Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Simple Summer Schemes: Fishy Art

Most of the things that keep us busy on summer days require little to no planning: swimming, fairy-house making, porching*, reading, etc.  But today's activity takes just the teensiest bit of forethought in the cutting department.  Teensy.  And if you let the kids help you get everything prepared, it whiles away a good chunk of the day!  Perfect for keeping us busy on a long summer morning.

You'll need:
Poster board (or something similar)
Card Stock (or construction paper)
Tissue Paper/Wrapping Paper

Full mom-with-no-creativity disclosure:  We totally picked up a book from the library and chose which cut-and-paste activity we wanted to do this day.  The girls are interested in sea life lately, and this book was filled with underwater ideas.  Inspiration for free!

1. From two different colors of card stock or construction paper, cut out a fish body, fish head, two fins, and a tail.  They might look something like this:

2.  From a variety of tissue papers or wrapping papers, cut out a few dozen different colored ovals.  These will be the fish scales. 

I think we used somewhere around 15-20 scales per fish, depending on how closely they were crowded.  And the cutting went quickly once I realized that I could cut an entire stack of scales at once, rather than singly.  Doy.

3. Glue the body onto the poster board.  (Instead of poster board, we used the cut-off top of an old clothing gift box.)  With little ones, I think it's easier to give them a bowl of glue and a paint brush, rather than a bottle to squirt haphazardly.  But do as you like!

4. Start gluing scales onto the fish body, starting at the rear to allow for overlapping.  Stop scales just short of the fish head, which will now be glued on top of everything.  Finally, attach the fins and tail.

5. Draw a fishy little eyeball with a black marker (or glue on a google-eye if you have a spare lying around) , and there's your fish! 

6. I'll admit that this wasn't the most creativity-inducing activity, but we had a lot of fun cutting and arranging our shapes and painting with glue...

And a little pre-arranged art can be rewarding!  The girls loved their fish creations, and spent the morning giving them imaginary adventures and deciding where to decorate our walls with them. 

What do you think?  Are formulated art projects fun or restricting?  Where would YOU hang this fish?  And most importantly, what sources do you use for inspiring your childrens' art projects?

* I don't actually know if porching is a real thing, but we do it anyway.  Here's the down-low: Go play.  On the porch.  In the shade.  While the sun is too hot to play in the dying yard.  Bring a giant tub of water, some squirting toys, sidewalk chalk, a few voila!  PORCHING.


  1. Porching sounds fantastic!

    And those are some pretty cute little fishies, regardless of where the idea come from!

  2. Pro tip: take those awesome fishes to kinko's and have them laminated ( it'll be less than $5) and then you have some sweet placemats.

  3. Robin, you are a mommy-genius. And I suspect a regular-genius as well :) Thanks!

  4. I wish I had a porch! The fishies are adorable and I would hang them proudly if they were mine!

    I think any art project is a good one!

  5. These are cute and so are those girls. I have a used Children's Place bag or two just waiting to be transformed. On the to-do list for after the move.


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