Featured in The Possibilities of Play: Imaginative Learning Centers for Children Ages 3-6, by Dr. Jean Feldman and Carolyn Kisloski, this learning center activity is a perfect opportunity to develop eye-hand coordination and math skills like shape recognition.
Fishing For Shapes
Construction paper or fun foam
Paper clips or metal brad fastener
Shapes (triangles, squares, circles, rectangles, and so on) cut from different colors of construction paper
12-inch stick or cardboard roller from a pants hanger
20-inch piece of string
Large plastic hoop or masking tape
What to Do
Draw and then cut fish from construction paper or fun foam. Glue a different shape to each fish. Attach a paper clip or brad fastener for the eye of each fish. Tie one end of the string to the stick and the other end to the magnet to make a “fishing pole.” Place a large plastic hoop on the floor for the “pond,” or make a circle on the floor with masking tape. Place the fish inside the hoop or circle, and demonstrate how to catch one by attaching the magnet to the eye of the fish. Invite the children to take turns to catch a fish and identify the shape. For more fun, use this game to reinforce other skills by replacing the shapes with children’s names, colors, letters, numbers, and sight words. Take the fun outside by making a “pond” on the playground with a large plastic hoop. Put the fish in the pond, and give the children the “fishing pole” to catch the fish.