Rainbow Fish Preschool Theme

Posted on May 19, 2012 at 11:05 AM


The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister is a story about a fish with sparkly, shimmering scales, who initially will not share his scales with the other fish. He soon realizes it is better to share his scales and have friends to play with, then to be alone. This story plot relates well to a young child's life and having a theme, whether for a day or longer, all around The Rainbow Fish, can be enjoyed within any early childhood environment. The theme may be incorporated into other lesson plans, such as an ocean theme, rainbow and color lessons, and with discussions about friendship and sharing. The following article provides a craft, drama, song and cooking activity for The Rainbow Fish preschool theme.


The Rainbow Fish Story        

The story book of The Rainbow Fish can be found in different versions, a board book and the full story. Since the original publishing, there have been many more Rainbow Fish books written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister.

The Rainbow Fish can also be made into a felt story, with the sparkly scales placed onto the Rainbow Fish's body with adhesive material, such as scotch tape, which then allows the shiny scales to be taken off and placed onto the other fish, as the story is relayed.

A Rainbow Fish Craft

After the story has been read to the children, provide each child with a small paper plate cut into the shape of a fish or template.

Then provide a variety of cut out paper scales for gluing, so they can create their own rainbow fish. The adult caregiver can prepare scales out of a variety of material. Here are some suggestions:

  • tissue paper
  • construction or card paper
  • recycled candy wrappers
  • old birthday cards
  • wrapping paper
  • buttons
  • tin foil pieces
  • beads
  • rhinestones/jewels

When the young children finish gluing the scales onto the small paper plate, the fins, tail and googly eye can be attached as needed to finish the project.

**Alternatively, toddlers could use bingo markers for the scales.

A Drama Activity for a Rainbow Fish Theme

Try having the young children act out the story in a large space, such as a gym or fenced in yard. Each child will be given his role by having a letter taped onto his/her body. The fish characters will have the letter F , which can be many more than the book displays. There is a starfish and octopus in the book, which again, can be extended with other sea creatures, to provide more characters for the children to act out and use their imagination. The child who is selected to be the rainbow fish might wear a shirt with scales attached to it. The scales can be attached with material and thread or fabric paint. The shiny scales must be attached with a devise that can be removed by a preschool hand, such as Velcro. As the story is being narrated by the adult, the rainbow fish will eventually give a shiny scale away to each child who is a fish swimming around.

Songs for a Rainbow Fish Theme

Singing some songs to correlate to The Rainbow Fish theme will inevitably work well with a group of young children. Aside from singing some classic ocean songs, like "Slippery Fish" by Charlotte Diamond, singing songs about a rainbow would work as well. The following rainbow fish song is sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star":

A rainbow fish in the sea

All the colors, a sight to see.

Red and yellow, green and blue

Yellow, orange, purple too

A rainbow fish in the sea

All the colors, a sight to see.


Preschool Cooking Activity: Rainbow Bagel

For an activity involving food, and preparing a snack to eat, try providing each child with a small bagel. Then make small dishes of different colored cream cheese, created by using a small amount of food coloring. Each child can enjoy spreading different colors of cream cheese onto his/her bagel to create a rainbow snack. This activity is not only fun, but also fosters fine motor development and self help skills.

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