Preschool Magnet Games for Skills: A Theme-Adaptive Fishing Game for Reading and Math

Providing a fun learning environment for your preschooler is crucial during these precious years of development. Your child will have endless fun with the Magnet Fishing Game that can be reused for any theme. Help them master their reading and math skills by following these simple instructions.

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Making the Fishing Pole


  • One 1 – 3 foot wooden (half an inch in diameter) dowel rod
  • Drill or knife
  • Yarn
  • Magnet
  • Hot glue gun (optional)

Cut a thin groove or drill a hole at the top of the dowel rod. Tie the short piece of yarn around the groove or through the hole then knot. Attach the magnet at the end of the yarn by hot glue or simply tying the string around it securely.

Making the “Fish”


  • Construction paper
  • Patterns for your theme
  • (or printed patterns from your PC)
  • Contact paper (or lamination)
  • Paper clips
  • Marker
  • Yarn (optional)
  • Clothespins (optional)

Create 5” cutouts that correspond with your theme, whether it be actual fish, or pumpkins, bats, feathers, snowflakes, snowmen, flowers, frogs, butterflies, suns, eggs, hearts, etc. Decorate them depending on what skill you wish to focus on for your child, following further instructions below.

Teaching Reading with Fishing

Using the marker, write one letter on each cutout. Depending on the skill level of your child, you can keep it the same letter of focus, or several different letters. You can also make pairs: lowercase on one cutout, uppercase on the other. Laminate and slip a paper clip on each cutout.

As your child progresses in his or her reading level, make the games more challenging by using either stickers and words, or printed pictures and words to tape and write on a pair of cutouts. For an example: One Flower cutout has a picture/sticker of a cat in the center. The matching one has the word “CAT”.

Math Fishing

Following the above method, write numbers on each cutout up to your child’s skill level. You can make pairs by using numerals on one cutout and the matching number of dots on the other cutout. Laminate and slip a paper clip on each one.

As your child masters the skill level set forth, challenge him with math problems. Have the problem on one cutout and the answer on the other: “1+1=” and “2”.

Playing the Game

In a tub, or a roasting pan, or simply on the floor, scatter the “fish” and let your child start fishing. Prompt them to find the matching pairs if he or she has reached that skill level. If using single cutouts with no pairs, have them put them in numeric or alphabetical order. You can even go further by challenging their fine motor skills. Tie a piece of yarn from one end of something to the other (small chairs or furniture work well). Have your child clothespin each cutout in order, or pin the pairs together in order.

An activity of coloring pages will certainly bring you and your child closer to each other. This activity along with these math game will help your kid get through their first few years of education. These activities are a must and very easy to do with inexpensive materials and adaptive approach to your child’s learning.

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