The Rainbow Fish Art and Craft Activities – Paper Plate Fish, Wax Resist, Watercolor Fish


Paper Plate Rainbow Fish


  • Book:  The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • Paper plates
  • magic markers
  • fish imagination
  • hologram stickers

Cut many different fish out of paper plates, one for each child. The ridges on the plates make really great fins.

Lesson Plan:

After reading the story Rainbow Fish, discuss the importance of being a good friend and what that means. Tell the children that they will be the other fish in the water and you are the rainbow fish. The children will use magic markers to color the rainbow fish on both sides. While they are working the teacher can selectively give each child a special sticker (scale) to each child. Hang the fish in the room for a colorful ocean display!

By: Jo Gevaert, Kindergarten teacher

Watercolor Rainbow Fish 

An art activity to follow up reading The Rainbow Fish.


  • Watercolors
  • Brushes and water in cups
  • Large white construction paper
  • Pattern of fish
  • Scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glue

Lesson Plan:

After reading the book and discussing it, we make rainbow fish with watercolors. I have the students watercolor the whole large paper in any way that they want. After the paper is dry, we cut out a fish pattern and glue a small aluminum foil scale on it. I keep the scraps of watercolor paper for the writing center.


I am a fifth year kindergarten teacher. I was a third grade teacher for five years prior to teaching kindergarten. This was my first year in a public system, having taught in private schools before. I am very grateful for resources like this one, no matter how creative we may feel (or not feel)—learning from one another is why we do what we do.

By: Lisa J., Kindergarten teacher

Wax Resist Fish 

Students make a color pattern fish that looks like it is swimming in the water.


  • Hand-drawn fish outline reproducibles, 3-4 different types of fish
  • Wax crayons
  • Watercolor paint
  • Brushes, paint shirts etc.

Lesson Plan:

Usually around the time that we do this lesson we have been discussing and making patterns in mathematics.

  1. Review with the children what a pattern is, i.e. that in this case we can’t use just one color, but that we might want to do a 2 or 3 color pattern.
  2. Discuss what this might look like, e.g. red-yellow-white, red-yellow-white. This gets them thinking about what type of pattern they could use.
  3. Also reinforce the idea that patterns are continuing, and that they don’t change halfway through the pattern.
  4. Children color in their fish using a pattern of their choice. This is a rainbow fish, so the more colorful the better!
  5. When the fish is completely coloured in, they paint over it with the watercolor paint.
  6. Now you have a fish that looks like it swimming through water!


Link patterning with the types of colors that could be used to make rainbow fish. (I have some children in my class who believe that all black or brown is great for coloring in.) Although I’ve never done this, it would be possible to have the children glue a small piece of foil or some sequins to their fish after the paint has dried to make a “rainbow fish”.

By: Rebecca, Kindergarten Teacher

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