Magnetic Counting Fish Game

Make learning fun with this magnetic counting fish game to go along with the popular counting rhyme  “1 ,2, 3, 4, 5 Once I caught a Fish Alive!” Fine motor skills, counting, ordering, creativity and singing in one exciting playful maths activity!Magnetic counting fish game for preschoolers

We love to sing lots of songs together and especially love nursery rhymes and counting songs. Learning through music and rhyme is one of the most effective ways to remember new information and makes it much more enjoyable too. One favourite counting song that we often sing is

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5 once I caught a fish alive

6, 7, 8, 9, 10 then I let it go again,

Why did you let it go?

Because it bit my finger so

Which finger did it bite?

This little finger on my right!”

We put up all of our fingers one by one and make the action of a swimming fish and a painful little finger as it gets bitten !Cardboard counting fish game

We made some easy DIY props to go along with this song using a large piece of cardboard cut into 5 fish shapes. The girls painted and decorated teach one using bright paints and flitter glue, drawing on their eyes and mouths after they had dried.

On the other side of each one I wrote the numerals from 1-5, then added a split pin near the mouth of each one to make them easy to pick up with a magnet.Magnetic counting fish game

I fashioned a very basic fishing rod using a small magnet wrapped around a pipe cleaner, attached to a metal rod (a cake skewer), although any DIY fishing pole could easily be made from household items!Magnetic fishing game

We laud them out on the floor, numerals down, then sang the song and took turns to collect a fish with the fishing rod. They turned over their fishes and read the numbers underneath, then chose to put them in the correct order from 1 to 5 across the floor.

There are many ways that these fish can be used as a counting and ordering resource, either just as part of the song or as a maths game. The fine motor control needed to fish for them is also a challenge which they really enjoy practising.

As a next step you could create a set up to 10 and then onto 20, to practise recognising, saying and ordering a larger set of numbers.

Counting and ordering fish game

See all of our other creative, playful maths activities here!


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