Tide Pool Art for Kids

Not only is the California coastline absolutely gorgeous, it also provides a wonderful learning opportunity~ tide pools! Observing various forms of sea life in the tide pools with your children is such a great way to build on their natural curiosity and wonder about the world around them.

Lucy and Theo are always excited to find little crabs, sea stars, and anemones around our rocky tide pools nearby.  And we love seeing if we can spot any sea life we’ve previously read about in our tide pool library books! (I’ve included a carousel showcasing our favorite tide pool books for children at the bottom of the post.) We have been having so much fun with tide pools that we decided to create some beautiful tide pool artwork!


Tide Pool Art for Kids~ Buggy and Buddy


As a part of the Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop, we decided to share our artwork inspired by all the gorgeous tide pools in California! What I absolutely LOVE about this project is it really is appropriate for any age. The directions are simple enough for a two-year old and yet still so much fun for even an adult!


Tide Pool Art for Kids~ Buggy and Buddy

Here’s my 2 year old son’s finished tide pool art!


Tide Pool Art for Kids~ Buggy and Buddy

This is my 5 year old daughter’s finished tide pool.


Tide Pool Art for Kids~ Buggy and Buddy

And my finished tide pool!



  • watercolor paper
  • oil pastels or crayons
  • watercolors and paintbrush
  • liquid glue
  • sand
  • scissors (optional)



1. Use a blue crayon or oil pastel to draw the shape of your tide pool on the watercolor paper. You can leave the paper rectangular or cut it to be more rounded like we did.


Tide Pool Art for Kids~ Buggy and Buddy


2. Use oil pastels or crayons to draw sea life inside your tide pool. (Lucy and I had previously read lots of books about sea life and tide pools so we had lots of ideas for what to put in ours!)


Tide Pool Art for Kids~ Buggy and Buddy


Tide Pool Art for Kids~ Buggy and Buddy


3. Use blue watercolor to paint inside your tide pool. You can paint right over the oil pastel or crayon drawings. (The oil pastels usually show up more vibrantly after painting, but most crayons work too.)


Tide Pool Art for Kids~ Buggy and Buddy


4. Now paint the area representing the sand outside the tide pool using brown watercolor.

5. Once your painting is dry, it’s time to glue on the sand. Place some liquid glue on a paper plate or inside a little bowl or cup so it’s easily accessible to your child. Use a paintbrush to paint glue over the brown paint. 


Tide Pool Art for Kids~ Buggy and Buddy


6. Sprinkle sand on top of the glue. 


Tide Pool Art for Kids~ Buggy and Buddy


7. Shake off the excess sand and let it dry!


Tide Pool Art for Kids- Buggy and Buddy


 What’s your favorite place outdoors to observe with your child?



Don’t forget to follow Buggy and Buddy on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter



Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop

The Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop celebrates all that is wonderful about raising kids in the Golden State!

Be sure to link up your kid-centered posts about California: places to visit, books to read, crafts to create, recipes to try, and so on.

The blog hop will run from August 19th- September 2nd. (A big thanks to Akane of Juggling With Kids for the beautiful photo!)

Be on the lookout for our next California blog hop coming in September, Exploring the California Missions!


Participating Blogs:

All Done Monkey InCultureParent.com - Raising little global citizens.
Kids Yoga Stories The Silly Pearl
The Art Pantry 2KuriousKids
A Mom With a Lesson Plan
Juggling With Kids
Little Hiccups

Link up your kid-centered California posts below!


  1. Beautiful! I love connecting art with experiences.

  2. What an awesome connection of nature to art and literature. Sadly, we rarely get out to the beach and are yet to see tide pools in nature. We saw them only in Monterrey Aquarium.

  3. What a cute idea!
    I think I just might have to make tide pools with my girls :)

  4. I love this, very cute. My girls would have such fun. x

  5. What a great way to talk about tidepools!

  6. Debbie @ http://kidsbibledebjackson.blogspot.com/ says:

    This is so cute! Looks like fun! Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library!

  7. I love this project! Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  8. I love this! Such a great art project! We’ve been to the tide pools a few times…and love it. We’ll have to create our own tide pool art project. :-)

  9. Such a great craft! I love ideas that work across the grade levels. Thanks for linking at the After School linkup!

  10. This is such a great looking craft with such simple ideas & lots of learning too! Sea life i think is the absolute most interesting to children. I think its their curiosity & mystry of the under-water world thats soo intriguing to them! Ok ok and ME ;D Thank you for sharing this craft and may i say what a fabulous bunch of LINKYS TOO!!!;)


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