DIY Backyard Fishing Activity

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The hands-down favorite activity from our Wild Kratts Birthday fun was the fishing activity! The kids kept going back to this all.night.long! Backyard fishing at its finest! 🙂

This activity could be used for a whole variety of birthday party themes! But with the hot summer months coming up, magnetic backyard fishing would also make for a fantastic outdoor waterplay activity anytime! It’s not only easy to make, but an inexpensive kids’ activity that you can do for under $10!

DIY Backyard Fishing Activity How-to:


  • Bait Fish (NOT real ones, but the squishy plastic variety. The key is that there is a little metal or plastic loop present on the fish)
  • Wire Cutters
  • Metal Paper Clips
  • Wooden dowels or small tree branches
  • Twine or fishing line
  • Magnets
  • Hot glue


1. First up, you’ll need to get your fish. This was Mr. Mom Endeavors’ brilliant idea!  As we were wandering the aisles of Walmart (having already tried to find some kind of “toy” fish at numerous stores), we happened to pass the sporting goods section and he saw the bait. These fish were less than $3/package and worked out perfectly!

2. The most important thing with the fish is obviously cutting off the hooks! Mr. Mom Endeavors just used some wire cutters and snipped them off as far down as possible. Once all the hooks have been cut off, then lace one metal paper clip through the loop on the bait.

3. Once you have your fish, you’ll need some magnetic fishing poles to “catch” them. We had a couple of branches and a 1/2″ dowel cut into two pieces. All you need to do is tie some twine to one end. Then, on the open end hanging down, just hot-glue the twine between two magnetic buttons. *Note–not all magnetic buttons are created equal. We found that the ones from the hardware store worked much better than the “crafty” ones.

4. Once you have your fish & poles, all you need is somewhere to fish. We used a big plastic pool we already had & partially filled it with water (yes, the magnets still work in water). But if you don’t have one, there are plenty of items you could get creative with!

So, not only is it easy & inexpensive to put together, but there are a lot of great “learning through play” opportunities with it. With this, you can talk about magnetism, floating vs. sinking, and even topics related to ecology–all the while working on coordination/motor skills! 🙂

Happy Backyard Fishing!!

Linked to: *Show & Share, *Today’s Creative, *Tip Junkie, *Show and Tell, *TidyMom

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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10 Responses

  1. Oh Boy, I am going to do this just for fun. Something to keep Grandson #1 busy while he is here. (You did not mention water, but I think there is.) If done indoors on a rainy day we could just place them on a rug-pond.) TFS a great idea. Hugs….

    1. Thanks, Carol! He will love it!! And, yes, there was water. I just changed that in the post! 🙂
      Have fun!!

  2. So glad I found this. I was looking for some kind of fishing game for my son’s camping themed birthday party that is in a week and this one is perfect!

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