G’Day Mate! Welcome to our artistic celebration of the Great Barrier Reef ! We had such a great time exploring through Australia this week and spent a lot of time learning about the Great Barrier Reef , looking at pictures, videos and reading about it!

Did you know the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world? It is located off the northeastern shores of Australia and consists of more than 2,900 coral reefs, 900 continental islands, 300 coral cays and thousands of species making it one of the world’s most complex ecosystems!


The animals found in the reef include over 1500 species of sponges, 1500 species of marine fish, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 6 species of marine turtles, 22 species of seabirds, 125 species of sharks and stingray, and close to 5,000 species of mollusks, including the giant clam, and well…I could go on and on! It’s even considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world!

To go along with our Expedition Earth Australia study, we decided to do a fun reef painting, and what better tool to use than…you guessed it, sponges! I found this fun idea at Make and Takes today and wanted to give it a try!



  • Some colorful household sponges (3 sponges per ball)
  • Scissors
  • Dental Floss or zip-ties
  • Paint
  • Blue construction paper
  • Some willing participants


Step 1: Cut the sponge in quarters. I started by cutting one sponge in half lengthwise.


Next I cut each of those halves in half again so you end up cutting 4 pieces per sponge.


Tip: You can also cut the sponges along the shorter side to create smaller balls!


Step 2: Next we piled up all our pieces and mixed the colors up.


Step 3: Gather 12 different colored strips and twist tight. You’ll need a partner to help you with this step as it’s very difficult to hold and tie all by yourself!


Step 4: Using a piece of dental floss, string, or a zip-tie, tie the center of the sponges to secure in place.


Step 5: Fluff up your sponges!


Step 6: Bring your sponges to the pool with you this summer, or in the bathtub for some added water fun!

We decided to grab some tempera paint and create some cool art with our sponges, they make great texture. Might I suggest a Great Barrier Reef painting?


We cut some smaller chunks for the painting for detailed areas, then used the small sponge balls for larger areas. The kids loved the textures they created with their sponges!


Here are some of our finished pieces:



Definitely add this one to the “Do Try At Home” list! You’ll have a blast and so will your kids! ;o) Hope you enjoy!

–> Click here to see the rest of our Australia Activities <–

Click here to learn more about my Expedition Earth World Geography curriculum!


  1. Hi! At Delightful Children's Books, I have posted booklists of great children's books set in countries around the world and have invited readers to read one book set in each continent this summer. As part of this Read Around the World event, I am sharing posts with neat activities to teach kids about countries around the world. I just discovered your site and added a link to your Germany post. Please, feel free to link up other posts. I will be sharing the most inspiring posts via Twitter and Facebook all summer. Best, AmyLink up posts here: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=55708Delightful Children's Books | Read Around the World This Summer!: http://delightfulchildrensbooks.com/2011/05/26/read-around-the-world-this-summer/

  2. We are working on Australia this week…and there’s a great emphasis on the Great Barrier Reef. This project is something my children will LOVE! Thanks for sharing your great ideas =)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.