a land creature lends an air of fantasy to seahorses that appeals to kids and has inspired many children's books.
A diorama is a miniature habitat that kids can design for seahorse cutouts. Have the children paint or draw a seascape on the center of a paper plate. They can then glue seahorse cutouts onto the scene. Cut out the center of another paper plate and tape cellophane over the hole. Add glue around the edges of the plate, turn it upside down and adhere it to the rim of the decorated plate.
Crayons are made from wax and so resist water. Take advantage of this fact to help children produce beautiful seahorse drawings. Have the kids draw a large seahorse on a piece of paper with crayons. You could show them the illustrations from a children's book such as "Mr. Seahorse" by Eric Carle for inspiration. Supply the kids with spray-on watercolors, which are available from art stores. They can then spray the crayoned drawing to produce an "under-the-sea" effect. The crayon will stand out against the resulting pastel, water-colored paper.
Older children can design and hand-sew their own stuffed seahorses. Provide them with a simple pattern and some fabric. After cutting out two fabric seahorses, they can decorate the fronts with a button eye on each side, patches of scrap fabric and other embellishments. Have them place the two seahorses with the right sides together and hand-sew around them, leaving a gap for turning and stuffing. Kids can stuff the seahorses with fiberfill, plastic grocery bags or shredded paper and then hand-sew the remaining opening.
A seahorse has a distinctive, simple shape that lends itself to a wide variety of art projects. Another feature is its textured skin. Play with the idea of texture by providing children with a seahorse template and a variety of types of paper and materials for adding texture. One idea is to cut a seahorse from sandpaper and color it in with crayon, which will catch in the grit and make interesting patterns. Another option is to draw a seahorse on card stock, paint diluted glue on it and sprinkle it with a handful of glitter mixed with sand.
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