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Make your own fishing game

What you need

  • Pencil/spoon/sticks (to make the rods)
  • String
  • Fridge magnets
  • Scissors
  • Paper clips
  • Pictures of sea creatures (printed or cut from magazines)


  • Encourages safe use of tools and fine motor control when using them
  • Encourages coordination and patience when catching the sea creatures

The experience

Start by asking your child to cut out the sea creatures – it might be nice if you choose these together on the computer or when searching through old magazines. If your child can only cut them out very roughly, this is okay. It’s better for them to have a sense of achievement than a perfectly cut out sea creature! You can support your child by making sure each animal is separate from the others, but don’t “improve” their cutting once they say that they are done.

Next, ask your child to attach one paper clip onto each sea creature. You can show them how to do one, and then leave them to finish the rest as this is great for encouraging their fine motor development. Your fishing creatures are now ready!

Ask your child to help you cut a couple of lengths of string. Show them how you tie the string onto your chosen rod (pencil, stick, spoon, whatever you have!). If your child wants to have a go at tying the string, please encourage them to do so and be patient with their attempts. They may need your support with this. Tie the other end of the string onto one of your fridge magnets. Now your rods are ready too!

Let the fishing commence – take it in turns with your child to use your fishing rods to try and catch a sea creature, matching the magnet to the paperclip. This might be a fiddly task for your child, so give them lots of encouragement. You now have a game to return to whenever you fancy a calm activity together.

Have fun!