How to Make Coral Reef Animals - Crafts and Facts for Kids

These animals are part of our coral reef project. We upcycled some lids, plastic bags, and toilet paper rolls and, in the process, learned something new.

Interesting facts about clownfish:

  • Clownfish are born male and can change into a female. OK, I had no idea about this one.
  • Clownfish bodies have a mucus layer which is immune to the toxins the anemone produces to capture prey.
clownfish in the coral reef
How to make it:

Paint the kids' palm. Clownfish are orange with yellow stripes. hand painted like a clownfish
Press on the paper.
clownfish hand print
Paint a back floss.

Yes, we noticed our mistake and corrected it in the final stage - clownfish have three stripes.

Interesting facts about octopuses:

  • They have three hearts.
  • They have no skeleton.
  • The Caribbean reef octopus can completely change their colour from one moment to the next using specialised colour cells called chromatophores. Or simply said: they can disguise very well.

How to make it:

Simply paint the toilet paper roll and cut out eight tentacles. Oh! Don't forget the eyes. octopus in the coral reef
Interesting facts about jellyfish:

  • Jellyfish have been around for millions of years, even before dinosaurs lived on the Earth. 
  • Jellyfish have no brain, heart, bones or eyes.

How to make it:

Cut out egg carton. Paint it white or light blue to make it seem transparent.painting carton for a jellyfish
Cut a few stripes out of a plastic bag and glue them inside the carton.making jellyfish
Interesting facts about seahorses:

  • Seahorses feed on plankton and tiny fish.
  • Male seahorses bear the unborn young.

How to make it:

Cut out a seahorse shape and put it on a piece of paper. You can try several techniques for these.

We applied some paint using a hand colander to splatter the paint on the paper...painting a seahorse using a hand colander

...and a packaging net (a mango was wrapped in this one) to stamp.

stamping paint using a packaging net
Peal of the seahorse. Carefully  :)
pealing off a seahorse

And finally - Mr Sharky.

Interesting facts about sharks:

  • Shark skin feels similar to sandpaper.
  • There are more than 465 different types of sharks.
  • They don't have bones.
  • They can have more than 30,000 teeth over the course of their lives.
  • Females tend to be larger in most shark species.
shark in the coral reef
How to make it:

All you need for this one are a toilet paper roll for the body, a tail and fin.

Parts for the shark

And most importantly - teeth!!

cutting out teeth for the shark

And that's it! The animals are ready for their new home :)

coral reef

* Some of the books we used to learn these interesting facts are:

- Erne A. (2015). Wir entdecken Meerestiere. Wieso? Weshalb? Warum? Ravensburger Buchverlag.

- Woodward. J. (2017). Tiere: Die Tierwelt in spektakulären Bildern. München: Dorling Kindersley Verlag GmbH.