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Dr. Seuss Day “One Fish Two Fish” Art Project

A fun drawing and painting Dr. Seuss day art project to do with your kids

Here is a great Dr. Seuss Day art project for your little ones. Inspired by my favorite “One Fish Two Fish”, this lesson is perfect for any lower elementary grade including Kinders. If you need more Dr. Seuss-inspired lessons, check out The Members Club.


  • 2 @ 12″ x 18″ white paper
  • black oil pastel
  • blue, yellow, green and red tempera paint
  • glitter and glue

Drawing the Fish

The younger the student, the more time you’ll need demonstrating eye placement. I like to have the kids point to where the eye should go and then when they get a thumbs-up from me, they are free to draw a black dot. Here’s my thinking: The children can’t erase the oil pastels, so you want to make certain they leave ample room to draw the body or else the fish might be small.
Starting at the far left (if they chose a swimming fish) or near the top (standing fish) gives the children plenty of space to draw the body.

I point out the different fish illustrations in the first few pages of the book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, then on the white board, I draw two styles of fish: one swimming across the paper (horizontal) and one standing up (vertical). I do a directed line drawing for both.

One Fish, Two Fish

Draw two dots for eyes for standing fish or one dot for swimming

Add a circle around the eye(s) and add eyelashes if you wish

Standing: Draw a curved line over the top of the eyes and move the line all the way down the paper and curve up like a letter “J” . Then, draw a similar line on the opposite side and join together at the tail.

Swimming: starting in front of the eye, move the pastel along the top of the paper to form an arch, then make another line starting at the eye draw a line around the bottom of the paper towards the tail. Both lines can be wiggly or curved. Whatever you like!

For the standing fish make fins and add lines inside the body for scales. Do the same for the swimming fish and add a funny looking tail.

Pretty basic instructions, but if you look at the kids drawing you’ll see that any shape will do. Just have fun!

Painting the fish

Use red, yellow, green and blue tempera paint colors to paint inside each shape. It helps too add a bit of liquid white tempera paint to both the yellow and the blue to soften the colors. The blue straight out of the container can be very dark and cover the oil pastel lines too well.

Once the painting dries, trace over the lines with black oil pastel and add some patterns with other colors of oil pastel if you wish.

Cut out the fish. This is a great project for practicing cutting skills!

Creating the Background

Take the other white paper and paint stripes from one side to the other. If you wish, you can glam up your Dr. Seuss art project by adding some glitter. While the stripes are still wet, sprinkle with glitter and shake excess off into a big tub. No glue is needed.

Finally, glue fish to background!

Kinder One Fish, Two Fish!




  1. LOVE it! Gonna have to file that one away!

    sleepyhead designs studio

    February 12, 2010

  2. So stinkin' cute!! The stripes rock and the fish are a hoot with the bright colors — Seuss would have loved them!

    pink and green mama

    February 12, 2010

  3. These turned out so well! The stripes look great, adding such a contrast and immediately you just know they are inspired by Seuss!


    February 14, 2010

  4. These are just so great! I definitely think I will incorporate them the first week of March for Dr. Suess's birthday!

    Nellie Mae

    February 14, 2010

  5. these paintings are great! Love it!


    February 15, 2010

  6. Working through the lesson for the first time with all my 1st graders! What a blast.. great idea and WONDERFUL results so far! : )


    March 2, 2010

  7. I can recite this book by heart–a favorite I read to my own kids and now grandkids. Can’t wait to try this lesson!

    Karen Wojcinski

    November 21, 2010

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you…… Unfortunately my art teacher does the work for my kindergarteners….and they really dread our art day….it is so upsetting! These are great activities I can’t wait to do with them to start their love of art! Thank you so much!

    Jennie hamilton

    January 12, 2011

  9. What a great art project for kids! I really love it! I’m going to link it on my Dr. Seuss recap post tomorrow.

    Thank you so much for sharing!


    March 5, 2011

  10. We just did this project with homeschool kids age 4 to 10. It seemed well suited for all the ages and they had lots of fun! The background stripes add a great dimension to it and this idea would be good for a lot of other projects too. Thanks so much! We LOVE your website!!


    May 19, 2011

  11. Thank you so much! I have just started teaching 7 year old’s and this art project will be perfect! I will be so pleased if my kids can produce works that are half as good as yours!

    Lisa Pompey

    February 1, 2012

  12. I <3 this project. One of the school's that I teach at celebrates Dr. Seuss' Birthday in March…I am going to do this project with most of my classes (k-5). Thank you for the wonderful ideas!

    Robin Manzo

    February 13, 2012

  13. I did this art lesson yesterday with my grade Primary/One class. They turned out beautiful and easy to do. Thanks again for another great idea. I have directed alot of teachers to your website

    Leah Gillis

    March 10, 2012

    • The kids really did well. Glad you tried the lesson!


      March 18, 2012

  14. Great work!!
    have a one question here 🙂
    what kind of brand are you
    using for tempera paint and where did you get that?


    June 25, 2013

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