Ocean Sensory Bin Book Recommendations

Ocean animals so much fun to learn about. Here are my book recommendations for adding the fun of books to the fun of sensory play!
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Hello World! Ocean Life by Jill McDonald

This adorable book is perfect to read to babies-age 2 but I think preschoolers and early elementary kids would enjoy it too. It has brightly colored illustrations with simple sentences on each page. This one is fun to read over and over again. 

Big Beautiful Ocean Cover Picture with photographs of a sea turtle, a clownfish, a seahorse, a jellyfish, an octopus, a dolphin and a starfish.

Big Beautiful Ocean - A Photographic Exploration

While I love beautiful illustrations, I also appreciate full color photographs. This book is similar to Hello World! Ocean life in that it's great for babies and toddlers with simple sentences. A great activity for littles is to match the ocean animals from the Ocean Sensory Bin to the books and to match the animals between the books.  

Commotion in the Ocean Book Cover Picture with smiling shark, whale and octopus

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae

This book is great for reading aloud because of all the rhyming words. It introduces many different ocean animals with a few fun facts so it will build vocabulary and animal knowledge.  It can be long for the younger range but adults can skip reading all the text and point and name the animals as well. For me the huge smiling faces and rhyming text make this a fun read.

1001 Things to Spot in the Sea Book Cover with a underwater scene of a coral reef and ocean animals swimming

1,001 Things to Spot in the Sea by Katie Daynes

This book was a favorite of my kiddos when they were 3-6.  I love it for the incredibly detailed illustrations, vocabulary development, and counting. It is great for young kids to enjoy independently because there is so much to look at. It’s also interactive because of the i spy format with a sidebar showing the featured illustrations, with the number to find on the page and the animal name. It can also spark conversations about what the animals are doing, where they are going, what they eat, and where they live. I remember a summer when this book rode around in the car with us and we talked about ocean animals every day.

I Spy Ocean Animals Book Cover with pictures of ocean animals including, angler fish, beluga, crab, turtle, whale, hammerhead shark, seahorse, narwhal, jellyfish, seal, and killer whale.

I Spy Ocean Animals by Alek Malkovich

This book features a letter guessing game on each page with happy illustrations of ocean animals. It may be tricky for 3 year olds if they don’t already know lots of animal names. But it does have the benefit of teaching adults some new animals for the obscure letters: Q for Quohog and I for Isopod. I generally prefer Alphabet books to use the short vowel sounds instead of the long vowel but I think it works here with the specific topic of ocean animals.  This book scores high with me because of the illustrations and learning potential from repeated readings. Depending on the child it could be good for ages 2-6. 


Book Recommendation Graphic - Books to pair with Ocean Sensory Bins; 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea, Big Beautiful Ocean, Commotion in the Ocean, Hello World! Ocean Life and I Spy Ocean Animals
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