Ocean themed window decals fro education

Learning objectives

To learn about plastic pollution and the impact it can have.  

Resources needed

  • PVA glue
  • acrylic paints, black and any other colours
  • plastic bottle/pot with nozzle top
  • pen and paper
  • clear plastic sheet
  • sticky tape.

Sea life, marine life, fish, shells line icons

Designing and printing

  • Take your paper and felt tip pen and draw some simple sea life. 
  • Keep your designs simple.
  • You can even draw other things that you may find under the sea. How about a shell or some seaweed?


  • Take your sheet of clear plastic and place it on top of your finished drawing.
  • Secure it in place with some sticky tape. You don’t want your picture to move under the plastic.
  • Take your empty spouted bottle and half fill it with PVA glue.
  • Add some black acrylic paint (ratio 2:1, about half the amount of the glue used). You are looking for a thick glue consistency.
  • Mix it up and then carefully trace over your picture, tracing black lines with your mixture over every line. Be sure to have continuous lines with no breaks, as this will help later with removal.


  • You should now have traced pictures on your plastic sheets of all your wonderful sea life.
  • Now leave it to dry. A few hours will be fine, but the longer the better.
  • Use this time to outline a few more sea creatures. How many can you do? What unusual creatures can you draw?

Ocean decals example for education/teaching
Ocean decal examples for education/teaching


  • Once all your outlined pictures are dry, you can colour them.
  • Use the same method as before but this time you don’t need a bottle with a spout; any pot and skewer/cocktail stick will do. Mix PVA glue and any colour acrylic paint to a 2:1 ratio.
  • Have fun colouring in all of your decals. Experiment with blending and mixing colours.

Tip: the thicker you paint, the easier it is to peel later.

Ready for your window

  • Once you have finished colouring all your decals you need to leave them dry for at least 24–48 hours.
  • Once dry, you can peel them off the plastic.
  • Place them on a window; they can be peeled off and reapplied numerous times and they won't leave marks.

Ocean window decals for education
Ocean window decals, sea pollution activity for education.

Plastic pollution activity

  • Gather up some clean rubbish from the recycling you do at home.
  • Stick bits of your recycling all over your window with sticky tape or blue tac on top of your beautiful picture.
  • How do you think plastic affects what you see?
  • Do you think your sea life creatures are happier when there is no rubbish?
  • Take a picture of your window display with all the rubbish.
  • Remove all the rubbish and put it back in the recycling. Take a new picture with your window scene all cleaned up.
  • Look at both pictures. Look at the difference having no plastic in our ocean makes.


Ways to include all learners

Instruments used can be adapted or changed for learners with different motor abilities and also age appropriate apparatus can be used. 

How might this activity support social, emotional and mental health needs?

This has the potential to engage a lot of families in a similar project and a forum to further this project would create a platform of connection that would support social connections. The add on activity at the end helps support an emotional connection between the ocean and what is happening to it with plastic. Having an activity that the whole family of all ages can enjoy, having a platform to be able to share it and the subject itself is joyful and full of hope. 

Students at National Marine Aquarium Plymouth

Developing ocean literacy

Learn more about the ocean by trying our ocean literacy activities.
All of our activities are supported by extensive research from the University of Plymouth and its partners, such as the National Marine Aquarium. We are focused on developing links to promote research, practice and knowledge exchange, particularly around Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE). 
Read about our research in practice.
Research with Plymouth Institute of Education