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Winter Reading Fun: Hooray for Fish!

Make a School of Paper Fish!

There is an amazing variety of fish in our world, in all sizes and colors. It’s fun to read about them, and it’s fun to make art that features fish, too.

Some favorite “fish tales” include Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins for the preschool set (but older kids can get inspired by her incredible illustrations), and Fish Girl, a graphic novel (a.k.a. comic) by Donna Jo Napoli and  Caldecott Medalist David Wiesner (who grew up in nearby Bridgewater, NJ). If you want to get inspired by cool photos of fish, check the children’s nonfiction shelves in the area of 597.

Make a Paper Fish

What you need:

  • Paper (any size or type)
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, markers, and/or colored pencils
  • Gluestick

What you do:

  1. Fold the paper in half and cut a strip the same width as you want your fish to be.
  2. From the leftover piece, cut two small triangles for side fins and one large triangle for the tail fin. TIP: For added variety and interest, use scrap papers from your scrap box.*
  3. Glue the tail fin inside the open end of the folded paper. TIP: Use scissors to cut a fringe on the tail first.
  4. Glue the side fins to either side of the fish. Fringe with scissors first if you wish.
  5. Cut into the folded side to form a mouth.
  6. For the eyes: Cut two white circles and add a black or colored dot with markers, OR just draw an eye directly on either side of the fish.
  7. Add fins and other details using markers, crayons, and/or colored pencils. Make little u shapes or c shapes for fins, or get silly and add dots, flowers, shapes, zigzags – whatever you like!
  8. To make the fish stand, squeeze the fold so that the body of the fish opens a bit, and then set it down on the table or on top of a box. TIP: If it doesn’t stand, trim the bottom carefully with scissors to make sure that both sides match and are flat.

Create a school of fish by making fish in different sizes and colors and with different patterns! Set up an underwater scene in a window or an unused shoe box or carton. Copy a photo of yourself and paste it on the head to make yourself a mermaid!

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