omca at home

Recommended for ages 5+
Estimated time: 30 minutes


Using materials found at home, create an animal that’s adapted to survive in a deep ocean habitat.

The Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary is an underwater, coral-topped mountain off the coast of Point Reyes. Its nutrient-rich waters attract animals from all over the Pacific Ocean, and many animals also live there year-round.

Explore the Cordell Bank website to see which marine mammals, seabirds, and fishes live there, and how they’ve evolved unique adaptations to survive. Virtually “visit” Cordell Bank through video footage and see for yourself what makes Cordell Bank a special place.

Today we challenge you to use recycled materials and art supplies found at home to create a critter with adaptations to survive at Cordell Bank.



Think about...

  • What recycled materials could you use to build your critter?
  • How would you describe a deep ocean habitat?
  • What kinds of adaptations do marine animals need in order to survive in an ocean habitat?

Science Vocabulary

habitat: a place or environment where an animal lives
adaptation: a change in an animal’s body or behavior that helps them survive in their habitat



Any art supplies or materials found at home. Suggestions include:

  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Egg cartons
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Bottle caps
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glue or tape
  • Markers
  • Scissors


The Create-a-Critter Challenge

Use materials found at home to create an ocean critter (real or imaginary) with adaptations to help it survive at the Cordell Bank.

Design a critter with at least 3 adaptations: 

  • One adaptation that helps it catch and eat its food
  • One adaptation that helps it defend/protect itself
  • One adaptation that helps it survive in its ocean habitat

Photos of Example Critters

Take a photo of your critter, then share it with us and tell us how it survives in the deep ocean!