Jamaica Unit Study: Leatherback Sea Turtle Sensory Nest

Its hard sometimes to come up with activities that can be enjoyed by both a preschooler AND a toddler – many of my printables or crafts the toddler destroys or chews on, which adds a level of challenge with various activities.

We have been studying the Leatherback Sea Turtle as part of our Jamaica Unit Study, which makes his nests on the beaches of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The leatherback sea turtle, is the largest of all living turtles and is the fourth-heaviest modern reptile behind three crocodiles. These huge sea turtles always return to the same beach each year to nest, but usually it is also the same beach on which they hatched!

I thought it would be fun to make an activity pretending to be sea turtles – so I grabbed my tuff tray and headed outside. I absolutely love this tuff tray – I bought it from the United Kingdom as here in the USA there isn’t anything I could find comparable – it’s perfect for messier activities and contains *some* of the mess and makes a perfect foundation for play.

I filled it partially with some play sand I have (too much and I’ll have an even bigger mess to clean!)

I had purchased some ping pong balls at the store for $1, so they worked perfectly for my turtle eggs!

My kiddos took their job as resident sea turtles very seriously, and packed the sand into a lovely nest and buried the ping pong balls.

Honestly I didn’t imagine that they would have so much fun – they played in this tray for almost an hour! As a mom of two VERY BUSY little girls – this is a HUGE win in my books!

What a simple and super fun activity! I know my oldest will remember how leatherback sea turtles lay their eggs now!

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