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Hatching of a Sea Turtle

Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Science Activities for Children 3 to 6







Fine Motor


4 Years Old


Large Group

PDF Available


Cardboard pattern to trace sea turtle and egg White drawing paper
Pencil Scissors
Black, white, brown, tan crayons Pre-cut strip of white paper,
White glue 1” x 8” (2.5 cm x 20 cm)


1. Compare sea turtles, tortoises
or land turtles and all kinds of
freshwater turtles, such as Box
Turtle, Snapping Turtle, Painted
Turtle, Mud Turtle and the
Spiny Soft-shell Turtle. Use the
word “terrapin.” This word
refers to any kind of freshwater
turtle. Use the word “carnivore,”
which is a meat-eating
animal, such as the Snapping
Turtle. All turtles have shells
attached to their bodies.
Turtles are reptiles and range
in color from bright green to
dark brown; some have colored
spots, streaks or borders.
Sea turtles’ front legs are really
flippers to help them swim.
All female sea turtles lay their
eggs in the beach sand and
never see them hatch. The
eggs are about the size of a
ping pong ball and the female
lays about 100 of them at a
2. Help the children make their
own hatching sea turtle. Trace
the shape of the sea turtle on
cardboard and on white
paper and cut them both out.
3. Now trace a large egg shape
on the folded white paper and
cut out the double egg, but
do not cut on the fold.
4. Draw crack lines on the top
side of the egg with a pencil.
Open the egg up and cut the
crack lines on the top side
5. Draw an oval on the turtle’s back with a pencil and color it to look like the turtle’s shell. Also
draw and crayon the turtle’s eye, mouth and folded skin lines.
6. Accordion fold the 1” white paper strip and glue it to the inside center of the egg. Now glue
the sea turtle to the last fold of the strip so that the head faces downward and the larger fin
faces the bottom of the egg.
7. The sea turtle hatches by putting its head through the cracks in the top egg and then emerging
altogether through the cracks. Children enjoy making the turtle hatch over and over again.
More to do
Art: Make sea turtles out of clay or playdough.
Field trip: Visit a sea aquarium.
Math: Compare sizes of various turtles. Use pictures
or paper cutout shapes of varying sizes.
More science: Find the ocean areas on a world globe where sea turtles probably live. Discuss
why sea turtles are now an endangered species. How can we help protect them? Which turtles
hibernate and where? Which kind of turtle lives in your area?
Storytelling: Tell turtle or tortoise fables or stories such as “The Tortoise and the Hare.”
* Dramatize a favorite turtle story.

More Activities to Try