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Try one or both of these art ideas with your group.
Invite the children to fingerpaint blue waves all over pieces of fingerpaint paper. When the paint has dried, give the children gray or black construction paper cutouts of a whale to glue onto their papers.
Let older children trace around whale cookie cutters on gray construction paper and cut out the shapes to glue onto their ocean waves. Encourage them to make several cutouts to create a pod.
Let each of your children paint blue waves on the front side of a thin paper plate. Cut a slit across the middle of each plate, leaving a 2-inch margin at each end of the slit. Have each child glue a 3½-inch whale shape, cut from heavy paper, onto one end of a craft stick. Demonstrate how to work the puppet by inserting the other end of the craft stick down through the slit on the painted side of the plate and moving the stick up and down on the back side of the plate to make the whale dive in and out of the waves. Let the children use their puppets to accompany whale songs and stories.
Select five large index cards. Cut each card into two puzzle pieces, making sure that each puzzle fits together differently. On the left-hand piece of each puzzle, write a numeral from 1 to 5, and on the righ-hand piece, rubber-stamp a matching number of whale prints. Mix up all the puzzle pieces, place them in a pile, and let your children put the puzzles back together.
Cut a mother whale shape and a baby whale, or calf, shape out of several different colors of felt. Place the mother shapes on a flannelboard and give the calf shapes to your group. Ask the children to help the calves find their mothers by matching their colors. Then have them place the calves alongside their mothers on the flannelboard.

Cut several sizes of whales ranging from small to large out of heavy gray or black paper. Place the shapes in a pile. Then let your children take turns lining up the whales from smallest to largest or from largest to smallest. If you wish, have them line up the whales on a blue paper “ocean.”
Use picture books to show and discuss the varieties of whales and their characteristics. Explain that whales are mammals and point out how they differ from fish.
The largest whale of all, the blue whale, measures 100 feet in length. Take your children outdoors and measure off 100 feet on a sidewalk.
Put on some music and let the children pretend to be whales diving down into the water and swimming back up again to spout.
Play a recording of whale sounds and ask the children to make up stories about what the whales are saying. Write down their ideas and use them to make a group whale book.


Tune: “The Muffin Man”

Have you seen the big gray whale,
The big gray whale, the big gray whale?
Have you seen the big gray whale
That’s swimming in the sea?

Yes, I’ve seen the big gray whale,
The big gray whale, the big gray whale.
Yes, I’ve seen the big gray whale.
He waved his tail at me!
Liz Ryerson

More verses: “Have you seen the orca whale; Have you seen the big blue whale,” and so forth.

Use whale cookie cutters to make cookies. Let your children decorate the cookies with frosting and sprinkles.
Invite the children to make placemats for snacktime. Have them trace around whale cookie cutters on pieces of construction paper and then color the whale shapes with crayons.