Saturday, June 30, 2012

Indoor Fishing

I have been excited for Summer List item #82:  Go Fish Indoors.  It's exactly what I thought my kids would love doing.  I used the free printable here for the fish.  I actually saved this image to my computer and then opened it in PowerPoint so I could size it to fill a whole 8.5x11 page.  I printed three pages to make sure we would have enough fish.

I cut out all the fish, which sorta turned my hand into a misshapen claw.  Then I raided my paper clip collection (of course I have one), and I was able to find corresponding colored clips.  I wasn't sure what type of glue to use, so I pulled out my Tacky Glue (in a pen applicator) because it's an all-purpose craft glue.

I applied glue to the back of the paper clip and placed it on the back side of one fish, leaving part of the clip sticking out.  Then I drew a line of glue around the perimeter of the fish and placed the other fish half on top of the first.  I just used the palm of my hand to press the two fish halves together for a moment.

I had a hard time getting decent photos of our fishing poles up close, but they're simple enough to explain.  I bought three dowel rods at Hobby Lobby for $0.59 each.  I already had cotton twine on hand from when we did fun bubbles.  I also had magnets on hand, but you can buy them at Hobby Lobby or Walmart.  I recommend the round ones that are fairly strong.

I tied some twine around the end of the dowel rod and cut the twine to the length I thought best (2-3 feet).  I wrapped the end of the twine around the magnet a couple times and used hot glue to secure it.

So I did all this prep work a week or two ago.  I stayed up late after the kids were in bed in order to get everything made.  Then I just put it all aside so I could pull it out when we were in desperate need of a fun indoor activity.  And, like I said, I was excited for the kids to see these and do this activity.

Reality did not meet my expectations.

After naps today Nora found one of the fishing poles.  She gave me her cutest smile and made it impossible for me to say no.  So we got out the poles and untangled all the lines that had basically braided themselves together due to the magnets finding each other.  I pushed our coffee table out of the way and spread the fish around on the floor near the couch.  I tried to get the kids to spread out so those strong magnets would stop pulling each other in.

My father-in-law was with us, and he had to help me untangle the lines multiple times.

Nora liked trying to get as many fish as possible on her magnet at once.

The boys were just competing to see who could catch the most overall until there were none left on the floor.

The lines tangled:

Griffin eventually tried holding his string to help him.

What these pictures don't show is the fact that two of the children ended up in time-out back-to-back before we completed this activity.  There was a lot of bickering over particular fish (or "shish" as Nora calls them).  And the kids got very frustrated with each other when we had tangled lines and overly attracted magnets. 

I would recommend using shorter dowel rods.  First, because I nearly lost an eye several times throughout this activity.  Second, because the rods just seemed too long for the kids to handle. 

Once the actual fishing had died down, Griffin enjoyed running around seeing what his magnet would stick to. 

While this activity was more frustrating than fun for us, I think it could be fun with a couple of tweaks and perhaps on a different day.  It would be fun to follow up this activity with a snack of Goldfish or a treat of Swedish Fish.  Or maybe read "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish."  Or play the card game Go Fish.  Ok, you get the idea.

If any of you do this activity and have suggestions to make it more successful, please let me know!


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