Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jellyfish Art & Write

My son’s fascination with jellies hasn’t waned since we did our first jellyfish activity (check out the awesome tunnel book we made here). When I picked up Bob Barner’s book Fish Wish at the library for our youngest boy, I marveled at the amazing art – especially the two pages full of floating jellyfish. Barner’s book was the inspiration for this art project.

1 sheet of thin white gift wrap tissue paper (or perhaps used dryer sheets?)
1 piece of blue paper
Grey yarn
Glue stick
White glue
Jellyfish body patterns (download the ones we used here)

Before we created our own mixed-media jellyfish art, we read a wonderful book by Twig C. George.

What I loved about Jellies: The Life of Jellyfish is that it was written with a child in mind. (It starts “If you were a jellyfish …”.) It was hard to imagine a “bump and sting” lifestyle, but that’s precisely what George’s book had us doing. Seventeen kinds of jellies were pictured and identified, giving my son and I plenty to discuss about their similarities and differences. This book is, of course, non-fiction, but it read like a wonderful fiction adventure in which we both pondered living as a jellyfish would!

When we were done reading, we put the book aside, and I gave my son some jellyfish writing paper to record five facts he’d learned. (Writing is my son’s achilles heel, so whenever I can sucker him into doing it, I will.)

Download this writing paper here.

Now it was time to make our ‘underwater’ masterpiece. I gave my son the patterns and showed him how they’d be put together.

Download a PDF of the patterns (top) here.

It was up to him to decide which jellies to make and how many. Now he traced the patterns onto the thin tissue paper and cut them out. (Cut carefully, the paper tears easily!) Note: In order to make it to swimming lessons in time, I helped with the cutting.

Once cut, we used a gluestick and layered the tissue onto the blue paper to make the jellyfish.

Lastly, he cut and attached random lengths of grey yarn at the bottom of each jelly as stingers. Some dots of white school glue did the trick.

The final result was amazing!


  1. They turned out so good! We're in the process of writing sea life reports right now.

  2. I love this! I will have to add this to my Ocean Themed Activities to do this summer with my Preschoolers! Thank you so much!

  3. Cute jelly fish! Have you read "Night of the Moonjellies" by Mark Shasha? It is a very sweet book. Moonjellies are not true jellyfish because they have o stinging cells or tentacles, but they glow like fireflies. It is a sweet book, more of a story about Grandmother and grandson then moonjellies.

  4. Your jellyfish are simple and beautiful!! Definitely adding this to our to-do list.

  5. What a beautiful craft. I love the outcome. Jodi @

  6. Very clever and I adore the templates. A great introduction to an awesome living organism.

    Thanks for sharing on fun Sparks

  7. love the use of tissue, makes them look so much more real with the layers!

  8. I thought about jellyfish when doing the letter J this week. This post is so good that I'm going to link to it when I write up my J post.
    Thank you for sharing.

  9. This is great! I am thinking of doing an underwater unit soon. I'll be pinning this to do with my little one. Thank you for linking up to A Pinteresting Party

  10. this is a brilliant post and I love the art that came from the wider educational aspects.

  11. THis is a wonderful craft to go along with learning about jellyfish! Just posted about it on Craft Gossip's lesson plans page!!

  12. Oooooh I love how this turned out! Can't wait to check out the book and do this project!

  13. Looks like fun. I can't wait to try this with my ocean loving son!

  14. What a great way to use something that kids are already interested in as a teaching tool. Thank you for posting this on Saturday Show and Tell, I hope you'll be back this week.

  15. I love it!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!! I hope you are having an amazing week!