Rain Fish: Rainy Day Play + Repurposed Art

In this rhyming adventure of debris that comes out to play on a rainy day, RAIN FISH by Lois Elhert is a lively story meshing art and nature

On a rainy day, whether it be after a night of heavy thunderstorms or during a lingering drizzle, it’s the perfect time to spot rain fish at play. In this rhyming adventure of debris that can be spotted on rainy days, RAIN FISH by Lois Elhert (public library) is a lively story meshing art and nature. Illustrated in Ehlert’s trademark collage style, Rain Fish prompts readers to take notice of “rain fish” swimming around their neighborhood, catch them, and repurpose them into something of their own imagination.

Rain Fish inside spread

Rain Fish

With each full page spread, discards and debris found by Ehlert transform into aquatic animal shapes swimming through the book and the playful text and bright colors are stimulating to even the littlest of readers. Now I know I highlight Lois Ehlerts books here on SfCT all the time, but I mean come on– Lois Ehlert! Her books are always inviting, creative, and accessible to kids. I didn’t even have to prompt my own children to go outside after reading Rain Fish. After our first time reading the books, they both turned to me and excitedly said, “Let’s go look for RAIN FISH!”


Looking For + Creating Rain Fish Collages

Art and nature collide making Rain Fish out of debris found after a rainstorm- A fun rainy day project for kids of all ages

Inspired by Lois Ehlrt’s new picture book, Rain Fish, debris found in alleyways, sidewalks, or at the park can be transformed into art supplies for fish collages. Help keep your town clean by picking up trash washed away by the rain and give it a new life.

Found “art supplies” (i.e. trash, leaves, feathers, etc. found outside after a rainstorm)
Colorful construction paper or cardstock

After a heavy thunderstorm or even during a light rain shower, take a walk to look for “art supplies”. These art supplies could be discards and debris found in a park, on a beach, or on your neighborhood sidewalk.

Looking for Rain Fish, a rainy day activity that promts kids to use their imagination and repurpose litter

Looking for Rain Fish inspired by the picture by Lois Elhert

trash found floating in the streets after a rainstorm

We found a ton of trash and objects to work with taking merely one loop around our block. Wash found debris in warm, soapy water before using, get out some glue and paper, and get your art on! I put some glue in small containers with paintbrushes for easy use for my 2-year-old. She has a hard time using the squeeze bottles, and paintbrushes offer more control.

Rainy day craft for kids-- Making Rain fish

Creating art out of debris inspired by Lois Ehlert's Rain Fish

Rain Fish kid art

Paper items such as tissue or paper bags can be molded while wet and maintain their shape once dry. Glue items to paper to create colorful, mixed media collages.

Rain Fish project

Rain Fish art

Art and nature collide making Rain Fish out of debris found after a rainstorm- A fun rainy day project for kids

We were inspired to make underwater scenes like in the story, but you can turn your newly found art supplies into anything your heart desires. When rain is forecasted, consider playing outside, exercise creativity, and cleaning up your neighborhood by taking a trip rain fishing.



* Source of inside Rain Fish page images courtesy of Simon & Schuster

**Source of book reviewed was borrowed from our local library


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