Today I’m sharing a free printable fishing game I made for my kids, plus several ideas for different ways to use it.
To get started, you’ll need several copies of the following fish printable. I printed mine on yellow card stock to make them more durable. If you anticipate using them with lots of children (like we did), you may want to laminate them, as well.
The PDF above contains 3 pages, but you’ll only need to print the front page (the one with the fishies on it) for all the following activities except the first.
Fishing for F Sounds
Although you wouldn’t know it to hear them talk today, several of our children required speech therapy when they were younger. They came by their reversals and delays honestly, for I had to take several years of speech therapy as a child myself.
We are firm believers in calling in the professionals when speech problems are pronounced or persist into grade school, but there are many things parents of younger children can do at home to improve articulation. (An excellent book on this topic, incidentally, is Teach Me How to Say it Right by Dorothy Dougherty.)
Four of the most problematic sounds for our kids were “K,” “F,” “SH,” and “R.” I’ve already published a couple of games for the “K” sound, and I’ll try to post what we used for other sounds in the future, but this fun little fish game is designed to provide practice in articulating initial “F” and final “SH” sounds.
We call the game Fishing for F Sounds. To play, you’ll need to print two copies of page 1 (with the fishies on the front), then print pages 2 and 3 on the reverse (the ones with — for lack of something better to call them — all the F words drawn on them).
Cut the fish out. You can cut them into rectangles to use as a card game played like “Go Fish,” but I trim mine into actual fish shapes and laminate them so the children can “go fishing” for them with poles.
Construct fishing poles from sticks and a little string with a magnet tied (or in our case, hot glued) to the end, then slip a paper clip on the end of each fish and let the kids try to snag as many as they can.
Whoever catches a fish must identify (and properly pronounce) the picture on the back before putting the fish in his pile. For very young children, saying the single word may be enough of a challenge, but for my older ones, they must use it in the sentence, “My fish found ___________.” (a foot, a frog, a fence, some fingers, etc.), being mindful to form all the F sounds properly.
Mathematical Fish Drills
Print three more pages of one-sided fish. On the reverse, instead of printing the F words, write two sets of numbers 1-12.
To play, let each child catch two fish, then add the numbers written on the backs of those fish together. (For older children, have them subtract or multiply the numbers instead.) If the child gets the answer right, he gets to keep the fish. If not, he must “release” them back into the “pond.”
The player who finishes the game with the most fish wins. Or, in case of a tie in the number of fish, the player whose fish sum to the highest total wins.
Color Matching Fish Game
For this version of the game, print fish on several colors of card stock (or print on white and color several different pairs of fish red, blue, green, yellow, purple, etc.)
To play, have children try to catch two fish of the same color. Have little ones identify the color in order to keep their fish. Play until all the fish have been caught.
This free fishing game for kids can be adapted in lots of other ways, too. If you leave the backs of the fish blank and laminate them, you can use a wet erase marker to make cards for whatever your child needs to practice: sight words, addition facts, Bible verses, states and capitals, etc.
For more fishy-fun, snack on goldfish crackers after playing the fishing game. Or follow up this activity with a field trip to an aquarium or fish hatchery (and keep practicing those “F” sounds while you’re there).
We live right down the road from Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, but have also toured the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery in Branson, Missouri, and the Buford Hatchery in Cumming, Georgia. As a rule, fish hatcheries are very educational and lots of fun.
We’ve also spent 25+ years visiting aquariums from coast to coast. Favorites include:
- Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
- Aquarium at the Boardwalk in Branson, Missouri
- Sea Life Arizona in Phoenix
- South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston
- Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi
- Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, Louisiana
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