Colourful Recycled Carnival Fish

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This recycling activity is under-the-sea themed and makes for a simple, colourful craft project for kids. It's made entirely from materials that you can find in your recycling bin.

We've called these our colourful carnival fish. Partly because this design was originally intended to go on a carnival float this summer (sadly, this is unlikely now) and partly because the design can be as colourful as you like! Think tropical fish, coral reefs or the book The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, if you know it.

What you need:

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  • Empty crisp packets, coffee pouches, Easter Egg foil, etc (anything with a coloured outside and shiny inside - be sure to just give the inside a wipe to remove any food residue)
  • Cardboard (an old Amazon or cereal box would be a good size)
  • Plastic milk bottle lids
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or PVA glue

How to make it:

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1) Take a piece of cardboard (as big or small as you like) and cut out a basic fish shape.

2) Cut out loads of fish scale/tear drop shapes from your food packaging. Don't worry if they're not all the same size or quite the same shape. 

(Tip: if you've cut out quite a large fish, you might want to cut out large scales too, so it's quicker and easier to cover your fish).

3) Starting at the tail end, stick your scales onto the fish shape. Place them so the curved end of the scale is towards the tail.  You can then work along the fish from tail to head, overlapping the scales as you go. 

Alternate between the coloured side of your scales and the shiny side. Be as creative as you like with this. Use just one or two colours, or go full on rainbow - it's up to you!

4) Once you've covered the whole fish, trim any untidy edges if necessary.

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5) Create an eye for your fish by sticking an upside down milk bottle lid onto the head end. We also added a googly eye into the middle of that, but you could just draw a pupil with marker pen.  

6) If you want a double-sided fish, repeat steps 2-5 on the back of your fish.

7) Carefully poke a hole in the top of your fish and feed some string through to hang it up. 

And there you have it, a shiny, colourful, recycled carnival fish!

Have fun!

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