Lastly I added a small piece of tie-dye blue fabric under the bin instead of adding blue food colouring to the water. It created a nice atmosphere for the ocean scene. L, who was still playing with us, pointed out the darker blue areas and said those areas were really deep and that's where the octopus lives. :)
Bean was very interested in the shells and pearls. I showed her how to make a pearl by lining up two shells and secretly placed a pearl instead before closing it. I told her we had to wait a few moments while the shell worked its magic and then I told her to open it. Inside was the pearl and she was so excited that she had to make sure all the other shells had pearls too. :)
I talked to them about how some ocean creatures live in shallow pools on the beach and how some live deep in the ocean where the sun doesn't shine. They were very interested in deep water so I held a blanket over the bin while we explored the "dark waters" as Bean called it. It wasn't completely dark since this was in our living room at noon time, but dark enough that the creatures had trouble moving around in the "dark waters". Bean pretended the shark couldn't see, so I asked her how else could he find lunch? She pointed to her nose and made the shark sniff around in the water until he found a yummy crab to munch on.
In our other water bins, Munchkin was never so interested as he was today. That was very exciting for me and I was glad I was able to make the bin interesting enough for him. He especially liked the water bubbles and I showed him how fish breathe (he loved demonstrating his fish face) by blowing bubbles. I said, if these bubbles were in the water, they would float up to the surface. So he pretended the dolphin spit out a bunch of bubbles. :)
But after a while he collected all the pearls and shells and made off with them. :)