Inspired by the book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Suess, this fun activity helps your child practice counting and one to one correspondence, all while strengthening his or her fingers opening and closing clothespins. You can also adapt this activity for different learning levels or use the free printable materials any way you want. Details on how to do that can be found at the end of this post.
Fish (page 1 has fish with numbers, page 2 has fish without numbers) print
Bowl or pail
String or yarn
- Print the fish.
- Hang a piece of string between two objects.
- Using the paperclips, attach the fish in order from 1 to 10.
- Write dots on the clothespins with the number quantities from 1 to 10. Place the clothespins in a pail, bowl or any container you have.
1. Have your child pick a clothespin out of the pail or bowl.
2. Count the number of dots.
3. Find the fish that has the corresponding number.
4. Use the clothespin to grab the fish off of the line.
This is a simple activity with so much learning going on! Encourage your child to only count each dot once. If s/he counts too fast, too slow, or skip dots work together with your child to show him or her how to count the dots correctly.
But wait, there’s more!
You can adapt this for different levels or different subjects
Make it easier:
- Write numbers on the clothespins and have your child match the numbers.
Make it more advanced:
- Change the clothespins to addition of subtraction facts.
- Change the clothespins to tally marks. Match the tally marks to the corresponding number.
- You can even get rid of the yarn and have your child order the numbers from 1 to 10.
Make it a different subject:
First, print the fish without the numbers. You can make this activity into anything with them!
- Write the number in a different language on the clothespin– Spanish, French, Russian, etc.
ABC/Reading (Use the blank fish)
- Write words on the fish: Match the words to the same word on the clothespin (sight word practice). Match the word to a rhyming word on the clothespin (phonemic awareness).
- Write letters on the fish: Match the letters to the same the letter on the clothespin (letter recognition). Match the letters to a word on the clothespins that begins with that letter (phonemic awareness).
Grammar (Use the blank fish)
- Write words on the fish and label clothespins with the parts of speech. Match the word to its part of speech.
Vocabulary (Use the blank fish)
- Write a definition on each fish and the vocabulary word on the clothespin. Match the word to its definition.
The possibilities are endless! Share your ideas here or on our Facebook page.
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