Kindergarten Collage Fish


Teaching art to kindergarten kids can be tricky. You can make it easy by having them color or fingerpaint, but that wouldn’t make for a great art program…so, I spend a lot of time coming up with age-appropriate art activities that all kids, no matter what their ability, can master. This is one such lesson. I discovered it in School Arts Magazine and it was developed by Art Teacher, Julia Stone.

My Kinder classes are 30 minutes long, so I broke this lesson into three class times:

Painting the background

Drawing the fish

Adding decorations


– Paper
– Buttons
– Sequins
– Glitter
– Oil Pastel
– Scissors
– Tempera paint

Painting the background

The first class was spent getting very messy. I pre-mixed different colors of blue tempera paint and placed three tubs on each table. I demonstrated to the children how to layer the paints then run combs or texturing tools through the paint to create “lines”. After the kids finished, I had the kids guess what they were making. Most guessed the ocean.

Drawing the fish

In the second class, we talked about fish and what they looked like, how they all have tails and fins, etc. I demonstrated how to draw a simple body shape and asked the kids to invent their own fish. This is an important part of teaching these little kids…making sure they can instill their own ideas and creativity into their art.
They finished the drawing by coloring in with oil pastel. I gave them free reign with this part. They could add polka dots, zig-zags or even try to make the fish colors realistic. No one did!

Adding the details

The last class was the most fun and challenging. The kids had to cut out their fish. For some, cutting is difficult. This was a perfect project to aid them in their new skill. After the fish was cut out, the kids added buttons and sequins for their eyes and glitter tissue for the seaweed, or in some cases, crowns!

The next time I did this lesson, I omitted the tissue paper seaweed and used rollers and texture tools to create a slightly different ocean. Pretty much the same project but with slight twists. Which one do you like?

collage fish

Like this under the sea lesson? Find more like it in the Marine & Sealife bundle inside the Members Club. Click the image below for MORE…

What do you think?

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  • Anonymous

    I am becoming a frequent visitor to your site. I am an art teacher in Ohio, and I am fresh out of school hunting for a job. I recently got thrown into a long-term sub job for a teacher who never showed up at the beginning of the year, and some of your lessons have worked wonders in my classroom. One of my biggest challenges is figuring out what to do with kindergartners in 30 mins, and broken down lesson ideas like this are really great.

  • Patty P

    Glad the lesson helped! I agree, Kinders are a tough crowd!

    • patty hubert

      dear patty,

      what wonderful art lessons! i am the art teacher at a large 1-6 elementary school in prattville, al.
      i teach approx. 1300 students. this completing year 2 for me. i absolutely love what i do…nothing in my long career as a teacher has been as rewarding as this has been. it has been a tremendous challenge since i have had little or no support from anyone except the heart felt love of my students. art is so important in the development of children especially with all the emphasis on academic testing. our children are losing their imaginations and creativity. they are afraid to fail. this is very sad. thank you for your love of art and this wonderful site. i would love to meet you. thank you.

      • Patty

        Always nice to talk with another Patty! Have fun with your kiddos and thanks for the lovely comments!

  • Cindy

    I love your site!
    I’m an art teacher in Cape May NJ and when my brain is stuck for a lesson I frequent your site! The kids love the lessons and they are structured for success. Thank you so much!!!!!

  • joyce.comstock

    Sounds great! I will try it out with my TK class!

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