Child-led Play · Outdoor Play

Fishing Game

The other day we made some beautiful fish pictures, and I wanted to make use of them before using them to complete our craft “finale”. So the first thing I did this morning was to laminate them, and then D got the scissors out once more and got cutting. Teamwork eh?!

I decided to set up a fishing game in the garden (fishing is another great game for our tiny garden). To do this I simply added a paperclip somewhere about each fish shape, and got out our homemade fishing rod (a Wilkos garden cane with a piece of wool and a magnet attached – nothing hi‑tech in this house). I scattered the fish shapes onto the tuff spot and A and E took it in turns to fish. Fishing is a great game for practising coordination and patience; it is, of course, a great game for playing indoors also, but A and E needed some fresh air today and I didn’t fancy venturing too far away from home in the rain – so rainy fishing it was instead!


I was surprised at how much E enjoyed this! He is such an easy going little boy, up for anything and always happy. But he isn’t really into craft (I suppose like a lot of boys?), and he doesn’t engage with a lot of the activities that we do as much as A; he just likes to play with his toys! So I am glad I have found a special activity for him!


We stayed outside for ages, despite the rain.

However, when all of the fish had been caught A instantly wanted to know what we were doing next. I hadn’t really thought of anything else to do at this point, so we decided to come into the house to have a think (the rain got a bit too heavy for further garden mingling).

I encouraged them both to start by counting the fish they had caught. E impressed me so much as he correctly counted to ten. He has never really shown any other sign of being able to count beyond two, or say the numbers past three before, so this took me by surprise! He was so happy with himself.

Then A, without any prompting, began matching up all the fish of the same size and shape. She counted the fish in each of the piles she had made, and then she correctly organised them all in size order, starting with the smallest.

She then asked if she could write on the fish, so I gave her a pen that would show up on the plastic (and then be wiped off). She wanted to write numbers. I got ready to show her how to write some numbers, but when I looked down she had written a number “1” on each of the smallest fish, a number “2” on another, and a number “3” on another! No need for mummy today!

I can’t believe how long we played with these fish, and how many learning activities came from them – mostly child-led too!



Diary of an imperfect mum


6 thoughts on “Fishing Game

  1. I loved your fish! I printed some out but b wasn’t fussed at all! I want him to do the fish so we can then do the fishing game hehe! #ablogginggoodtime


  2. Oh no! That is the problem isn’t it? I only set up something like the painting activity these days if I know at least one of them will be keen (not that you can always tell). I’ve also made fishing games with felt and foam before in the same way (by adding a paper clip) and no decoration is needed then, so if you did want to make the fishing game and b wasn’t keen on decorating that might work… They are good, long-lasting materials anyway so you could always keep them and try again in a few months!


  3. This is such a great idea. I think the kids would love this game, especially making their own fish #ToddlerApprovedtuesday


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