I love when I get to pass on to my kids specialist knowledge that I know they won’t get in the classroom – this weeks #playfulpreschool topic is all about “Life Cycles” and I couldn’t pass up the chance to teach about the life cycle of my specialism Sea Turtles. Finishing university I took up volunteer work around the world with sea turtles on nesting beaches eventually becoming a paid position researching in a community project on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica and working with the majestic sea turtles. Part of my work in the project was working with visiting school groups to talk about conservation, sea turtles and lead them on patrols to help show conservation and research in the field. One of the activities that we did as a talk through was ordering the sea turtle life cycle and producing chalk board representations of it. It’s such a simple ordering activity for kids of all ages that I decided to adapt it to use with T for this weeks post.

Sea Turtle Life Cycles - ordering and learning about sea turtles

All 7 sea turtles follow the same life cycle

  • Female Adult sea turtles come up to the beach from which they were born
Sea Turtle Life Cycle - Ordering Cards to print and download
Adult Sea Turtle
  • They lay eggs below the surface of the sand
Sea Turtle Life Cycle - Ordering Cards to print and download
Laying Eggs
  • The eggs incubate under the sand for varying amount of days
Sea Turtle Life Cycle - Ordering Cards to print and download
Eggs incubating under the sand
  • The hatchlings (baby turtles) crawl their way through the sand waiting under the surface for dark
Sea Turtle Life Cycle - Ordering Cards to print and download
Emerging from nest
  • Hatchlings then make a mad dash for the sea
Sea Turtle Life Cycle - Ordering Cards to print and download
hatchlings
  • It is believed that hatchlings then go to nurseries where they grow to juvenile sea turtles
Sea Turtle Life Cycle - Ordering Cards to print and download
Shallow nursery waters
  • The juvenile sea turtles stay in shallower water to grow
Sea Turtle Life Cycle - Ordering Cards to print and download
  • Before heading to deeper seas for richer food sources
Sea Turtle Life Cycle - Ordering Cards to print and download
Deep Oceans
  • The female adults head back to shore to repeat the life cycle
Sea Turtle Life Cycle - Ordering Cards to print and download
The beach where the turtle was born
  • The males never return to the shore
Sea Turtle Life Cycle - Ordering Cards to print and download
Adult Sea Turtle
preview of 5 of the pages from a sea turtle workbook for early elementary kids text says Sea Turtles of the World Workbook

Sea Turtles of the World Workbook

An 8 page workbook for kids to learn about the 7 species of Sea Turtles in the world, with information and activities.

Materials needed

Images of sea turtle life cycle – I drew this set that you can save the images and print them out for use.

Learning objectives

  • To talk about life cycles
  • Order pictures based on prior knowledge

Why not read about sea turtles including information about the threats to them and more about their life cycle with our recommended sea turtle books for toddlers and preschoolers or more detail with our sea turtle life cycle books for kids.

Ordering the Sea Turtle Life Cycle

I started by explaining about the sea turtle life cycle and what happens.

Sea Turtle Life Cycles - ordering and learning about sea turtles

Then introduced my pictures and then T set about putting them in order.

I said it was best to start with the adult turtle and what does she do.

She quickly ordered them first in a row but then decided that it didn’t work like that because she wanted to put the adult at the end again and then move everything.

Sea Turtle Life Cycles - ordering and learning about sea turtles

She decided to order it into a circle as that meant when the adult wanted to go back to the beach it was already there right next to her.

It was interesting that she produced the life cycle anti-clockwise as I would have placed them clock wise but as she placed them I realised why – she was placing them down and then from left to right like we read and write rather than in a traditional life cycle of a clockwise configuration.

Sea Turtle Life Cycles - ordering and learning about sea turtles

I then used the life cycle cards as prompts to talk about the different life stages, what she though they would eat, the other animals that were in the habitats and what sort of things may happen there.

More life cycle playful preschool ideas

Butterfly Life Cycle Activities for Kids

Butterfly Life Cycle Story Board by Growing Book by Book
Life Cycle of the Butterfly in Art by Powerful Mothering
Playdough Butterfly Life Cycle by Learning 2 Walk
Butterfly Life Cycle Craft Necklace by Fun-A-Day

Ladybug Life Cycle Activities for Kids

Ladybug Life Cycle Song by Capri +3
Ladybug Life Cycle Activities and Sensory Play by Natural Beach Living

Frog Life Cycle Activities for Kids

Life Cycle of a Frog Sensory Bin by Mom Inspired Life
Fine-Motor Frog Life Cycle Craft by Live Over C’s
Frog Life Cycle Hopscotch by Tiny Tots Adventures
Frog Life Cycle Craft by Still Playing School

Mealworms Life Cycle Activities for Kids

Studying Mealworms with Kids by Raising Lifelong Learners

Sea Turtle Life Cycle Activities for Kids

Sea Turtle Life Cycle – Ordering by Rainy Day Mum

Praying Mantis Life Cycle Activities for Kids

Raise a Praying Mantis | Activities for Kids to Explore Life Cycles by The Educators’ Spin On It

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

10 Comments

  1. What a wonderful project! We really enjoy sea turtles (in fact, we were able to swim with them this summer – it was awesome!) I love the art and science connection for kids because they don’t always realize that animals reproduce in different ways and the lifecycle of a sea turtle is one of the most interesting in my opinion 🙂

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