Every August during Shark Week, millions of people across the country are glued to their television sets watching the Discovery Channel, to soak in every minute of the shark-filled programming.
In 2012, Shark Week delivered 21.4 million viewers — and this year it’s expected to blow that out of the water.
Shark Week 2013 begins on Sunday, August 4, launching the most premiere viewing hours ever featured in the 26-year-history of the event. Whether your kids find sharks fascinating or terrifying, you can celebrate Shark Week with fun shark-themed crafts, tasty treats and educational activities to go along with the hours upon hours of shark viewing.
Throw a shark party
Kick off the frenzy by throwing a shark party for family and friends.
Shark games: Make it a pool party. Your kids will love riding on this 72-inch pool shark (Wayfair, $24) or playing this shark toss-and-catch pool game (Wayfair, $18). You can also play a game of pool volleyball and draw a shark’s face on the ball just for fun. Outside the water, play “Pin the Fin on the Shark” or other classic party games with a shark-y twist.
Shark crafts: Set up a craft station where the kids can create projects to celebrate Shark Week. For something simple, we love these paper plate shark jaws. You can also print out these shark coloring pages for younger kids. Looking to tackle a bigger project? How about working together as a family to create a giant paper mache shark?
Shark treats: Serve up a menu filled with shark-themed treats. Make a shark-shaped cake or cool off with a carved watermelon shark. Get step-by-step directions on how to create this fin-tastic masterpiece from whataboutwatermelon.com. Try these other Shark Week-inspired recipes for adults and little ones too.
Decorate for the party with Shark Week décor >>
Make Shark Week a learning experience
Shark Week isn’t just entertaining, it’s also very educational. With the start of the school year right around the corner, use Shark Week to get your kids’ brains turned back on to learning. Encourage your kids to read about sharks as well as watch the programming. Head to the library and pick out a few age-appropriate books about sharks and other marine life.
Keep in mind that while tweens and teens might catch Shark Week fever, younger children might be absolutely terrified by watching the dive shows or feeding sessions. If you want to give Shark Week a try with your little ones, be sure to watch with them and with your remote control close by, in case you need to quickly turn the channel. Encourage kids of all ages to ask questions about the sharks that they see during Shark Week. They can even take notes, and you can look up answers online or at the library.
If your kids are far too young to get into Shark Week, watch DVDs of Jabberjaw, Kenny the Shark or other kid-friendly shark television shows and movies.
Learn about these different species of sharks >>
Turn to Discovery.com to find out more about Shark Week. They even have a live webcam at Ocean Voyager that streams coverage 24/7 throughout the week and live chat sessions with shark experts.