Read the wonderful counting book Fish Eyes by Lois Elhert and then enjoy some fishy activities with your preschooler. Includes crafts, imaginative play, and a free printable counting game. #teachwithbooks #picturebooks #LoisEhlert #preschool
Generally speaking young children love to show off their counting skills. They also love a good story, so if you can pair the two you often have a winner. We have a wonderful counting book to tell you about today.
Introducing Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Elhert.
Lois Elhert ‘s books are always a favorite with our preschoolers at the library and this one is one of her best. A flurry of brightly colored fish introduce counting in this fun and easy to read book..
As always the author simple illustrations make this book. The fish are created with simple cut out shapes, but the colors are wonderful. Brilliant greens, purples, oranges and pinks leap off every page.
The text rolls off the tongue in a wonderful rhythm that is a joy to read aloud. Rhyming books are great because they make it easy for children to predict what word will come next (an important pre-reading skill). And let’s face it most rhymes are fun to read!
The main focus is counting, but this book also introduces simple addition as the narrator adds themselves to the fish on the page
“4 striped plus me makes 5.”
WHEN YOU ARE READING
This book is a fabulous way to get children counting. Take your time with the book and pause often to encourage your child to count along with the story. Point out the colors, the shapes, and the number of fish on each page.
As you turn each page notice the different ways the fish are sorted
- Skinny fish
- Jumping fish
- Spotted fish
- Fantailed fish
Talk about how the fish in each group look the same and how they look different.
Ask your child the question at the end of the story: “If you could truly have a wish, would you wish to be a fish?” Talk about what you might do if you were a fish for a day. Where would you swim?
AFTER THE STORY
ENJOY A FINGER PLAY
This simple figure play continues a counting theme
Five Little Fish
Five little fish swimming by the shore, (Hold up five fingers)
One swam away and then there were four (Bend down thumb)
Four little fish swimming in the sea
One swam away and then there were three. (Bend down pointer finger)
Three little fish swimming in the blue,
One swam away and then there were two. (Bend down middle finger)
Two little fish swimming in the sun,
One swam away and then there was one. (Bend down ring finger)
1 little fishy thought he was a hero, He swam away and now there are 0. (Bend down little finger)
SING A FISHY SONG
Did You Ever See A Fishy? (Tune: Did You Ever See A Lassie?)
Did you ever see a fishy,
A fishy, a fishy?
Did you ever see a fishy
Swim this way and that?
Swim this way and that way
And that way and this way?
Did you ever see a fishy
Swim this way and that?
Replace the word swim with words from the book jump, smile, flip, dart ….
ENJOY A SNACK
Goldfish crackers are an easy choice, but if you have a bit more time how about these gorgeous fish made from orange slices
Have the children act out being the fish and swim around the room. If you would like to use music try
These tissue paper fish would be fun
Alternatively have your child draw a fish and decorate with bright colors and shapes. Encourage your child to make their fish bigger than their hands to make it easy to decorate.
Get the Printable here
We’ve created a simple counting game to use alongside this wonderful book. The free printable includes an underwater scene and some brightly colored fish. The underwater ocean scene is available in black and white or full color.
- White card stock
- Ocean game printable (download below)
- Optional: Self-sealing laminating pouches
- Download and print out the ocean scene and fish pages on cardstock. Use the black and white scene if you want to save ink.
- Laminate if desired
- Cut apart the fish cards.
- Invite your child to roll a dice and count the dots. Show them how to count out the same number of fish and place them on the ocean scene. Continue to play until you run out of fish. Easy peezy!
- If you want to introduce the idea of addition have your child roll two dice, count all the dots and place the same number of fish on the ocean scene. As you place the fish you can say say, “2 plus 3 equals 5.”
Click the button below to download your Fish Eyes printables!
More Fish and ocean activities
- Create an ocean themed sensory bin
- Print out the fun activities in the ocean and under the sea animals activities pack
- Try out this fun fishing activity for preschoolers
- Or, alternatively, you can print out this printable fishing game, add paperclips and go ‘fishing’
- Get our absolute favorite let’s go fishing game!