Gone Fishin’

For a fun way to practice letters, sounds, and numbers that also helps kids practice their hand-eye coordination, try fishing!

Watch and learn how to play with Sarahi!

Prep It

1. Collect Materials

You will need:

  • Paper (scrap paper, construction paper, sticky notes)
  • Marker (or pen, pencil)
  • Metal paperclips
  • String (ribbon, shoelace, yarn)
  • Scissors
  • Stick (a ruler, long spoon, or tree branch)
  • Magnets (use one off the fridge if you’d like)

2. Make the “Fish”

Cut paper into squares about the size of small sticky notes.

Use a marker to write one letter or number on each square.

Slide a metal paperclip on, and you have a “fish!”

3. Make the Fishing Rod

Tie one end of the string to a stick, and the other side to a magnet.

Don’t have a magnet?

If you don’t have a strong magnet, or just want to physically challenge your kids more, tie a paperclip to the string and bend it open so it can be hooked onto the fish.

The paperclips on the fish may need to be bent a little to make it easier.

Play It

Spread the fish around the floor and let the kids find and catch them! Try the activities below, but also let children come up with their own ways to play!

– Letter names
– Letter sounds
– Number names
– Try having them catch fish in alphabetical order ( A, B, C, D…)
– Or number order (1, 2, 3…) and (10, 9, 8…)
– Counting how many fish they caught after identifying the letters
– Letter groups ( “Catch all the letters that can make the ‘Kuh’ sound,” like C, K, and Q )
– Patterns (number, letter, number, letter; or even, even, odd, odd…)
– Equations ( “Catch the fish that is 5 + 2;” or “Catch the fish that is 3 less than 7” )
– Skip counting (2, 4, 6, 8… or 4, 8, 12, 16…)
– Catching many fish to make a big number (if they catch 2, 7, 3, and 9, they will tell you the number ‘two thousand, seven hundred thirty-nine)
-Spelling words by catching each letter (you may need to make more letter fish for this)

Tip: Looking at school-aged children’s homework or take-home folders might help you decide what to practice. If you aren’t sure, a great way to find out is to talk to their teacher! Call, email, or visit teachers to get the best recommendations!

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Send a picture of your catch of the day to:

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Homemade Playdough

Make playdough using ingredients you might already have around the kitchen- Sarahi will teach you how!

Prep It

Gather the following materials:

  • 2 Heaping Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Warm Water
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Tablespoon (any spoon will do)

Play It

1. In a bowl, mix warm water with cooking oil (wet ingredients). Then, add the flour and salt (dry ingredients).

? Ask children: Is the flour and salt dry or wet? What about the oil and water?

2. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together with your hands until it looks and feels like play-dough.

? As a challenge, ask children: does this feel wet or dry to you?

3. If the kids think the dough is too wet and sticky, try saying: “Oh no! Should we add more flour or more water to make it more dry?” Slowly sprinkle more flour into the dough until it feels like play-dough.

Or, if the kids think the mixture is dry and crumbly, try saying: “Oh no! Should we add more flour or water to make it stickier?” Add just a few drops of water at a time until the dough is smooth.

4. To add color, squeeze a few drops of food coloring into the dough. This is a great opportunity to learn about color: point at different food coloring tubes and ask the kids to name the colors.

For a mini science experiment, mix two primary color food coloring dyes (red, yellow, and blue) and have your kids name the colors you made together.

5. Keep the dough in a sealed container to use over and over again!