Sunday, June 13, 2010

gone fishin' {with magnets}

Need a game to occupy a four-year-old for hours?  How about a magnetic fishing game?

After watching Logan fish for shoes with a tent pole, I started brainstorming about how he could fish for, well more real, fish.  Magnets seemed the best way to go.  I just needed to incorporate them into the fish and dangle another magnet from a dowel.

The pole was simple.  I drilled a hole in one end of a dowel and tied one end of a piece of yarn through it.  We bought some craft-sized wooden barrels to dangle from the end of the pole for weight and drilled a small hole on the top of the barrel to screw in one of those closed hook-type-things.  Then we tied the other end of the yarn to this hook and glued a magnet to the other end of the barrel using wood glue.

No, this is not my four-year-old.  He was napping when the sun finally came out long enough to take some pictures and I needed a child prop.  This game does occupy one-year-olds, but in terms of minutes, not hours.

For the fish, I used felt.  I drew a fish on tissue paper and used that as my template for all the fish.  I used two fish cutouts, one for the front of the fish and one for the back.  I traced the magnet on the back of the front fish cutout and cut the hole slightly smaller than the traced hole.  Then I just hot glued the magnet to the felt around the hole.  I just had to be sure that I glued the correct side of the magnet so the barrel would attach to the fish.

I used embroidery thread to whipstitch the fish closed.  I also put a little bit of stuffing in each fish to add a little more depth.

And guess who helped me sew up these solid color ones?  Nope, not Logan.  The hub late on Saturday night.  I did not beg...he actually offered.  I'm impressed with his craftsmanship.

I really like these ones because the felt used from Hobby Lobby was textured!  I didn't know there was such a thing.

I'm very happy that we went with magnets from a home improvement store instead of the craft store. These are stronger and can even hold the entire set of fish which makes clean up even faster (and more fun!).

This game will be coming with us on many a journey.


  1. That is such a cute idea! Good work!!!

  2. Amanda ArnoldJune 15, 2010

    very cute michelle (and very creative). Much better than shoes :)

  3. What an awesome idea for a game to keep little ones busy. Trenton is so cute! I'm glad to see that your talent for thinking up games to keep everyone occupied, using items found around the house is going to benefit yet another generation! Good going Michelle! And GREAT WORK TIM!

  4. Love it! I will be making this... today! THanks for the great idea! I love your blog!

  5. Wow! My 3 year old would love thise fish! So cool!