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Toddler Under the Sea Fish Craft with Leaves

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Summer is the perfect time for “under the sea” process art with toddlers. This painting activity is a fun way for kids to connect with nature while exercising creative skills.

Toddler Under the Sea Fish Craft with Leaves

Leaf Fish - Ocean Craft Activity for Toddlers 

Ocean crafts are popular with kids; painting the ocean is always a hit. 

Kids get to experiment with colors, practice brush movements, and see some wonderful results on the paper!

This ocean art activity is a great opportunity to let kids try things on their own. There is no right or wrong way to paint, every brush stroke contributes to the uniqueness of the picture.


What you need for a leaf fish craft. 

Blue paint




Gather leaves on a nature walk. Be careful not to bring too many bugs indoors, hidden in your leaf collection! Kids can check for crawlies and give the leaves a shake.

Use a variety of brushes and leaves to provide different colors and textures for sensory play.

Set up your workspace with drop cloths and cover clothing with aprons or large t-shirts. A little prep helps contain the mess so you can focus on the activity.

How to make your leaf fish painting

There are two ways to create pictures with this painting activity.

The first option is to transform your plain canvas into an ocean with blue paint.

If preferred, use different colors along with blue to create rocks or plants on the ocean floor.

Arrange leaves on the paper. Add and remove leaves until you get the picture just right.

Glue the fish in place.

Your toddler can add some color to the leaves - a dab of paint for an eye, a long tail or even fins.

The second option is to glue the leaves in place before you paint.

Add wiggly lines with a wide paint brush for ocean waves. Kids will exercise some fine motor work to get around the individual leaves.

Guide your young artist with different brush strokes to create designs on the paper.

Toddler Under the Sea Fish Craft with Leaves

Either technique is effective for exercising fine motor and creative skills. Kids can explore both ways for creating pictures.

Toddler Under the Sea Fish Craft with Leaves

Painting is a fun go-to for toddlers. With a little preparation, and minimal materials and instructions, your toddler can benefit from opportunities to create with paint and paper.

Add this simple art activity to your summer theme. It will bring the colorful ocean waves and sea creatures into your home or classroom, even if you can’t be near the sea.

For more fun toddler activity ideas, why not join our Facebook Group or follow us on Instagram – follow @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler.


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About the Author

Heather is a former preschool teacher and founder of, a website providing early learning resources for teachers and parents. She focuses on creating fun crafts and activities that engage developmental skills while promoting hands-on learning through play. Follow her on FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram