Space and the ocean are two of this world’s mysteries that seem to fascinate children as they grow up. Or at least that is the case so far with my five-year-old.
And when I was growing up (early 90’s) marine biologist was a popular answer to the timeless question: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Now, these educational toys were not available back then, but I can’t help but imagine they would have only further encouraged those burgeoning deep-sea explorers to want to dive into the ocean depths even more.
Marine Biology Toys for Older Children
4D Vision Orca Anatomy Model
The orca anatomy model consists of 16 detachable pieces that can be used to construct–with or without the included information booklet–the orca. The booklet also contains information on how the orca’s body works; though not terribly in-depth, it is a nice inclusion and helps reinforce the learning element of the model kit.
Once the learning is done, the kit can be displayed using the included stand.
And if killer whales aren’t your child’s interest, you can check out the dolphin or great white shark kit.
Sea Life Specimen Kit
Specimen kits are not exactly the most interactive educational toy, but they make the perfect gift for a child (or even adult) who is interested in observing nature, in this case marine life, up close. In this specific kit, you get four different preserved specimens:
The specimens are preserved in clear resin material, making it easy for curious eyes to look at them. To improve the experience, consider using a magnifying glass to view all details.
National Geographic Shark Tooth Dig Kit
Marine Biology Educational Toys for Toddlers
One of my fondest memories is playing with my small collection of plastic dinosaurs. Mine were a bit larger than the plastic animals included in this playset–these are around 1.5 inches–but they were definitely not this plentiful.
- sturdy non-plastic material
- no openings in the animals
- better-than-expected detail
Melissa and Doug Underwater Ocean Floor Puzzle
Even less so than Ocean Bingo, the underwater ocean floor puzzle is not intended to be instructional. At the same time, puzzles are always great for helping children improve spatial reasoning. And the ocean theme is a fun way to introduce your child(ren) to what’s living beneath the sea.
Oceans Animal Classifying Cards
Classifying cards from Learning Resources are collections of oversized (5″ x 7″) cards (25 in each collection, of which Ocean Animals is one) that provide fun and interesting facts about animals, such as their habitat, geographic location, diet, and size.
Unfortunately, Learning Resources does not take full advantage of the oversized card stock by placing multiple fun facts for each animal. Still, the imagery is awesome and the oversized nature makes it easy for kids to handle. You can even get these for toddlers to just enjoy the pictures, but the factual information can be educational for older children.
Ocean Explorers Sensory Kit
The primary highlight of the Ocean Explorers Sensory Kit is the water beads, which can provide kids mucho enjoyment. Where this version may appeal more to future marine biologists are the inclusion of the ocean animals and the purposeful color selection of the water beads. Combined, they offer a ocean-like experience that can delight little sea explorers. Not to mention that sensory bins or kits can be a playful way to introduce STEM concepts.
Bingo is a classic and timeless board game that has been themed many ways. Ocean Bingo is no different, using the commonly known game to introduce kids (and their parents!) to different ocean animals.
The game’s colorful pictures are sure to delight younger children while the descriptions on the back of each card offer fun and interesting facts about the items pictured on the front.