Problem Solving: Go Fishing

IMG_0099So, I’m definitely not an outdoorsy, real fisherman type (kudos to those of you who are, that is a sweet learning experience for your kids!) This fishing, however, I can handle! This is a super cute, super fun activity that can be tailored to match your toddler’s abilities and interests. (You can find more instructions and a materials list in Summer week 3).

This activity probably involves the most adult prep of any of the activities. One of my main goals is to keep preparation simple, because things that are quick and simple are also things that we can keep doing! So despite the extra prep, to keep this one simple, I put magnets on the back of the fish we used for the Who’s My Mommy: Fish Match, this way you only have to prepare 1 set of fish! All that leaves is prepping the fishing pole.

Then, to make the fishing pole, grab an empty paper towel roll (or even an empty toilet paper roll would work for your child’s little hand). Poke a hole in one end just big enough to stick a pipe cleaner in about an inch, and then bend it over so that you can tape it down to the inside of the roll. And you’re done with that.

The nice thing about this is that even though this activity will be repeated throughout the summer plan, your preparation is all done after the first time!

Now you can lay out the fish or put them into a plastic container and ask your child if they want to go fishing with the new pole. If your child is young or doesn’t seem that interested in it just yet, demonstrate how to hold the pole over the fish and try and grab one. Seeing the process might make it more appealing. Once they see how it works and get to “catch” some I’m certain they will want to keep doing it! At least my kids did.


So, besides having fun, what’s happening in this activity?

IMG_0115Problem Solving: This is an activity with a pretend play aspect which is hugely important for your child’s thinking skills. With your younger toddler this should be a fun activity to try something new and test out their new materials, as well as what works and what doesn’t work. Describe what you are seeing and what each of you are doing;  let them have fun with it! Your older child will still have fun, but ask more questions, make them think a little more about what they are doing and don’t automatically fix or solve things for them. They are in a stage that they are putting more and more together and starting to use their logic.


IMG_0114Fine motor: It really takes a lot of control to be able to hold the fishing pole still over the fish, so this is a great way to work on the fine motor muscles. It’s okay if you or your child need to hold the magnet steady over a fish with the other hand to catch it.



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