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!
Want more Dr. Seuss lessons? Download this free PDF by clicking the yellow box below and we’ll send you a lesson on how to draw Cat in the Hat! Or click HERE for another free lesson on Dr. Seuss Day Art Activities.
LOVE it! Gonna have to file that one away!
So stinkin' cute!! The stripes rock and the fish are a hoot with the bright colors — Seuss would have loved them!
These turned out so well! The stripes look great, adding such a contrast and immediately you just know they are inspired by Seuss!
These are just so great! I definitely think I will incorporate them the first week of March for Dr. Suess's birthday!
these paintings are great! Love it!
Working through the lesson for the first time with all my 1st graders! What a blast.. great idea and WONDERFUL results so far! : )
Thank you so much! I did this with my 4 and 5 year old this afternoon and it was a great success. Lovely inspiration on your blog. Here's a link if you'd like to see our ones.
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!
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!
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!
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!!
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!
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!
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
Hello!! I did your lesson with my kinders and 1st. I put up the in progress photos on my blog. Thanks for another wonderful project idea!!! Your blog is sooo helpful as a first year teacher! 🙂
The kids really did well. Glad you tried the lesson!
have a one question here 🙂
what kind of brand are you
using for tempera paint and where did you get that?
Here is a link: http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=266832&U=542938&M=30103&urllink=http://www.dickblick.com/products/crayola-washable-kids-paint/
I love this activity! My Ks love to draw and paint but are often worried about their picture not coming out “right.” This activity makes that problem disappear! I can’t wait to try this!!
Thank you for the inspiration. I love doing art with kids. My kinders had a blast with this and the result is adorable. Even one of the dads joined in the fun!
I would like to try this but the download link sends me to “How to draw cat in the hat:”
Hi Kellie! The steps for creating this lesson are described in the post. The link is included to show you other Dr. Seuss lessons available.