Cardstock paper works fine for this project.
Trace fish templates or draw fish with pencil.
Have the children color the fish and add things to the rest of the page as they wish with crayons. They can be as literal or silly as they’d like to be.
Add seaweed, squiggly marks, or other sea creatures.
White crayon can make bubbles.
Using their watercolor palette they can paint their fish and the water around the fish.
Paint right over the crayon. It will pop through the watercolor.
(Blue watercolor and green watercolor paints together make a good water effect.)
Use a lighter shade of blue card stock paper for this project.
Put orange tempera paint on the top of a paper plate and yellow acrylic paint on the bottom half of the same paper plate.
Put blue tempera paint on the top part of a paper plate and yellow acrylic paint on the bottom part of a paper plate.
Or go with one color combination instead of the two different ones.
Be generous with the amount of paint. The children CAN really get their hands wet.
Have the children dip on bottom part of their hands in the paint. With fingers somewhat together
(NOT spread apart) and thumb sticking out stamp their hand on the paper. (Leave room for a second hand print).
The hands can be arranged going different directions with the thumb sticking up or down depending on the orientation of their hands. Or, you can have them stamp the same hand twice. Just “reload” paint on hand before stamping a second time. Stagger the hand prints.
Put extra yellow paint on thumbs and stamp in center of fish as a gill. (If the yellow will not show up go ahead and use the other color of that particular fish).
After children clean their hands have them use their index finger or a q-tip to add white paint for the eyes. Then add about 3 white “air bubbles” with their finger or a q-tip coming from the mouth of one fish and the back of another fish.
Add a dot of black paint right on top of the white eye. The black with show.
Then add a black smile on each fishes mouth.
You can end here or you can add water waves instead of bubbles by using a paint brush and white and blue paint dipped on one paint brush and making w’s on the page in a few spots.
Have several cut out shapes of sea/ocean life for the children to choose from. Using watercolors, children can paint the sea/ocean life just the way they’d like. Don’t forget cups of water for the watercolors and so brushes can be cleaned off before new colors are chosen. You will also need paper towels to dry or dab the wet brushes onto. The cut outs can be painted realistically, or children can paint them with thier own creative design. Make sure children aren’t just rushing through so they can paint more and more. Remind them to take their time and concentrate on the one they currently have. When we did this in a classroom, we set up the different cut outs on one table in the back of the room. We told the children they could come up and select a few. If some began finishing up, and time was still available, they could pick another one to paint. You want to have an abundance of cutouts so you don’t run out. You can put the cut outs on a cart to dry. Make sure the children put them name on the back of each one before painting them. Once dry you can hang them on bulletin board paper to look like sea/ocean life swimming around.
Another option is to have each child glue their own cutouts onto a piece of construction paper. You could even have the children paint the construction paper with the watercolor first and then once they are done paint two or three cut outs have them glue their cutouts onto the construction paper. Children could use large white construction paper and paint it with blue watercolor. Set aside to dry while they are working on their cutouts. Then glue them down on their pre-painted ocean.
For the cutouts you can either design your own. You can get designs by looking up sea life or ocean life on the internet. Draw your designs in pencil then trace with a black Sharpie pen. Give the design some features and copy them. We pre-cut our cutouts before class. It would eat up too much time for the children to cut them out.