Gone Fishin’

My husband has been an avid fisherman since he was a kid- as is his dad- so it’s only logical that both our littles love fishing too! It definitely is a great hands on lesson in patience paying off (unless your me and you never catch anything! LoL) and the boys get so excited when they land a whopper! I thought it would be fun to do a week long theme based on this classic summer activity, and dig into the animal group of fish too while we’re at it! If you don’t want to purchase the number and letter games, you can easily make them using construction paper fish with numbers and letters written on them- just hot glue a paper clip to the back to make them magnetic and use a magnet tied to a string tied to a pencil for a fishing pole! Don’t forget to swim over to my toddler post “Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy” for more fun fish activities like a 3D fish craft and painting a fish with scales using celery!


-ABC fishing game: My little got this ABC fishing game for Christmas and it’s a great way to practice letter recognition. You just have them catch the fish with the included pole then name the letter!

-F- and -ish families: I had my little brainstorm and write words that start with the “f” sound and end in “-ish”. I helped him sound the words out after he thought of them.

-“Once I Saw a Fish Alive” poem and questions: I got a cute packet of math and literacy activities based on the poem “Once I Caught a Fish Alive” from Teachers Pay Teachers. The first one was a copy of the poem, which I read to my little twice while pointing to each word, along with some comprehension questions based on it.

-Fish bowl vowel sounds: Another activity from the above mentioned packet was this fishbowl vowel sound activity where you have your little “read” the picture then identify and circle the vowel sound they hear in the middle of the word.

-Fishing book list: note- “Fishing Day” includes situations of racial prejudice. If you read it, be sure to also discuss the characters and their choices and whether they’re right or wrong, kind or unkind with your little.


-School of fish number ordering: I made 20 fish from construction paper, wrote the numbers 1-20 on them, scrambled them up and had my little put them in order.

Melissa & Doug fishing for numbers game: Being a fishing family, my littles got all the fishing games for Christmas this year (like seriously- they got one from us, one from Grandma and Grandpa and one from Nana and Papa! LOL Luckily they were all different too!) This one is by Melissa and Doug and the fish they catch all have numbers on them. As my littles fished, I had them identify the numbers they caught, then I had my preschooler add up all of the numbers each person caught and compare them to see who got more points.

-Bobber counting page: I printed this page as part of the “Once I Caught a Fish Alive” set I found on Teachers Pay Teachers. It includes cutting practice as well as number ordering 1-20.

-Go fish: So we were playing this game as a family a few weeks back and I was like “Hey! This is a great number recognition game!” so I added it to my fishing week plans! If you don’t know how to play, you shuffle a deck of cards, hand out 7 to each player then take turns asking the other player(s) for cards you have to try to make as many matches as possible.


-Fish diagram: I love this fish diagram page I got from Teachers Pay Teachers because the way it was set up combined literacy and science! First I helped my little sound out each fish part by pointing to the letters and saying their sounds, then putting them together to say the word. Next he traced and said the letter names to spell each word. Then he cut them all out and glued them to the correct spot on the diagram- I was blown away because he used his knowledge of beginning sounds to find each word independently and glue it where it belonged (we’ve done diagrams before, so he had previous knowledge of how they work).

-Magnetic or not fishing exploration: I made a version of this this magnet exploration activity for my 2nd graders back when I started teaching, so I thought I’d do it with my littles too! You just cut out some fish from construction paper or craft foam, hot glue some metal/metallic items in their “mouths” and have them fish for the items (you can make a fishing pole with a string, a magnet and a pencil- or just use your Melissa and Doug pole from the math game above like we did!) As your little tries to catch the fish, have them sort them into “magnetic” and “not magnetic” piles. Then discuss why they think each fish was magnetic or not. The purpose of this activity is to determine that some metals are magnetic and some aren’t (kids usually think all metals are), and that some items look metallic but are actually plastic- which is non-magnetic.

-Get a pet fish: I thought it would be fun to get a fish for our house as part of our fishing week so the littles could observe and learn about them first hand. They ended up choosing a bumblebee beta who they named “Sharkbait Fishy Funk”. They’re both in love with the little guy and go to check on him several times a day and love to feed him and watch him eat. Since we only got one fish, I’m letting them take turns keeping it in their rooms every other week. So far we’ve learned they’re a tropical fish from Southeast Asia and thus like their water to be 78-82 degrees, that they can breathe AIR (whaaaat) as well as with their gills, and that they’re pronounced “bet-a” not “bay-ta” like I thought! Goldfish are another great option for a starter fish (and only cost about $0.50!)

-Fish have/can: As a wrap up to the week I had my little brainstorm what fish have and what fish can do. I wrote down his thinking on a T-chart.


-Fish bone collage art: First, have your little find a colorful page in a magazine you don’t mind chopping up. Then have them cut out thin rectangles from the page. Give them a piece of yarn and have them glue it to a sheet of construction paper then glue the rectangles on either side for the fish’s bones. Have them cut out 2 triangles and add them for a head and tail, and pop a googly eye on as a final touch! I got this idea from Fine Lines.

Supply/shopping list:

  • ABC fishing game
  • Melissa and Doug number fishing game
  • deck of cards
  • metallic items (some magnetic, some not)
  • magnet
  • pencil
  • fish
  • bowl
  • small net
  • fish food
  • rocks
  • old magazines

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