Projects for Kids-How to Make a Coral Reef

Ever since we did our Australia project, my kids, known as Einstein E and Power P, have been crazy about coral reefs. Thanks to their curiosity, we've learned so many exciting things about these rainforests of the sea.

Interesting facts about coral reefs:

  • The algae that usually covers the surface of coral isn't a plant; it's a living organism. To make it easier for kids to understand - Corals are animals, not plants.
  • Coral reefs are naturally colourful because of algae, which lives inside of the coral, providing them with food.
  • Coral reefs promote better water quality.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world.
  • Coral reefs are found in all oceans of the world, except the Arctic Ocean.

For this little project, we upcycled some old boxes, lids, plastic bags, egg cartons, and toilet paper rolls.

Step 1.

Make a list of animals that live in coral reefs. Using books, Power P made quite a long list. However, not all of them were included in this project. This can also be an interesting activity for developing literacy skills in one or more languages. To make this list, Power P was reading books in German and writing in Croatian.

making a list of animals for the coral reef project
Step 2.

This box represents a smaller part of the reef, and the boys had much fun painting it. a box for the coral reef project
painting the box for the coral reef project
Step 3. 

To make it all blue, we used some of the blue bubble prints. How to make these prints? Click here.putting bubble prints in the box
Step 4.

Here are the animals we made and the materials (re)used. If you need detailed instructions to make them, or want to learn a few interesting facts about animals in the coral reefs, click here.

Jellyfish=egg carton + plastic bagjelly fish for the coral reef
Octopus = toilet paper roll (btw, plural is octopuses)
octopus in the coral reef
Seahorse = print + paint
sea horses
Clownfish = paint + kid's palm
clownfish for a coral reef project
Turtle = green bubbles print + green paper
kid holding a paper turtle
Shark=toilet paper roll + paintshark in the coral reef

*We found these pieces of information in:

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

and at: