WORLD WHALE DAY Montessori KIDS ACTIVITIES and DIYs to increase awareness and learn about magnificent sea mammals.
Observed annually on the third Sunday in February, World Whale Day celebrates these amazing sea mammals. Below, you will find some fun kids activities and DIYs to commemorate some of the most fascinating creatures that live in our big blue oceans. This annual holiday was founded in Maui, Hawaii, in 1980, to honor humpback whales, which swim off its coast. We can celebrate these magnificent giants of the ocean by raising awareness and learning more about these important creatures. Children are mystified, be it a blue whale or an enchanting narwhal, by their sheer size, shape, and enchanting call they make! Unfortunately, for centuries, whales have been hunted for their meat and oil, and today they are threatened by pollution and loss of habitat. However, World Whale Day raises awareness of the growing need to protect these diverse and majestic mammals.
WHALE SENSORY BIN
See HERE WORLD OCEAN DAY
Sensory play is extremely important as it builds nerve connections in a child’s brain’s pathways, leading to increased ability to complete more complex learning tasks. Moreover, sensory play supports cognitive growth, fine and gross motor control, language development, problem-solving skills, and social interaction.
WHALE Montessori KIDS ACTIVITIES
OCEAN SENSORY TRAY
SEE HERE DYED OCEAN PASTA SENSORY PLAY TRAY
And if you are looking for TASTE-SAFE sensory invitations to play, check out DYED SPAGHETTI above! Ocean taste-safe spaghetti play tray is designed for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners to promote sensory play and fine motor skills through fun hands-on small world play with toy sea animal figurines.
RECYCLED WHALE PICTURE PUZZLE
Here is a DIY recycled puzzle idea. Do you have an old magazine? How about recycled old books or expired calendars? Turn them into DIY puzzles! Besides, you can easily modify the level of difficulty by cutting images of animals in half or quoters. It cannot get any easier! Offer your child to assemble the puzzle.
ARE ORCAS WHALES?
Orcas are marine mammals, and although called killer WHALED, they are NOT actually whales! Rather orcas are the largest members of the dolphin family, in the order Cetacea, which includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises. While some killer whales feed exclusively on fish, others hunt marine mammals such as seals (known to grab them right off the ice), sea lions, seabirds, and even other adult whales, employing teeth that can be four inches long. Orcas were given the name “killer whale” by ancient sailors’ observations of groups of orcas hunting and preying on larger whale species. They called orcas asesina ballenas, or “whale killer.” Their Latin name, Orcinus orca, also reflects this observation as Orcinus translates to “of the kingdom of the dead,” and orca refers to a kind of whale. Most importantly, “killer whales” are one of the world’s most powerful predators, which can be found in each of the world’s oceans in a variety of marine environments: from the Arctic to the Antarctic to tropical seas. Moreover, Orcas are also apex predators – meaning that there is no other animal that preys on them.
CRAFT STICKS PUZZLE
See HERE Ocean-DIY-Craft-Sticks-Puzzle-World Whale Day
Make a DIY puzzle from craft sticks and stickers! You can, optionally, write numbers or words, as a control of error.
FREE WHALE STRIP PUZZLES
Download and print WHALE STRIP PUZZLE. Laminate for durability. Then, using a paper trimmer, cut along the black-line perimeter and then along the dotted lines. Mix the strips up and offer your child to ‘solve’ the puzzle by assembling the picture. If you print another copy, you can use it as a control of error so that the child can independently self-correct if needed.
WHALE Montessori KIDS ACTIVITIES
WORLD WHALE DAY AWARENESS PUZZLE
Calling all toddlers, preschoolers & kindergartners to MATCH ocean inhabitants to their respective silhouettes! Trust me! Your little one will LOVE this and so will you since you will be turning a box into a puzzle!
– recycled cardboard
– a marker
– use any animal figurines you have
AGE 2Y +. Always supervise your child!
– hand-eye coordination
– fine motor control & dexterity
– SPACIAL AWARENESS
– sorting and classifying
– language development
WHY SPACIAL AWARENESS is IMPORTANT!
Our visual and tactile perception consists of understanding HOW objects are situated in space. Gaining an understanding of the attributes of those objects such as relative size, which can be a distinguishing characteristic, is a key to mastering this important skill. Classifying objects into categories allows children to mentally and physically organize things in their world. The developmental milestone to learn to CLASSIFY objects emerges at about 18 months when your toddler is using brainpower to sort favorite toys! So do start early by offering fun and engaging invitations to play and learn, sort and classify, manipulate and transfer!
What the hand does, the mind remmembers.Maria Montessori
We have also done a silhouettes puzzle DIY with nature finds.
WHALE Montessori KIDS ACTIVITIES
Today, we are learning about whales while reading our favorite My First Discoveries Series ~ Whales book. I also set this simple dyed rice sensory bin to represent the ocean for our whales to swim in. (To color the rice, add few squirts of vinegar to dry rice in a ziplock bag and add the desired amount of food coloring). Julia is sketching a whale using watercolor markers which are amazing!
Did you know that the Blue Whale is the biggest of all whales ~ twice as long as a bus? In fact, the blue whale is the largest mammal on the planet. Its tongue alone weighs as much as an elephant, and when it opens its mouth, up to 90 tonnes of water can fit into it. It also has the biggest heart in the world, weighing 180 kg and making it about as large and heavy as a gorilla.
ORCA KILLER WHALE
We also learned about Orca and Sperm whales. Orca is a large, toothed whale that belongs to the dolphin family. Its black and white coloring makes it unmistakable. Animals swimming under it don’t recognize it because the surface of the water is just as bright as its belly. And from above, you can hardly tell it apart from the seafloor, thanks to its black back. The Orca ~ also called “killer whale” is the tiger of the sea. When killer whales are around, penguins have to watch out! They tip penguins off icebergs and eat them whole!
Sperm whale is the largest toothed whale and has the biggest mouth of all whales. (The Sperm Whale and smaller whales have teeth.) They mostly eat squid, diving down into the depths of the ocean, and fish. Some also eat sharks, seals, dolphins, and birds ~ it could even swallow a person whole. However, it is not dangerous to people because it is only interested in attacking squid, of which it consumes around 1.5 tons a day. Its brain weighs 9.5 kilograms and is thus the heaviest of all mammals. It navigates through the seas using echolocation. You can hear it whistling, squeaking, and groaning under water from several kilometers away.
The Humpback Whale is smaller than Blue Whale. They like to leap out of the water to signal danger, to show their strength, to attack a mate, or just for fun.
Despite its massive size, the Humpback Whale eats plankton, krill, and small fish using its baleen teeth to filter them out of the water. Adults can grow over 50 feet long and migrate up to 16,000 miles every year.
Narwhale is NOT a WHALE! A unicorn of the sea, these pale-colored porpoises are found in Arctic coastal waters and rivers. Narwhals are related to bottlenose dolphins, belugas, harbor porpoises, and orcas. These legendary animals have two teeth. In males, the more prominent tooth grows into a swordlike, spiral tusk up to 10 feet long! The ivory tusk tooth grows right through the narwhal’s upper lip. Scientists are not certain of the tusk’s purpose, but some believe it is prominent in mating rituals, perhaps used to impress females or to battle rival suitors. Females sometimes grow a small tusk of their own, but it does not become as prominent as the male’s. FIND More at National Geographic.
The beluga, or white whale, is one of the smallest species of whale. Their distinctive color and prominent foreheads make them easily identifiable. Calves are born gray or even brown and only fade to white as they become sexually mature around five years of age. White whales are smallish, ranging from 13 to 20 feet in length. They have rounded foreheads and no dorsal fin. FIND More at Nat Geo.
WHALE Montessori KIDS BOOKS
We absolutely LOVE The Big Book Of Blue! Gorgeous double-page illustrations have inspired us to use watercolors to paint the oceanic pelagic zones. And, of course, Julia’s Rothman’s Ocean Anatomy is a must-have encyclopedia about marine life.
How do you celebrate WORLD WHALE DAY? Leave a comment!
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