Sunday, May 15, 2016

S is for Starfish

This is a recent project I did with 2 kindergarten classes to go with their Ocean unit.

They even made it into the display case.

Sorry for the quality of these photos but the lighting in the display case is challenging.


- substrate (base), we used 9"x12" primed canvas from Michaels
- acrylic paint in turquoise, white, red, orange, yellow, and brown.  You could use liquid tempera but we sealed ours with Mod Podge and we needed it to be permanent.
- paper 
- sand
- a few shells
- glue
- printed text from computer "S is for Starfish".  You could also use stamps.
- unsharpened pencil
- little cup, cork, cut up pool noodle
- sponge
- painter's tape


I taped off each canvas where I wanted the shoreline to be.  The tape gives the kinder a visual stopping point.

Using turquoise acrylic paint we painted the top portion blue to be our ocean.  We took care to paint the top edge and sides of the canvas down to the tape.

Set aside to dry.

I gave each student a piece of paper (8"x8").

They had a choice of red, orange or yellow paint.  They painted the entire paper one colour.

I then gave them little cups, a cut piece of pool noodle and a cork.  Using the 2 colours they did not choose they stamped on some patterns.  Set aside to dry.

 Back to the canvas.  When the paint had dried I pulled the tape off and then re positioned it to sit on the blue, right on the line.

I added some white paint to the brown paint to make a tan colour.  The students then painted in the sand taking care to paint the bottom edge and sides.

When the sand paint was dry we removed the tape.

I gave each student a small piece of damp sponge and we sponged on some white paint along the line to be our foam.

We glues some real sand onto our painted sand as well as a few shells.

I made up some templates of starfish for the kids to trace.  Normally I don't use templates but with kinders you need to give them that guideline.

We traced on the back of our painted papers and cut our starfish out.

I printed off "s is for starfish" and painted some red, some orange, and some yellow.

I used disk tempera.

We glued the starfish on our canvas. Using some white acrylic paint and an unsharpened pencil we made a dot outline on the starfish.

We then cut out the words and glued them to our canvas.

When the paint is dry you can add a coat of Mod Podge to seal.

That's it.  They look great in the display case and I suspect a lot of them will get hung up in bathrooms when they go home with the kids.



  1. love your work with the children

  2. Thank you for this - I am leading an ocean-themed class with Alzheimer's patients this week. The diagonal beach/ocean idea may work for them too.

  3. So cool! Thank you for sharing :)