We love our octopus activities, and today, we’re focusing on an ocean favorite- the octopus! With these octopus STEM activities for kids you’ll learn everything there is to know about an octopus and have a blast at the same time!
The hands-on octopus STEM experiments can be used with kids in elementary school or middle school and can really help expand a child’s knowledge of octopuses that they learned from a book.
Hands-on projects are always remembered more than reading and worksheets!
Hands-on Octopus STEM Activities that Will Make a Splash!
Before we get to the hands-on octopus STEM activities, check out these supplemental materials that will complete your STEM lessons.
Table of Contents
Octopus Shirts for Teachers
Check out these super fun octopus shirts you can wear during your octopus lessons!
Octopus Info for Kids
Here are some fun octopus facts to share with your students while they make their LEGO octopus designs!
Octopuses don’t have bones
Octopuses are invertebrates, which means they have no bones. Their boneless bodies enable them to squeeze into tiny crevices and spaces where predators can’t reach.
An octopus has three hearts
Two of these hearts, known as branchial hearts, pump blood to the gills where it gets oxygenated. The third heart, the systemic heart, pumps the oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. When an octopus swims, the systemic heart stops beating, which explains why octopuses prefer to crawl rather than swim, using swimming only as a means to escape predators.
Octopuses have blue blood
To survive in deep water, octopuses evolved a copper-based blood rather than iron-based blood like humans have, which turns its blood blue.
An octopus is a disguise genius
Octopuses can change the color and texture of their skin to match their environment in just seconds, making it hard for predators to find them.
An octopus has 9 brains: An octopus has a central brain and also additional small brains in each of its eight arms. These “arm brains” allow the octopus to process information and control movements in its arms independently, giving it a remarkable ability to multitask.
Octopuses are smart
Octopuses are widely regarded as one of the most intelligent non-human species. They have both short- and long-term memory capabilities, and they can learn from both observation and experience.
Octopuses have been observed opening jars to get to food inside, navigating mazes, and using tools to their advantage.
In aquarium settings, octopuses have even been known to unscrew lids, dismantle equipment, and find clever ways to escape their enclosures, demonstrating complex cognitive behaviors such as foresight and planning.
Most octopuses have venom
All octopuses, except one species (the Cirroteuthidae), have venom that they use to paralyze their prey.
Octopus Books for the Classroom
Here are some of our favorite non-fiction octopus books for kids to learn more fun facts about octopuses!
Octopuses lay thousands of eggs
The female octopus lays up to 400,000 eggs. She guards and cares for them until they hatch, often without eating during this period.
Octopuses are strong swimmers
Octopuses can jet-propel themselves by expelling water from their bodies, reaching speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
Octopuses have short lives
Depending on the species, octopuses can live from as little as six months to as long as a few years. The Giant Pacific Octopus, one of the longest-living species, can live up to five years.
An octopus has excellent vision
Despite living in the deep ocean, octopuses have good eyesight and can detect polarized light, which enhances their perception of contrast and improves their ability to detect prey and predators.
Octopus STEM Kits
These octopus STEM kits teach kids how different parts of an octopus works and offer another fun hands-on octopus STEM activity for kids to learn about the amazing octopus!
If you need even more extensions for your octopus STEM activities, check out these octopus lesson plans!
How long does a octopus live?
The lifespan of an octopus can vary greatly depending on the species. Most species of octopuses live for only 1-2 years.
However, larger species like the Giant Pacific Octopus can live for up to 3-5 years under suitable conditions.
13+ Astonishing Octopus STEM Activities for Kids
Check out the list below of our favorite octopus STEM activity ideas!
You’ll find octopus activities for science, octopus technology activities, octopus engineering activities, and octopus math worksheets!
Octopus Science Experiments
These octopus science experiments show kids how an octopus lives and looks!
In this octopus science experiment, you’ll learn why an octopus doesn’t have bones and what would happen if it did!
Learn about the octopus life cycle and how it moves from one stage of life to another in this creative science activity.
You can learn about crystals and the ocean with this octopus crystals science activity!
Octopus Technology Activities
The technology that octopuses use is fascinating! Here are some octopus technology projects to try.
How Cephalopods communicate is a fascinating look at the technology that ocean creatures use!
This octopus camouflage activity goes really in depth on how an octopus can hide and turn so many different patterns and colors!
Rocktopus coding is a fun way to learn coding with the help of a fun octopus.
Learn all about how an octopus shape can be useful in technology with this list of STEM projects robotic octopus activities!
Octopus Engineering Activities
When it comes to octopus engineering, their intelligence is unmatched! Try these octopus engineering activities to find out how smart they really are.
Build your own version of octopus hands in this unique octopus STEM activity and challenge students to see if they can manage multiple arms at once!
This octopus activity for kids can be as simple or as complicated as you like when you build a LEGO octopus. Add in other STEM elements to complete your octopus engineering activity!
Make this Octopus robot claw and learn how an octopus uses their arms.
Learning How an octopus moves is super fascinating and a lot of fun!
Octopus Math Activities
Math isn’t boring when an octopus is involved.
This fun ordinal octopus activity teaches younger kids all about ordinal numbers!
In this octopus math activity, learn how an octopus is smart enough to run basic probability calculations and see if you can predict the correct result as well as an octopus.
Octopus Lesson Resources
Use these octopus classroom supplies and products to go along with your octopus STEM lessons!
If you need more inspiration for your octopus lessons, check out these octopus lesson plans!