This fishing alphabet activity was very popular with my kids! It’s a great way to practice letter identification and letter sounds while having lots of fun!
OK, I’ll admit it. I am not great at creating grand pretend play scenarios for my kids. I see lots of awesome ideas for them on Pinterest and dream about how it would be so cool to make them, but I just never do. I’m all about quick and easy!
Honestly, I don’t think my kids mind if they have realistic signs for their pretend store or a full table setting complete with cloth napkins for their pretend restaurant. They are able to pretend it all up themselves anyway. My kids engage in pretend play every day and I don’t have to do a single thing.
Occasionally though, it’s really fun to set up a pretend play scenario that I know will spark lots of creativity and learning. This fishing alphabet activity did just that and wasn’t too difficult to set up either! You probably already have most of the supplies on hand.
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- Alphabet Fish Printable
- A stick
- A magnet
- Hot glue (I popped mine out of a refrigerator magnet I had already)
- Paper clips
- A blue plastic table cloth (I got mine at the dollar store)
- A laundry basket
Setting Up the Pretend Play Scene
- Print out the alphabet fish you need for the activity. I only printed the lowercase fish this time. I also printed them on card stock for added durability.
- Cut out the fish and put a small paper clip on each one.
- Get a stick from a tree and tie a piece of yarn to it. Make sure you don’t make it too long or it will be hard for your child to control. Mine is almost too long, but it was a good challenge for my son.
- Hot glue a magnet to the end of the yarn.
- Lay the blue table cloth on the floor and place the laundry basket in the middle of it. Then spread the fish around the basket.
*Make sure you supervise children very closely while playing with the fishing pole as the magnet could be very dangerous if removed and swallowed. I hot glued it it on to the yarn and then hot glued on top of that, so it was very secure. I still did not let my kids play it unless I was right there next to them.
Fishing Alphabet Activity
I invited Evan to climb in the “boat” and start fishing. He was super excited about the whole thing. He especially loved that the table cloth was like water and that he had a boat to sit in.
I started by naming a letter and having him look for it, catch it and then tell me the sound the letter makes. However, I found that he preferred to catch any fish he wanted and then tell me what letter it was and the sound it makes.
He really enjoyed catching all of this fish. We actually played it several times that day and he asked me to set it up again the next day.
My daughter really enjoyed it too. She doesn’t know the letters on the fish, but I am using them to teach her colors. When she catches one, I say the color of the fish out loud and usually she repeats it. Sometimes I can even ask her to catch a specific color and help guide her toward catching the correct one.
They both spent lots of time just pretending to fish too. They also had lots of fun pretending up all kinds of scenarios that had them out to sea on a voyage. One of their favorite parts was when they even fell overboard and had to swim back to the boat! It was great fun!
Head over to my Alphabet Activities page for even more fun, hands-on letter learning ideas!
More Pretend Play Ideas from the Early Childhood Education Team #TeachECE
Bakery Pretend Play Printables for Counting by Life Over C’s
Pretend Play in Preschool: How to be a Scientist! by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Pretend Play: Amazon Fulfillment Center by Growing Book by Book
Detective Pretend Play by Capri + 3
Farmer’s Market Preschool Theme Pretend Play by Learning 2 Walk
Exploring Numbers 0-10 Pretend Garden Meal by Tiny Tots Adventures
DIY Farm Pretend Play Mat by The Educators’ Spin On It
Monster Truck Pretend Play by Munchkins and Moms