Program: Gone Fishin’!

You’re invited to go on a fishing trip right here in the library! We’ll learn about fish, ducks, turtles, and other pond creatures through stories, fun games, and a craft.

Ages: Kids ages 3-7 and their parents or caregivers

Budget: Nothing. We had all this stuff already. (That’s the best kind of program.)

Stories

Piggy and Dad Go Fishing by David Martin

Little Quack by Lauren Thompson

Swimmy by Leo Lionni

I LOVE Piggy and Dad Go Fishing, and so did the kids. As a warning, this book is awfully sympathetic toward the worms and fish, and Piggy and Dad are not able to go through with killing them. As a vegetarian, I got a kick out of this, but I could see this book leading to some picky eating/unwillingness to take that fishing trip to Wisconsin with kids who are old enough to understand why the fish is sad. YMMV.

Games

Parachute fishing: Throw paper fish in a few different colors on the storytime rug. Have everyone grab a handle on the parachute. Send one kid at a time under the parachute to catch fish of a certain color while everyone waves the parachute over them. After some length of time, count to three and bring the parachute down. If the kid escapes with all the fish of their color, they win! Hooray.

Go fish: Let kids take turns playing with the magnetic fishing game as they finish their craft.

Duck, duck, goose: I hope you know how to play this already.

Craft (from Alphabet Soup): Catch a paper plate fish!

Materials (for each child): 9″ paper plate, fish on colored paper (using this template, re-sized), paperclip (optional), 14″-16″ length of yarn, and small dowel rod about 1′ in length

Prep: Cut two triangles out of one side of the paper plate – this will be the fish’s tail. Tie one end of the yarn around the dowel rod and glue it down.

What they do: Decorate the paper fish, then glue it on so that the tail of the fish lays on top of the tail on the paper plate (the original website has a picture of this). Make sure that the hole in the fish’s mouth is on top of the paper plate, then punch a hole through the mouth and the plate. If the kids are older, put a paperclip through the hole and attach the yarn to the clip. For younger kids, just tie the yarn through the hole.

How’d it go?

Yeah, we LOVED the magnetic fishing game. I really just brought it out as a way to deal with the fact that kids would finish the craft at different times, but they could have spent the entire hour just playing that game. Weird. The parachute game, less surprisingly, was also a big hit. The craft was easy and cute, but maybe a little too open-ended – I had a LOT of questions about how the fish should be decorated. (Answer: However your heart desires!)

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