When my son was 4 years old, he loved watching Finding Nemo, which led for a deep love for the coal reef and all the creatures the main characters in the movie encountered there.  Sea turtles, sting rays, barracuda, jellyfish,  and of course clown fish.  All of these coral reef creatures were friends. Whenever we visited the pool for free swim, we had to play coral reef games.  Then, together we made our own facts board game to play once we are out of the water too!

After learning about the coral reef, we love to take our play to the pool for swimming coral reef games!

Both of these coral reef games are now in their second incarnation since my second child is now four years old!

As we learned concepts about coral reefs, we put them in to our water play. Coral reef games and coral reef learning are the most fun  in a swimming pool.

Clown fish and the barracuda. We learned that the clown fish typically feed and swim during the day.  But when the night comes, the barracuda hunt in the dimming light! For this one person (at least) is a clown fish and the other is a barracuda. The clown fish swims until the barracuda says it’s night time.  Then the barracuda swimmer chases the fish.  If you want you could name a spot in the pool as the “anemone” or safe spotwhere the barracuda cannot tag.

Jellyfish. We learned that a jellyfish stings with its tentacles to stay safe from predators. To play in the water, we choose a jellyfish and the rest are other fish. A jellyfish tries to block (or “sting”) the other “fish” as they try to cross the pool.

Sharks. My kids love the chase to escape the sharks in the pool! The adult (myself) dives underwater with a “shark fin” (my hands) pointing out of the water. I swim through the water to “catch” my prey. Of course, if I do catch her, my daughter likes to try to convince me that “fish are friends, not food!”

Sea turtle rides. I give my little one a ride on my back across the pool!

Retelling Stories. My kids love to “act out” favorite stories. Whether it is the Finding Nemo story or The Little Mermaid, it’s always more fun to “act out” the favorite scenes.Retelling stories is a useful pre-reading skill. Put kids in the water and bring the fishy stories to life: escape a pretend net or twirl in the “East Australian Current.”

The coral reefs board game tests what we learned in a fun game!

Years ago my son and I read nonfiction books as well. After all our water play time together, we took our learning to another level. I put together my own ebook about Coral Reef Systems and we made fact cards for our own board game!

Our Coral Reef Systems game is a lot of fun at home too. Playing it together helps us remember the things we learned all those years ago. And now that my second child is interested in the coral reef, it was time we brought it out for her to play now too.

The Coral Reef board game reviews what we've learned about coral reef systems.

I sell my Coral Reef Systems ebook, writing prompts, and game at TeachersPayTeachers and in my Shop. See also my Coral Reef Freebie right here on my blog!

Want some more ideas for teaching about Marine Biology? Check out these posts below for more ideas!

Click over to Rock Your Homeschool for more ideas on how to make science fun!

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  1. The clown fish and barracuda game sounds like so much fun! What a cute idea. I’ll have to see if we can make at least one more trip to the lake before school starts so we can try it out ourselves šŸ™‚

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