As Chinese New Year approaches (8th Feb) we took the time to paint some beautiful Koi fish. Koi fish are domesticated carp fish, which are also related to the Goldfish, but they are still found within Chinese legends and are associated with good fortune, long life, success, courage and other things.

Koi Fish Legend

Once, a long time a go, a school of golden Koi began to make the journey up the Yellow River in China. As they fought against the current they gained strength. Finally they reached the end of the river, but there was a waterfall in their way. Many of the Koi gave up and let the flow of the river carry them back downstream. A few of the Koi refused to give up and began leaping from the depths of the river. Their unsuccessful jumps caught the attention of some demons, who made fun of them and heightened the waterfall out of spite. After a 100 years had passed, one of the Koi finally managed to reach the top. The Gods recognised the perseverance and determination of the Koi, and turned it into a golden dragon to be the image of power and strength.

You will need:

Download the Koi fish templates and cut them out.


When we used the watercolour paper we painted the water on first, whereas when we painted on the plain paper we painted the fish first.


Rather than paint the fish, we used sponges to dab the paint on, this created a really nice bubble affect that made it look like they had scales.


Both EC and YC really enjoyed doing this craft and experimenting with how to paint their pictures and create different effects using different techniques. We all would have painted all evening if we could have, but unfortunately for EC and YC then had a Drs appointment. At least the activity took their minds off it before hand.


EC and YC's very colourful Koi fish.

EC and YC’s very colourful Koi fish.

EC's Koi fish in a fish tank being feed black bits of food.

EC’s Koi fish in a fish tank being feed black bits of food.

May this new Luna year bring you good fortune, prosperity and good health.

About The Author

Nanny Anita
Norland Nanny

Nanny Anita is our resident Super Nanny. Having trained at the famous Norland College, in Bath, she has over 12 years experience, working all over the world with children from 2 months to 17 years old. Nanny Anita is an expert when it comes to keeping the little ones entertained and writes a column with Leonora called 'Get Crafty' for Little London magazine. Nanny Anita has been on hand to answer our reader questions, and she provides weekly arts, crafts and activities for families to do with their children at home. She really is a modern day Mary Poppins!

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