Lets go fishing: how to make pipe-cleaner fish.

I got a parcel this morning and couldn’t wait to share it with the Girls. I bought a Magnifying Glass and Tweezer set for them. I also bought a second set of tweezers so there was no fighting. A couple of minutes later and they were sorting Halloween pompoms into muffin tins. Naturally, a few minutes after that they were fighting because using the tweezers was challenging, and they moved on to grabbing as many as they could with their hands.

teaching using tweezers to toddlers

Realising that it would take a while for them to get used to the newly-discovered “squeeze-and-drop” technique before I set them off bug hunting, I had to come up with a way to encourage them to use the tweezers.

sorting pom poms with tweezers

These are undoubtedly the simplest fish you can ever make: bend a pipe-cleaner so that it looks like a charity ribbon, then twist a couple of times at the crossover point. I made a dozen or so from pipe-cleaners I had lying around, and the Girls happily went ‘fishing’. They used the tweezers to dig in amongst all the pompoms to find the fish, hooked the fish with the end of the tweezers and then used the pincer grip to keep the tweezed end closed until they dropped the fish in the muffin tray.

fish made from pipe cleaners

It struck me that this game is quite multi-purpose. I can use it for fishing, sorting, colour-matching to name but a few ideas. And I know that these simple fish, because they are made from pipe-cleaners, should be magnetic enough that we could make a ‘proper’ fishing game with them.

It's a pipe cleaner fish

I’ve shared this idea over at Nurture Store, where Cathy has started a Kids Art Explorers Linky.

kids art explorers

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