Kiddo Goes Fishing

We brought kiddo ‘shrimping’ once at an indoor ‘shrimp pool’ in Singapore (think she was just over 2 then). She didn’t get squeamish and Grandpa had much fun showing her a couple of tricks. She remembers it occasionally (surprising what stuff kids can remember) and I figured it’d be quite fun doing up a make-believe ‘fishing/shrimping experience’ after our recent beach-in-a-box.


What you need are:

  • Rod/stick/bamboo/rattan…anything straight and about 75 cm long
  • toilet roll
  • cardboard
  • core of a used roll of thread
  • ice cream stick
  • twine (about 1.5 m)
  • coloring material
  • sticky/duct tape
  • scissors
  • magnetic stickers


  • I had a bamboo stick with some sharp bits so I taped it up with duct tape.
  • Make 3 hoops along 3/4 length of the rod.

Let's go fishing

  • Now to make the reel mechanism…..cut 4 holes on the toilet roll – 2 nearer the top for the rod to go through and 2 near the centre for the core.
  • Cut about 1.5 m of twine and tie it to the core. Make sure it is tight so that it will not slip when it is being turned.

Let's go fishing

  • Assemble the core and rod through the toilet roll.
  • Pull the end of the twine out of the toilet roll and through the hoops.

Let's go fishing

  • Make a ‘hook’ with a small piece of triangular cardboard and attach a piece of magnetic sticker to it.

Let's go fishing

  • Secure the toilet roll/reel to the rod. Make stoppers around the openings which the rod had gone through.

Let's go fishing

  • Make sure that the reel works ok. It should only retract the twine nicely when the reel is turned. Simply pull the twine at the end of the rod to extend it for ‘fishing’.

Let's go fishing
Let's go fishing

  • Now it’s time to make some critters for kiddo. Draw and cut out the animals before adhering magnetic stickers onto them. Since the magnetic stickers are small, make sure the cardboard critters are not too big/heavy.
  • Kiddo can help decorate/colour the critters and rod at this point. Get her to think about what kind of seafood she would see at the fishmarket, what are cooked and how they tasted etc etc…..

Let's go fishing

  • Last but not least, it’d be good to sit down with kiddo and encourage her as she tries (over and over) to fish up the critters. It may take a while before she gets the hang of it but patience is a learnt virtue. 🙂
  • You may create styrofoam versions of the critters so that kiddo can ‘fish’ over a bathtub of water.
  • Or make 2 sets of rods n critters n color code them to make it into a contest between you and kiddo! :)Have fun!

fishing time

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