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Fizzing Hidden Ocean

Fizzing Hidden Ocean World


We have LOTS of miniature "ocean animals" toys in our house and I wanted to come up with a creative way for my daughter to play with them. When I think of oceans, I think of sand, shells, and beautiful blue water.  
Craft Ideas - Fizzing Hidden Ocean
So rather than just fill a tub with blue water, I set off on a plan to keep prep and materials to a minimum and thought of the idea to make some baking soda dough and shape it like shells around several of the miniatures.
I promise that this is SUPER easy, I did it in less than five minutes. You'll need to make the dough/baking soda shells a day in advance, though, to give them time to dry and harden.  That's the only hard part!
To make baking soda dough, you just need baking soda and water.  I used two boxes of baking soda to make six shells.
Once you've emptied the baking soda into the bowl, add just enough water that the dough is crumbly.  Err on the side of too little water.  Here I could have actually done a little less - so think of the below picture as showing you the maximum amount of water to add.  :)
Craft Ideas - Fizzing Hidden Ocean
After that, I took six of the miniature toys and covered them making the general shape of a shell by hand and then rolled a real shell over them to make an shell imprint.

Craft Ideas - Fizzing Hidden Ocean
So for the set-up, I set out our splash mat and filled our plastic storage bin with the now dry baking soda shells, several different shells, some glass gems and the remaining miniature toys.

Craft Ideas - Fizzing Hidden Ocean
To get the "ocean" started, I provided her with four squeeze bottles full of blue water I made with 4 drops of blue food coloring per bottle (you could also use liquid watercolors).

Craft Ideas - Fizzing Hidden Ocean
I instructed her to use the squirt bottles on the white shells to see what happened.  She gleefully went to work dissolving the shells that fizzed away to reveal the hidden toys.  

Craft Ideas - Fizzing Hidden Ocean
Once she was finished finding all the hidden creatures, I added several containers of water from our sink to make the "ocean" a bit deeper. After all the shells were dissolved, the baking soda doubled as "white sand" at the bottom of her ocean world. 

Craft Ideas - Fizzing Hidden Ocean

Submitted by: Asia Citro (
Asia is a stay at home mum who used to be a science teacher and ran her own tutoring business. She strives to engage her children in open-ended play that encourages exploration
and fosters their creativity. She chooses activities and craft ideas that aren't cost prohibitive, so that anyone could do them at home with their children.
Edited by: Ben De Haan

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