Paper Plate Rainbow Fish Craft – Book-Based Literacy Activity (VIDEO)

When my daughter was a toddler, one of her favorite books was Rainbow Fish.  This is a sweet story about a beautiful fish who learns that sharing is important for friendship.  A couple years ago, we made a cute and easy paper plate rainbow fish craft to review important lessons from this popular picture book!

Paper plate rainbow fish craft book-based literacy activity for kids

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Rainbow Fish | 我是彩虹鱼 | 무지개 물고기: Quick book review

The Rainbow Fish is a sparkly, colorful fish, who didn’t want to share its beautiful scales.

It met a wise octopus who advised that sharing would help with making new friends.

Realizing that the other sea creatures would swim away, the Rainbow Fish took the advice to heart and gave a scale to each friend.

This story is great for toddlers and Kindergartens to learn about friendship and kindness.

After reading the story a few times, I asked my daughter to choose a few words that she felt was important from the story.

We wrote these key words down on scrap paper and saved them for the activity.

Rainbow Fish Book in Korean

Rainbow Fish Book in Chinese, English, and Korean

Listen on Ximalaya:

Where to buy:

The full Rainbow Fish series includes the following book titles, but some stores sell only part of the series.

  1. The Rainbow Fish | 我是彩虹鱼 | 무지개 물고기
  2. Big Blue Whale | 彩虹鱼和大鲸鱼 | 무지개 물고기와 흰수염고래
  3. Rainbow Fish Finds His Way | 彩虹鱼迷路了| 길 잃은 무지개 물고기
  4. Sea Monsters’ Cave | 我才不怕呢 | 용기를 내, 무지개 물고기
  5. Rainbow Fish to the Rescue | 条纹鱼得救了 | 날 좀 도와줘, 무지개 물고기!
  6. Go Sleep Rainbow Fish | 快睡吧,彩虹鱼 | 무지개 물고기야 엄마가 지켜 줄게
  7. Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea | 深海大冒险 | 무지개 물고기와 신기한 친구들
  8. You Can’t Win Them All, Rainbow Fish | 彩虹鱼捉迷藏 | 무지개 물고기와 특별한 친구
Rainbow Fish book series in Korean
Rainbow Fish Set in Korean 무지개 물고기 세트

Important vocabulary in Chinese, Pinyin, and English

My daughter is trilingual and speaks English (our main language), Korean (with our nanny), and Chinese (with me).

Since my daughter and I are learning Chinese together, we try to make learning as fun as possible.

Although we only have the Rainbow Fish book in English and Korean, we talked about the book in Chinese!

Here are some key words that my daughter chose after reading the Rainbow Fish book!

  • 分 (fēn / share, divide)
  • 闪 (shǎn / sparkle)
  • 彩色 (cǎisè / color, multicolor)
  • 美丽 (měilì / beautiful)
  • 礼物 (lǐwù / gift)
  • 朋友 (péngyǒu / friend)
  • 送 (sòng / give)
  • 鱼 (yú / fish)

Paper Plate Rainbow Fish Craft: Benefits

To reinforce the important vocabulary and friendship concepts, we made an easy and adorable Paper Plate Rainbow Fish craft!

Although we have shifted toward open-ended, child-led art over parent-directed crafts, this was one of my daughter’s favorite projects.

My daughter loved it so much that she asked to make two fish!

This activity involved the following developmental skills:

  • Fine motor skills: eye-hand coordination, cutting, folding,
  • Language: reading, writing

Cutting aluminum foil circles

Rainbow Fish Craft: What you need

  1. White paper plates
  2. Construction paper
  3. Paint
  4. Aluminum foil
  5. Pen
  6. Tape
  7. Scissors
  8. Optional: circle punch

Cutting paper plate and folding foil circles
Rainbow Fish Craft: How to make it

  1. Paint paper plate blue.  Let dry.
  2. Cut edges of plate.
  3. Use edge as the fishtail and tape to one end of the plate. Cut the other edge in half and tape to top and bottom of plate.
  4. Use circle punch or use stencil and scissors to cut several circles with colorful paper.
  5. Cut a few circles with aluminum foil.Cut a circle of white paper for the eye.
  6. Draw in black pupil and tape to plate.
  7. Write important Chinese words on each colorful circle.
  8. Read word on each circle and fold each in half.
  9. Tape each circle to body of fish.  These are the scales of the fish.
  10. Draw a happy smile on the fish!  
Putting fins on paper plate rainbow fish craft

Rainbow Fish Craft: Candid family video

Here is a video of me talking to my daughter in Mandarin Chinese about the words written on the circles (fish scales).  Please pardon my American accent; as mentioned previously, I am learning Chinese with my daughter.

Thankfully, due to frequent input from Chinese audiobooks, she sounds much more fluent than me as shown in these reading progress videos!

Have you made this paper plate rainbow fish craft?

If you read the book and make the paper plate rainbow fish craft, please let us know!  We’d love to hear about your family’s experience and hope they have fun learning!

Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag a photo #ChalkAcademy on Instagram and Facebook!

Save this activity on Pinterest!

Rainbow fish craft and book based literacy activity

More educational activities for kids 

Happy playful learning, friends!

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