Crumpled Paper Art for Kids Inspired by Ish

Turn crumpled pieces of paper into colorful artwork in this fun art project for kids. This easy art activity is inspired by the children’s book, Ish, by Peter H. Reynolds!

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Crumpled Paper Art for Kids Inspired by the Book, Ish! ~

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The Preschool Book Club is back this week with creative activities for kids inspired by the popular children’s book, Ish! Every other week we’ll be sharing some fun activities for kids based on the book of the week. (Be sure to check out all my activities for kids inspired by children’s books!)


Crumpled Paper Art Inspired by Ish

In the story, Ish, a little boy named Ramon loves to draw, but loses his confidence when his picture is laughed at by his older brother. Over and over he crumples his drawings and tosses them on the floor and is ready to give up on art. But, his younger sister has been secretly gathering the crumpled drawings and displays them. She teaches Ramon that art isn’t about being perfect, but about thinking more -ishly!


Ish by Peter Reynolds


We were inspired by all of Ramon’s crumpled papers in the story to make our own crumpled paper art. This is a great process art activity that really gets the kids excited about creating!


Crumpled Paper Art for Kids Inspired by the Book, Ish!

Crumpled Paper Art Project for Kids 

Materials for Crumpled Paper Art

Directions for Crumpled Paper Art

1. Cut your white construction paper into smaller pieces. We split ours into fourths so we ended up with four 6 inch x 4.5 inch pieces per sheet of construction paper.


2. Take one piece of your cut construction paper and crumple it up into a ball.


crumple up your paper


3. Choose one color and use it to paint all around the outside of  your ball.


paint your crumpled ball of paper with watercolors


4. Gently unfold it, and see how it looks. Press it down gently.


5. Crumple it up again, and paint it with another color.


6. Gently unfold it and press it down.


unfold your painted paper to reveal the colorful design


Many times we stopped only after two colors, but you can continue this process with a third color if you like.


Crumpled Paper Art using Watercolors


7. Let the papers dry.


Crumpled Paper Art for Kids Inspired by the Book, Ish!


You can use your finished papers for all kinds of things- little notes, collage work etc. They’re also beautiful all on their own!


Crumpled Paper Art for Kids Inspired by the Book, Ish!  Crumpled Paper Art for Kids Inspired by the Book, Ish!

Video: Crumpled Paper Art


Crumpled Paper Process Art for Kids Inspired by the book, Ish!

crumpled paper process art for kids inspired by the children's book, Ish

More Ish Activities

Be sure to check out all the creative Ish activities created by the other members of The Preschool Book Club!

Activities for Kids Inspired by the children's book, Ish

Kids Artwork Candles from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Emotions Charades from Homegrown Friends

 Ishful Math Estimation Jars from Mama Papa Bubba

Block-ish Sculptures from Sugar Aunts


Find all kinds of fun activities for kids in our ebook!

Learn more about it here, or buy it now here!

Fizz, Pop, Bang! 40 Playful Science and Math Activities for Kids


Crumpled Paper Art Activity for Kids inspired by the children's book, Ish! Super fun process art project for kids of all ages. Use the colorful paper for collages, notes, and more! ~


  1. These are SO gorgeous! I’m tempting to start making so might now. Love the idea of turning them into stationary.

  2. I absolutely adore this, Chelsey! Can’t wait to try it with Peanut this afternoon. 🙂

  3. Ish is one of my favorite books. (=

  4. I absolutely love this original idea! It is refreshing to see a post of a truly original idea instead of a redo of other’s work. Thank you for sharing your creativity.

  5. aack! brilliant. love this idea and so wish i thought of it. gonna try it in the classroom. my kiddos are little but they do spectacular work! thank you for sharing.

  6. great ideas.

  7. Thank you for this idea !! I love it !! Very very beautiful


  8. Thank you so much for this colorful art idea, Chelsey! I’ve just did it with my almost 3-year-old, and we both had a blast!

  9. Melodie Gross says:

    Help! How do you keep the paper from ripping? Should I let the paper dry before the kids unfold it? I realize that this probably means that my school district bought cheap construction paper, but it is what I have to work with. Ideas?

  10. elida rincon says:


  11. Wouldn’t it make spectacular wrapping paper?! Wonder how tissue paper would hold up….


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