1. Trace your fish and cut them out. I made our fish out of card stock simply because that is what I had on hand already. I used cookie cutters and traced them out on the card stock. Originally I was going to print a clip art drawing from online and trace that, but then I remembered I had animal shaped cookie cutters that had lots of different fish.
2. Attach paper clips to fish. If your magnet is strong enough, staples will work, too.
3. Attach string to magnet using strong tape or a hot glue gun. I think the magnets I had to choose from were to either too strong or too weak. The magnet that probably work best are in between the strengths I have. They are the size of a penny and my kids like to stick everything in their mouths still, so I have avoided those in our house.
4. Attach string to your pole by tying it for a temporary pole or glue gunning for a more permanent pole. Don't have a stick? Use what you have around. I was going to use my sons baseball bat and a long wooden spoon for their poles until I found 2 sticks in our garage. I even considered using the vacuum extension pole (that's a little embarrassing to admit, but it is what I have!)
Additional Ideas for Fun
- Have your children sort them by color as they are "catching" them.
- Draw shapes, letters, numbers and have the children identify them and/or sort them.
- Draw items on each fish that will allow to count what they see (i.e. 3 stars, 1 circle).
- You can also have them group their catches by numbers.
- Draw the letters of their name(s) on different fish and have them find all the letters to their name.
Things That Did Not Work
- The magnets you get from advertisers were not strong enough.
- Tying the string on a stick. Glue it or cut a slight groove into the stick (and then tie it) if you do not want to be constantly retying the string.
- A shorter string seemed to work better than a really long string. It is easier for them to guide. And by shorter, I mean enough length so that there is little slack when your child has the pole in the air and the magnet on the ground.
Someday I'll make some fish out of felt, but for now I am perfectly happy with these fish and so our my kids!