A river is a beautiful painting object and it’s worth to use that fact, lets expand it with an additional element – waves. We mostly associate waves with a sea or an ocean, but it’s a mistake, because waves can be present in any body of water.

Most of the time, waves are through influence of air on the top layer of the water. The wind gives water its energy. Water starts to move and ripple, with that the pressure  with which the air acts on the water changes: in the trough of the wave, the wind slows down, but the pressure increases, and vice versa – at the crest of the wave, there is lower pressure and the wind speeds up. The water molecules create a swirling motion, and the pressure difference affects the level of the waves.

During periods of inclement weather over bodies of water, it is worth remembering safety and under no circumstances enter the water if there are storm warnings.


  • Learning a new painting technique
  • Getting acquainted with the phenomenon of waves


Time: 30 minutes

27.09 Dzien Rzek 3.1


  • Paper (for every kid one and a half sheets of A4 paper)
  • Watercolour paint (in our case it was concentrate of watercolour paint)
  • A paintbrush
  • Water cup
  • Colourful paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

Task flow

Kids paint half of A4 paper sheet with different shades of blue paint. If you use watercolour concentrate, like us, it’s enough to dissolve them in water in a 1:10 ratio, where 10 is water.

Kids leave the painted paper to dry and move onto the next paper sheet. They put it upright and start drawing the top of it with a lighter shade of blue (it will b e the sky), there can be clouds or birds as well, and also a pit (the river), here the colour should be darker, and the last centimetres of the paper sheet can be painted brown (it will be the bottom of the river).

Kids put the sheet f paper aside and go back to the sheet of paper they painted before. They start shredding the paper into 3-4 long stripes (waves) from the shorter side. After turning the paper onto the white side, the kids smear its shorter side with glue and, starting from the bottom left corner of the big sheet of paper (bottom of the river), they glue the strip. Next, making about 5-7 cm. of space from the first place where the strip and the paper are glued, they spread glue on a large sheet of paper and glue the strip, shaping a fold that begins to resemble a wave. They repeat this until they run out of paper stripes or they run out of a place to glue the stripes. They move on to the next stripe and glue it on top of the first one. They repeat this a few times until the whole river gets wavy.

Warning! For more advanced artists we recommend shredding the paper into different width stripes, gluing them from the most width, while gluing the least width on the very top of the river. This will create a feeling of perspective and depth in the image.

Lastly, kids can cut out fishes from the colourful paper and glue them to the waves. The fishes can dive in the water, hide in the waves or jump out of water.

14.11 Dzien Czystego Powietrza 1 E1668703355599

This post was created as part of a project co-financed by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt in cooperation with Naturschutzzentrum Oberlausitzer Bergland.

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