If I make a lesson or activity into a game he will play it! Add some dice and turn taking and we have a solid activity to keep us busy for a few minutes at least. This DIY fishing sensory play game has a lot of variety for many ages. Easy to make and budget friendly, all kids like to fish! Plus, it is a sensory bin too! Many skills were used for this play including letter and number recognition, fine motor and taking turns skills and pretend play! I have since left it out for open ended play on his magnet discovery table!
I simply free-handed a fish shape. Not the best, but it is recognizable and cut out 26 of them. I did use a heavier weight card stock from my scrap booking collection (best it is used for something!). I attached dollar store paper clips to each fish and gave them a letter sticker and a smile. Happy fish make for a happy activity, right? The bin is filled with aquarium rocks, gems, magnetic translucent discs, dragonfly erasers, rocks, cool looking pipe cleaners and some tongs.
The first part of the fishing sensory play game is alphabet recognition and a bit of I Spy! Calling out letters, searching for letters, picking out letters was all part of the fishing game. This is a little fishing pole that came with a Melissa & Doug fishing puzzle. We have since used it for many activities other than the puzzle (which he never liked)! He would rather take turns so that’s what we did until we had a big pile of fish and an empty pond bottom sensory bin to explore! I try not to push to much with the letters as it really turns him off. Right now we are just focusing on remembering the letters! Sometimes we try out the sounds. However, the real focus is on having fun and showing him activities he can do independently or cooperatively with another person.
The next part of the fishing sensory play game was to feed the fish! After we emptied the pond, we rolled the dice to see how many bites of food each chosen fish would get and counted the pieces out. The goal was to use the tongs but they frustrate him quickly. I wanted him to enjoy the game so we used our hands for most of it, and I modeled the tongs on my turn! When we chose a fish to feed, we called out the letter and worked a little on the sound of that letter. Again we did take turns until we had all the fish fed, all 26 of them!
Here they are, smiling, well fed fish! Not only did we work on skills but we enjoyed fishing together and engaging in some sensory play with the pond bin. Games like this are super simple to make at home on a small budget. The biggest item is your imagination and that is free! Hands on games are really popular with Liam!