World Book Day activities: Creating an ‘under the sea’ book nook

For today’s World Book Day activity, I created a watery themed play space/book nook to house all the books I could find that feature fish or the sea in some way.

Creating an under the sea book nook

I transformed our cardboard den (we have really had so much play out of this, I don’t think I ever want to get rid of it) into a sea cave, draping our beautiful sea-green floaty chiffon fabric over the top and spreading out a dolphin and fish towel on the floor inside and out of the front of the cave. I dotted a few bath toys onto the towel to set the scene further: a couple of fish, an octopus, a starfish, a crab. Then I stood a couple of our under the sea books on either side of the cave, opened to particularly fishy pages. The remaining books I placed on the towel and inside the cave. I finished off by adding a couple of sensory elements: our lovely under the sea discovery bottle and a sheet of iridescent tissue paper, which shimmers like water and has a wonderful scrunchy texture.

When ToddlerGirl came downstairs after her nap, she made a beeline for the sea cave and we sat and read a couple of the books together. She returned to this throughout the afternoon to play with the toys, shake the bottle, crawl inside the cave and simply to pick up a book and sit and read it herself.

Reading with ToddlerGirl is one of my favourite things to do but I absolutely love it when I peep out from the kitchen and see her sitting quietly looking through a book. Setting up an interesting or cosy space for her to do this is so worthwhile: it doesn’t take a lot of effort on my part and she really makes use of it. I think she enjoys having somewhere in our living room designated as her special space (although all her toys do pretty much take over the entire area every day anyway!)

The books included in our under the sea book nook were:

  • Sharing a Shell
    A brilliant book by Julia Donaldson (love) and illustrated by Lydia Monks with beautiful bright colours and sparkly glitter on every page! This has a great message about friendship and sharing.
  • Little Turtle
    We have been reading this since ToddlerGirl was teeny – simple, bright, bold pictures and rhyming text to introduce Little Turtle and his under sea friends.
  • Hooray for Fish!
    Little Fish takes us on a journey to meet all sorts of different brightly coloured and unusual fish (eye fish, shy fish, sky fish…) before finding the one who means the most of all, Mummy Fish.
  • Snap!
    Part of a series of similarly styled books by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe, this introduces us to various creatures that live on and in the sea. I really enjoy the descriptions for each creature, which are almost poetic and focus on the actions and sounds made.
  • Under the Sea
    This is a picture book we found in the library, featuring a sort of lift the flaps hide and seek for the little clown fish. I don’t find it particularly exciting but it does show some good underwater scenes, with coloured corals and fish. ToddlerGirl seems to really like it and has spent some time on her own examining all the pictures.

(and a wordless bath book that has some lovely fishy patterns.)

I have a cosy corner set up for ToddlerGirl that she will often use when she is looking at her books but it was a lot of fun to set up a themed area for the afternoon. I think we’ll have to do this more often!

(NB: This post contains affiliate links.)

See the rest of our week’s worth of World Book Day activities:

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