Maisie’s first year of school is quickly coming to an end. I took an opportunity last week to share an art project with her kindergarten class.

The weeks leading up to last week have all been centered around their recent field trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA.

I thought it would be clever to have everyone paint their own fish based on their observations from the aquarium.  I needed a project that would be easy to execute for 22 anxious kindergarten kids.

I started browsing the web for unique ways to present their fish and stumbled upon various designs using paper plates.  How about a paper plate fishbowl!

Since I had about an hour with the kids – I prepped the plates and drew a fish that I could copy and cut out ahead of time for them to glue to the bottom of their plates.  This would give them plenty of painting time.

Supplies needed for this art project:


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Paper plate fishbowl collage art for kids

I couldn’t help but introduce a fun art history lesson into the mix.  I thought it would be fun to have the kids paint their pictures using “dots” aka “pointillism for kids”.

I decided to share the George Seurat painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884, with the class.  We talked about how large the painting is – almost the size of a wall and that if they looked up close, they would see the painting was made with little dabs of color.  The real painting is 81.7 in × 121.25 in to be exact.

I found an incredible detail of the little dog in the lower right of the painting to really show them how small the brushstrokes are and how the these little dots of color combine together to create this beautiful painting.

Who can paint without a little lesson in color theory?  I created a color wheel to share with the kids and introduce them to the basics of mixing color.

I decided the best “brushes” for this project would be q-tips!  Armed with paper plates, q-tips, and tempera paint – I let them at it.

Some really took their time dabbing the paint on their fish and some just went for it.  All in all they had a great time being creative!

Paper plates make great disposable palettes!

Here’s how to make your own paper plate fishbowl:


Trim the top off the paper plate and staple to the bottom of the plate to make the fishbowl stand.

Draw your fish scene inside your bowl.  (I had 20+ kids and limited time so our kids glued a pre-drawn fish into their bowl.)

Pour a small amount of each color on a separate paper plate to use as your paint palette. (Makes for easy clean up!)

Using q-tips, mix and apply the paint to your drawing by dabbing on dots of color and allowing the colors to mix while you paint.  This creates the  “pointillism” technique.

Take a look at their fantastic kindergarten paintings…



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Pick up some paint and get started!

Share art with your kids and… Be creative!


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