Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gone (Magnet) Fishing

Here's a fun activity we learned from the Parents as Teachers (PAT) playgroup that we went to recently. PAT actually lists this activity for toddlers 24 months old and up but Matthew enjoyed it so much at the playgroup that I just had to do it at home.

dowel sticks (we used ones that 7/16" in diameter)
yarn or string
foam sheets
paper clips
crafting beads (or anything you can secure a magnet AND a string to)


  1. Secure a magnet to one side of a crafting bead. I chose crafting beads because of the flat sides and through-hole. This makes it easy to thread my yarn (fishing line) through.
  2. While the glue is drying, draw fish patterns (or any other kind of sealife you fancy) on the foam paper and cut them out. Make sure they're not too big so the magnet can still lift them.
  3. Attach a paper clip to each foam creature cut-out/ pattern.
  4. Secure a 12-inch or shorter yarn or string to one end of the dowel stick.
  5. When the crafting bead is firmly attached to the magnet the glue is dry, secure the other end of the yarn or string to the bead.
  6. Scatter creature cut-outs in a ball pool, tub or big container and start fishing!

Benefits and Safety Considerations
I did all the work myself this time. But when Matthew is older, this will be great for working on fine motor skills - cutting the fish patterns, maybe coloring the patterns, and maybe even gluing the magnets to the beads. Obviously there are many small parts so this game will be played with adult supervision only.

Matthew caught a 14-lb catfish!

As it turns out, Matthew is more interested in the stick. Yuri had more fun with the yarn and foam fish.

If anyone has other fun activities they've tried and would like to share, please post a comment! I'd love more ideas.


Beverly said...

looks like fun! Noah had a fishing game like that and he loved it as well.

Jill said...

Ria, my husband and I took Nate to a Milwaukee Bucks game a few months ago, and we sat in the seats behind the hoop. In the second half we were all given what looked like these huge french fries (sponsored by McD's...they are blowup thunder sticks!)to bang loudly together to keep the other team from scoring free throws. It's very distracting to the visiting team, and louder than all get out! Ok this is a stupid story but my point is...after all this time they are still Nate's favorite toy. He loves to bang those thunder sticks on everything! Seeing Matthew with his "fishing pole" reminded me of it, and that you commented that he was more interested in the stick than anything else. You are so creative!