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Fishes in the water, fishes in the sea…

Do you ever just get inspiration from totally random objects? This is exactly what happened here!

With a surplus of cardboard thanks to a recent IKEA binge, I had been desperately wracking my brains on how to use it. Then I noticed the fish themed ice cube tray lying on the draining board, waiting to be refilled and the idea sparked. So here is our fish pond…


In total, it took us a few days to complete as each layer needed to dry first but it did make for a brilliant ‘end of the school holidays’ project that both children could join in with. Here’s how we did it:

You will need:

  • acrylic paint in sea-themed colours (we always use non-toxic paints)
  • green or coral themed acrylics
  • orange or other fish themed acrylic colours
  • bubble wrap
  • scissors
  • paint scrapers
  • large piece of cardboard
  • ‘fish’ ice-cube tray or alternative (e.g. foam/ sponge cut into fish shapes)

1. Paint Scrape Water

Start off with blobs of sea-themed acrylics on a piece of cardboard:

water 1

Spread the acrylics out using a paint scraper of two:

No floors were harmed in the making of this artwork!

Leave to ocean to dry (!) overnight before carrying on with the next step.

2. Bubble Wrap Coral

Cut bubble wrap into pointy strips to print around the outside of the cardboard canvas. We decided to use flourescent green for our coral reef but any bright colours you have would look striking:

water 3
Have baby wipes on hand to mop up any foot or hand-prints left by very sensory toddlers!

Again, it’s best to leave this part to dry for a few hours before continuing with the fish…

3. Fish Prints

Put a blob of orange paint onto an old plastic plate or paint tray, then dip the underside of the fish ice-cube tray into the paint. Print across the whole section of the blue canvas – we decided that our fish should swim in different directions!

water 2
Watching big bro intently – so many of our crafts are done together and Zoey learns so much from her big brother!

Want more?

Check out the following:

Discovery Table Week 4: The Ocean Waves

Why Mess is Best

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