Fish & Crab Handprint Art


By Connie Goldin, LMFT


As summer vacation is coming to an end, it’s full-on summer in San Diego, weather-wise, and the beach and ocean are still the stars of the show. At a Family Literacy Party this week, we brought two wonderful new children’s books that feature the sea and shore. Fish on a Dish by Jack Tickle is a fun story about two hungry penguins who chase after a smart fish only to have to eat seaweed stew again for dinner. It has die-cut pages, holes to look and poke fingers through, and a neat fold out that will surprise the children. Beach House by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Amy June Bates, is a beautiful story about a family’s summer vacation that is told in a charming rhyming text. The illustrations are rendered in lush watercolors and pencil, and are warm and touching to look at. It is a book about a happy family experience.

Two teen volunteers read the books to a group of children of different ages. They also made samples of our art projects and helped the younger children make their handprint fish and crabs. The handprint art is fun and easily adaptable for groups ranging from toddlers to teens. We use BioColors hypoallergenic and washable nontoxic tempera paint. The paint washes off of hands easily and the children enjoyed using chunky paint brushes to paint their own hands. We had googly eyes, glue and Sharpies to add bubbles and smiles to the fish and crab art. We always bring uncoated white paper plates for palettes and for painting. Some children prefer painting their own creation instead of the project we bring, which always makes some lovely plate art. The children also played with play dough when they finished their painting, and enjoyed some stamp art, as well. At the end of our party, they took home books to have for their own at home. It was a fast and lovely hour!

The fish handprint was inspired by

The red crab idea came from One Artsy Mama.

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