So far we haven’t played this homemade fishing game as an actual game, just as a fun activity. Both of my kids enjoy “fishing” for their magnetic fish, though sometimes they get frustrated and grab the magnet directly instead of holding onto the pole. As time goes on, they do this less often, so I can tell it’s helping both their coordination and patience. When they’re a little bigger I could see us spreading the fish out a little then racing around to see who could catch the most fish.
Recommended Age Range: Preschool, Kindergarten
Time Required: ~1 hour
Difficulty: Easy (hardest part will be finding a suitable magnet for the end of the fishing pole and maybe sticks depending on where you live.)
Cost: Less than $5 in used supplies (All I had to buy was fishing line for a couple dollars, but I could have used thread, yarn, or string and not paid anything. Contact paper and cardstock cost a few dollars for a pack, but a minimal amount is used and I use them for everything. We already had the magnets, but I imagine they would cost a few dollars for a pack as well.)
- cardstock for fish
- craft supplies to decorate fish (paint/markers/crayons/etc)
- paperclips – 1 for each fish
- contact paper to “laminate” fish
- pushpin shaped magnets – 1 for each pole (or other “bottom-heavy” magnet style)
- fishing line – 1 to 2 feet per pole
- sticks – 1 for each fish
Supplies & Tools:
- pencil to draw fish outline for cutting
- black marker to draw fishie faces
To make the fish:
- Have child decorate both sides of cardstock to make “tropical” fish. We used paint on about 10 sheets to make about 25 fish.
- Use a pencil to draw fish outlines on the paper and cut them out. We did about 3 per page, but only made 2 on a couple to have a few big fish.
- Use a sharpie or other black marker to draw fishie faces.
- Put a paperclip on the fish. I put mine on the tail so that it wouldn’t distract from the cute faces, but my husband didn’t really appreciate the artistic liberty in exchange for authenticity and thought I should have put them on the mouth.
- “Laminate” the fish with contact paper. In case that’s not clear, place the fish on the contact paper and cut out two pieces bigger than the fish, then stuck one piece to each side. Trim the edges leaving about a 1/4 inch border.
- Find sticks or small branches outside. We found 4 sticks about 1 foot long and relatively straight.
- Cut a piece of fishing line for each stick and tie it to one end of the fishing pole. We used a length of about 1 foot for the 2 year old so that it would be easier for her and about 18″ to 2 feet for the preschooler.
- Tie a magnet on the other end.
To make the poles: