Rainbow Fish

Today’s post is written by guest writer, Ivory Gilcher, a Pre-K teacher in Tennessee.

I wanted to share with you an activity I do with my preschoolers during our animal/habitat unit. We discuss all types of habitats and when it is time to talk about oceans, we read the book, Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister. After we read Rainbow Fish, we discuss all the things a fish needs in his habitat of the ocean. We then make an “ocean” or “fish tank”.

To make this, we take a snack size zip lock bag and add a decent squirt or two of LA LOOKS blue hair gel. Then we take a few sparkly fish stickers and stick them in the gel. I then let the students sprinkle a little glitter on top for fish food, and I push out all the air bubbles in the bag and zip them closed for the students. The product turns out ridiculously cute and the children love it because they can squish the gel around and it makes the fish stickers move as if they were swimming.

As an extension to the activity, I stapled the “fish tanks” to a white piece of paper and asked the students to retell a part of the story. This activity is great for hands-on and real world learning. The lesson incorporates multiple subjects and can be fun for hours. I hope you like it and can try it in your class! It is extremely inexpensive. I think I paid 3 dollars for a box of zip lock bags, 2 dollars for a bottle of hair gel, and the stickers were only a dollar at Dollar Tree.


  1. Traci Howard says

    Thank you so very much for such a darling idea! My husband and I own a family childcare home, and believe in teaching, not just “watching” children.

  2. cherey says

    what kind of stickers did you use? did you just put them in the gel or stick them on the inside of the baggie?

  3. Ivory says

    I used scrapbooking stickers. I bought one pack for a dollar at the dollar tree and it came with multiple fish and a few seaweeds too. I first put in the gel, and then let the students place the fish sticker in the gel. If you put it the sticker in the gel, it allows the fish to move in a “swimming” motion. If you put the sticker on the inside of the baggie, the fish then become stationary.

  4. says

    I love extension lessons. This is such a great book and it is worth reading several times and using for a jumping off point to all kinds of activities. I was glad to find your post, we are learning about the beach, ocean, fish and everything that goes along with this awesome unit. I post activites on a weekly basis and this week is all about the ocean. I guess we are all anticipating summer. :)

  5. jackie david says

    I love this idea because I have a family reading night at my daycare, I love that I found this site because it gave me an awesome extended activity to do. I work with four year olds and I know they are going to enjoy this activity!!!!

  6. Denise says

    Instead of fish stickers I have used fish shaped metal sequins … the kind that can be purchased to use as party decorations. They work the same as the stickers, but last a little bit longer.

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