Handmade toys: the fishing game

In an attempt to add more creative endeavors to our daily lives, I’ve been reading up on the Waldorf philosophy of education and play. This project is from Creative Play for Your Toddler.

When I finished reading through the book, I showed it to R and figured we could go through it together and decide what to make. To my surprise, he wanted to make everything! After the initial browsing, we decided upon a few projects, one of which was the fishing game. This is a game where you attach magnets to a pole and sew steel washers onto the fish. After placing my order for felt, I drew two templates (a big fish and a small fish) and had R choose some colors and I got to work.


(If you look carefully, you can see that the purple fish in the back was just caught)!

I was debating about whether to make any special types of fish and decided to make a striped fish and attempt a clown fish. To make the stripes, I cut out leftover felt scraps and hand-sewed them onto the front before attaching the two pieces. As I was adding stripes to the white fish, my son declares that he does not want a striped fish.


So, I asked him what we should do about it. He said that we could make the other side “just white.”

So, that’s what we did. My adult brain never would have allowed such an abberation, as I had planned on making both sides striped. But, this way he can have a striped fish sometimes and plain fish at other times.

(Just for the record, he helped me set up the picture, and on this day, he wanted the striped fish).


The grey fish with the horizontal stripe is a snook. A Florida favorite. He was suggested by my husband (the sometimes Florida fisherman). So, I made two “real” fish and the rest can become whatever R wants them to be.

I got the steel washers from my father (who has everything known to man) and the magnets were from a game about building patterns. It was difficult to find circular magnets with a hole in the middle at my lcoal hardware stores, although I did see them online here. I would recommend a pretty strong magnet to pick up the fish so your child does not get frustrated with the game.


3 thoughts on “Handmade toys: the fishing game

  1. Madeline

    Love it! What a cute idea. I’m the Children’s Director for my church, and that would be a hit with the kids there. I might just have to make them a set.

  2. Laura

    I love this project! My mom made one of these for my 3rd birthday party (although the fish were much, much more simplistic – no clown fish there, one sided or not) and I played with it for years. I still remember manuvering through the spindles of our staircase to the “pond” on the floor below, as though I was fishing off a dock :)This is a toy that I know Ronan will always remember with great fondness, both making and playing with!

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