Thursday, 5 October 2017

School Holiday Crafts - with a freshwater fishy theme

As my latest book is all about freshwater, I've come up with some freshwater fish crafts to keep kids busy on a rainy day. Readers of "Up the River" will know that two of our native fish are banded kokopu and tuna (long-finned eels). Here are some fun ways kids can create their own banded kokopu or make a fishy themed pop-up card.

You will need:

  • two pieces of rectangular origami paper
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • colour pens

1. Take one piece of paper and fold in half to form a card shape. Keep folded. Now from the middle of the folded side draw a line that goes half-way to the other edge. (To make the eel card the line should only go a quarter of the way.)

2. Cut along the line you have just drawn.
Now fold each side of the line away from the cut to form a triangle on each side.

3. Fold the triangles back so the paper is flat.

4. Now gently open up your folded paper and push the triangles through to the other side to form the fish's mouth. You will need to make sure all the fold lines are firmly creased once you've pushed them through.

5. Use glue to stick your second piece of paper behind the pop-up to form the card.
Now you can draw a fish shape around the mouth and write some words on the card.


The moving fish with it's vertical stripes is a perfect fit for banded kokopu. It requires a bit of dexterity and is probably best suited for older children to make, although younger ones will enjoy playing with them! For the moving fish, you need a rectangular piece of origami paper and some paper scraps in a contrasting colour, also scissors and a glue stick. I've added stick-on googly eyes to mine. To find out how to make this moving fish, visit this website: there are lots of great craft activities there.

More crafts and activities
For more freshwater crafts and science project ideas see my Pinterest board
For ideas for parents and educators, that support the book "Up the River", including reading the book to children, places to visit, and curriculum links see