The fishing rod is made with a 12" length of 3/8" dowel rod, which my husband had kindly cut down from one yard lengths last night. You simply tie one end of a 15" piece of string to one end of the dowel rod. Sandwich the other end of the string between to sections of adhesive magnet. Magnetic tape is sold by the roll and is easily cut with regular scissors.
The fish, octopus, crabs, mermaids, boots, pirate treasure... are all made out of construction paper and markers. I gave a quick demo showing how the shorthand drawing for a fish doesn't work. When you cut a fish symbol the connection to the tail is too narrow and it breaks off. My next drawing featured fish complete with lips and fins to encourage my young artists to flex their drawing skills.
Halfway through the activity I suggested the older to children award their pieces point values to turn the game into a fun math exercise. Each fish needs to have a paperclip slipped over it's paper mouth, so that it can be caught by the magnetic fishing line.
While everyone was busy drawing and cutting their fish I went around the room transforming the two liter pop bottles into ponds. I cut the tops off the bottles with a sharp pair of Fiskar soft touch scissors. I suggested they keep the tops as they make a great funnel for the beach or sandbox.
We used additional paper and clear packing tape to affix drawings and wavy water to the outside of the pond, the finished fish are simply placed inside the pond.
In my experience kids love making something that they can play with when they're finished. Many thanks to the wonderful parents and children who let me photograph and share their creativity. I'm also grateful for the continued support of Curtis Memorial library.