This mini make was inspired by a beautiful book The Rainbow fish, Rowan and I listened to. It had been one of those days and I just wanted 10 minutes to sit and drink my cuppa without being bombarded with a million questions.

I remeberd this book from a Cbeebies bedtime hour a few years back about a fish. I’d listened with my niece trying to get her off to sleep. I like the story and so many years later wanted to share it with Rowan.

So in hast at my rapidly cooling tea, had a quick poke about on the internet and found a youtube video and let it play.

The Rainbow fish story

If you’re not familiar with the story here’s a brief retelling.

The book was written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister and was first published in 1992.

The story is about a beautiful colourful fish, who stands out from the other fish because of his fine colours and shiny scales.

The rainbow fish is the most beautiful fish in the sea, he has shiny scales of all colours. Other fish are amazed by his beauty and admire him. ‘Come and play with us’ they would ask but rainbow fish would ignore them and swim in.

One day a little blue fish approaches rainbow fish and asks him could he please have one of his beautiful scales as he has so many!


Rainbow fish is rude to the little fish and tells him go get away from him!The poor little blue fish shocked and sad swims away and tells all of his friend about what happened.

Soon none of the fish want anything to do with rainbow fish, they don’t ask him to play and turn away from him when he’s close by.

The rainbow fish grows lonely. ‘What good are shiny scales if you don’t have anyone to admire them!’ The rainbow fish tells his problems to a starfish in hope of advice.

The starfish tells the rainbow fish she doesn’t have the answer but tells him of a wise octopus who can help him.

So the he sets off till…

Rainbow fish finds the octopus who tells him she’d been waiting for him, she’d heard his story.

The octopus tells him to give a shiny scale to every fish ‘you will no longer be the most beautiful but you will learn to be happy.’

Unconvinced the rainbow fish questions how can he be happy without his beautiful scales? He needed them! He’ll never give them away.

On his way home the little blue fish approaches rainbow fish again, asking him to not be angry but could he please have one of his shiny scales.


Rainbow fish hesitant thinks about it and eventually gives the blue fish his smallest shiny scale.

Overjoyed the blue fish dashes about in glee. The rainbow fish has a strange feeling overcome him as he watches the little fish swim about.

It isn’t long till every fish surrounds the rainbow fish and asks him politely for a scale too. Rainbow fish gives them each one and notices the more he gives the happier he feels.

When every fish around him was shiny with their new scales and only one scale remained Rainbow fish felt at home among all the other fish, and happy.

‘Come and play with us rainbow fish!’ They called to him and off he splashed to join his friends.

A fishy make!

Digging around the scarp materials draw we had the idea to make our own rainbow fish! Not only are the easy to make, but they are brilliant to use any scrap paper or fabric you have from other projects!

What do a I need?

  • Cardboard
  • A pen
  • Google eyes
  • Pva glue
  • Rainbow colour fabric/paper or tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Baking foil

Let’s get making!

1. In your cardboard draw a large fish shape using a pencil or pen

2. Once happy cut your fish out

3. Add the google eyes to your fish! Now they’re ready to receive their scales.

4. Cut your fabric or paper into scale shapes or into smaller squares.

rainbow fish

5. Cut your foil into the same shapes and sizes as your scales

rainbow fish

6. Add some PVA into a crafting pot/bowl or container ready for use!

7. Using a glue spreader or dipping the scale into the glue, begin to decorate your fish!

8. Cover your fish in all the scales you possibly can and set aside to dry.

9. Once your fish is dry you can display them or even hang them from the ceiling of your child’s bedroom. TIP you could glue a magnet to the back of the fish and keep him on the fridge for all to admire.

There you have it! A mini make with a beautiful outcome! Have some fun with your own beauitful colourful fish!

check out Amazon to buy your copy of the book!

rainbow fish

More mini make ideas

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If you’ve tried this make…

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