We are a family of unabashed fish lovers. They have literally had to kick us out of the zoo aquarium twice because they were closing and we had lost track of time watching those sharks and gorgeous finned-friends swim back and forth over and over again. This fishy fascination has led to many a sea creature craft over the past three years, but this new one was different and extra cool so I popped on over here to share it with you. Even if you aren't a serious fish lover, you can probably get down with bubble-wrap stamp fish, right?!

Kinley and I were talking about how ocean water is salty the other day, and it came to me--watercolors and epsom salt would make a perfect super cool texture-y sea! So, that's what we did.

We drew wavy lines on our own big sheets of white construction paper with a white oil pastel (crayon would work, too!) and painted over the top with all of the different shades of blue watercolors in Kinley's little box. This works really well with liquid watercolors, but we are completely out of all of our shades of blue, so we had to try a different method and it worked great. After we had covered our papers with blue paint, we dipped our paintbrushes in the plain water rinse jar and painted swaths of water on top of the blue paint. While there was still a puddle, we quick sprinkled epsom salt on top and repeated until we were satisfied, and when our paintings were all dry, we brushed the salt off and admired the really cool bubbly texture it left behind. Perfect!

The empty sea paintings were nice in their own way, but Kinley was antsy to fill up her little ocean, and cute little bubble-wrap fishies seemed like the perfect addition.

To make these, I just cut a fish shape out of a scrap piece of foam poster board then used double-sided tape to stick the fishie to a piece of bubble-wrap. Finally, I trimmed it around the poster board to make a perfect fish stamp. Easy-peasy and ready for painting.

I let Kinley choose the colors, and I totally love the ones she picked, don't you? So "trofical" as she always says 😊 She just painted her fish, stamped it on her ocean a couple of times and then painted it a whole new way and repeated the process until she was happy. We both really love painting on bubble-wrap. And, man, aren't the prints it leaves so dang cool?! Very scaly 😉

Add some googly eyes and some pencil eraser bubble stamps and you've got yourself one heck of an ocean scene!

I'm pretty shocked that there are even any Under the Sea ideas left in my old noodle. K has loved learning about the ocean since she was just a tiny girl. As a matter of fact, Under the Sea is one of only three themes she ever suggests when I give her a chance to pick a topic for the week and I think we've covered every preschool appropriate sea topic there is. Many times.

When we did our first Ocean Week, I made Kinley a big cardboard submarine reading nook and we made SCUBA masks and ocean slime and sparkly sea dough, but at this point, twelve ocean exploration units later, I'm like "Hey, wanna play Go Fish and watch Finding Dory after we finish our art project?" 😉

Anyway, I'll quit rambling now. Don't forget to tag me on Instagram (@raising.kinley) if you make and post your own bubble-wrap finned-friends cause I wanna be there to swoon over them with you!

And if you need any extra Under the Sea Week ideas for your own ocean lovers, I'll leave my stuffed-to-the-gills (pun totally intended) Pinterest board right here for ya.

Happy Fish-Making!

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