Earth Day blog hop: earth day fishing game

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on April 10, 2012

in Earth Day, Special Occasions, Trashy Fishing Game

Today, I am participating in another Earth Day blog hop sponsored by Greening Sam and Avery and Mommy Labs. We have been talking about taking care of our earth and as I shared the other day, we read the book titled “The Earth Book” by Todd Parr where we discovered a terrific list of things children can do to take care of the earth…

To extend the ideas of taking care of the earth into our day, I had prepared a little game for the kids to play. I guess you could call this an Earth Day fishing game

To prepare the game, I simply added magnets to the fish and to different pieces of trash. I also stapled trash to the back of each fish.  Our fishing poles had a magnet wrapped up in the end of the string to pick up the magnetic trash and fish out of the pond…

I told the children that if they look closely into the pond, they would see that someone had threw things that don’t belong into the water.  We talked about how some of those things were even getting stuck on the fish and we needed to rescue them…

The children spent the morning catching tin cans, plastic bottles, toilet paper rolls, and even fish. But sadly, each of our fish had trash stuck to the backside of their body…

As each child caught a fish, we flipped it over to see what was on the bottom of the fish and asked questions like – “Is this good for our fish?” or “Does this belong in the pond?”

I had trouble getting photos of the kids actually catching the fish because they move so fast but here is a photo of some of the fish we rescued from our trashy pond…

As you can see, these fish really needed our help and there was even a little “oil spill” left in one corner of our pond. I can’t believe someone would put so much trash in our pond!

Once all the fish were gathered from the pond, we took the trash and put it in a bag because it doesn’t belong in the pond….

But then the children decided to play again so most of the trash went back into the pond for a second round of pond cleaning…


Super fun game to play and it led to lots of discussion about keeping our water clean as well as the different kinds of trash we were finding in our water…

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1 Little Wonders' Days April 10, 2012 at 7:15 am

This is a great game to teach about water pollution! We’ve done the magnet fishing game thing before, but not like this.

2 Rashmie @ Mommy Labs April 10, 2012 at 7:21 am

This is an ingenious way to create awareness about water pollution and pollutants. Love it. Even older kids could engage and learn so much from this!

3 Steph April 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

I love your ideas and am thrilled to receive email updates so often. such exciting and wonderful ideas. I do have a concern with your Earth Day fishing game, however. I worry that a child might try to clean up a real pond on his or her own and possibly get hurt. I could definitely see a child attempting this. I’m going you add a water safety talk with this activity. Just an idea.

Thanks again for sharing your wonderful ideas and talents.

4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 10, 2012 at 7:43 am

Adding a discussion on making safe choices is always a good idea!

5 Gina April 10, 2012 at 7:39 am

What a great idea! I love when and activity or lesson sparks a discussion among the kids! Thanks for sharing!

6 kristin @preschool daze April 10, 2012 at 7:42 am

i am doing this! i’ve got a group of preK boys who would eat this up. thank you!!

7 amber April 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

Great idea my child would love this!

8 Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories April 10, 2012 at 10:18 am

Great activity! Did you talk to them about ways to prevent the trash from ending up in the pond, too?

9 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Hmmm, I guess not exactly! Our conversation was more “Oooh, look at what you caught!” and “Try and catch the tin can!” We kind of covered lots of ground on the topic but I didn’t formalize much of it – just let the kids have fun with it. I guess I should have spent more time talking about what to do with the trash instead – the closest we came was when everyone threw the trash in a trash bag rather than in the pond:)

10 Roopa April 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

What a terrific hands on idea to learn about ‘water pollution’ ! Love it that you make it simpler for the kids to understand.

11 Jill April 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

What a great adaptation of traditional magnetic fishing with the kids!
I found you through your interview on Suzy’s sitcom and had to come and take a look at your site. I share your teaching philosophy of empowering the kids to do things for themselves – and trusting in their abilities.
I’m looking forward to exploring your site more!

12 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I am so glad you stopped by and that you read the interview:)

13 Esther April 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm

We had made a magnetic fishing game before, the cleaning pond is a wonderful activity to add on. My daughter loves the “Dora Saves Mermaid” where Dora saves a mermaid kingdom from the Trash dumping octopus and this activity reminds me of the episode.

14 Shane April 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

Excellent Earth Day idea. The educational and entertainment value of this project is definitely high. I particularly enjoyed the “oil spill” :)

15 Teresa April 12, 2012 at 6:19 am

Do you ever post examples of your daily activity plans? I am curious what you plan to keep the children busy and educational activities you plan. How do you go about making your daily or weekly plan?

16 Kim @ The Educators Spin On It April 12, 2012 at 9:41 am

This is such a hands on way to teach children about environmental polution, thanks for sharing. I’m off to go create it. Another thing that we’ve done is follow our trash literally to the Transportation Station to see what really happens to our recycled items and to our garbage. It’s a great Field Trip!

17 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Oh, that is such a good idea! We have a recycling center nearby and I never thought about taking a trip there. Hmmm…

18 Erica @ Brooks Child Care April 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

Love it. Great lesson on pollution taught in a fun way. It’s important that children learn early to appreciate our earth.

19 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your comment Erica:)

20 Magali August 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Amazing idea

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