Friday, April 29, 2011


Join us this week for Fun with Fish!

I like Fabulous Fishes because it's full of real fish and well illustrated.  And even though it's mainly nonsense, Lisa Cousins's Hooray for Fish is worth a read for the colorful pictures, plus the kids get a kick out of it.   


Leo Lionni's Swimmy is another classic, a Caldecott honor book with a lesson about overcoming adversity. 

I always love Lois Ehlert's illustrations, and Fish Eyes is no exception.  Bonus:  it's a counting book.

You may wonder why I left out the ever-popular Rainbow Fish this week.  I do love the watercolor pictures, but the not-so-subtle take-home message of the story itself makes me pause.  Sure, sharing is great, but do we really have to give away that which makes us special, in order to be liked?  Does everyone have to be exactly the same?  I haven't completely decided how I interpret Rainbow Fish, so I avoid it altogether for the time being.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on it; please comment below.

Moving on, there are so many great activities for a fish theme.  I made some fish out of craft foam to put in the sensory table, and cleaned out an old aquarium net for S. to use in scooping them up.  I read online about someone putting actual goldfish in the water table, but that seemed just a step too far...  At any rate, we talked about size (big fish and little fish) and color during this activity.

Here's a clever craft I read about on another blog.  It originally came from the Usborne Book of Art, except that they used markers to color the fish.  That would been a better idea, since the paint detracted from the scale effect of the netting.
Anyway, here's how it works.  Cut some fish from aluminum foil. 

Use a net (this one originally held oranges and came from our local grocery store) to create scales by pressing the foil fish into it.  I was lucky and had a bit of special "golden" foil left over from a nice chocolate bar.  In the future I will remember to eat more chocolate, so that we have enough golden foil for special projects like this.

Paint (or use markers).  You can then mount the fish onto a blue sheet of paper or paint an ocean, if you like.

I love the way the scales turned out!

A while back I also sewed a magnetic fishing game.  Several other bloggers shared their easy patterns, and while I can't find the specific one I followed, many of them are similar.  Here's one like what I did, only mine has a layer of batting: Go Fish .  Without the batting the magnets might work a little better, but the fish seem more limp.  Note:  use good, strong magnets-- this is not a time to skimp.

Wanna see something way cool but tons more work?  check out this one: Felt Aquarium Magnets .  You could even use these in a fishing game if you were so inclined.

Then again, you could just buy a plastic game on Amazon.  

When I did a quick search for "fish" in my itunes, a melodious playlist emerged.  Flying Fish from Alphabet Action Songs; Baby Fish and Five Fish Swimming in the Sea  by Dr. Jean (Sings Silly Songs), Three Little Fishes  by Maria Muldaur (Swingin' in the Rain), I Caught a Fish and Five Little Fishies by Pamela Conn (Wee Sing Animals, Animals, Animals) and I Caught a Fish Alive  from Variations on Traditional Pattern songs. 

Heather Forest's song-story The Fisherman and the Magic Fish on her Sing Me a Story album is another gem.

Here's a fingerplay to conclude the post on fish.  Find a ton more HERE.

Five little fishes swimming in a pool.(wiggle five fingers, move arm)
The first fish said, "This pool is cool!" (Shiver and hug yourself)
The second fish said, "This pool is deep." (Use a low voice)
The third fish said, "I want to sleep." (yawn and stretch)
The fourth fish said, "I spy a ship." (hand shading eyes)
Fishing boat comes, line goes kersplash! (throw in line)
Away the five little fishies dash. (fingers "swim" away quickly) 

See you next week!



  1. We got Hooray for Fish this week at the library. I love crafts that require eating a candy bar to do them. I think we will be dragging out our water table this week after seeing your activity.

    Thanks for linking to Read.Explore. Learn.

  2. These are so cute and easy! You can make any fish, animal, or reptile with the foil! I would love it if you shared it with Workshop Wednesday! It would make a great addition to the party!

  3. Your fish turned out great! Thanks for adding this to last week's High paw. Hope to see you participate this week too! :)

  4. Love the craft! We're going to be looking at fish this week or next. I'm not so crafty, but I think I can pull that one off. Thanks for the book recommendations too-- can't wait to see more! I'm a new subscriber/follower. :)