Measuring Fish Preschool Activity
Some preschoolers are experts when it comes to fishing. Whether it's the real thing or with a magnetic fishing pole. Either way, they love getting the chance to catch a big fish! Fishing activities give preschoolers the chance to not only learn about some pretty cool fish but there are so many math components bundled up in this engaging activity-including measuring with non-standard units!
Invite your preschoolers to cast their rods and measure their fish with this simple but super educational measuring activity. It's easy to set up, making it the perfect addition to your pond or ocean unit. It's also an excellent opportunity to talk with your preschoolers about the difference between fresh and salt water. It's a great way to tie these two units together. Now, are you ready to catch a big one?
Teacher Tip: You can also use a kiddie pool or your sensory bin, depending on how many students participate in the activity. If you don't have plastic fish of the desired size, you can also print out pictures of different-sized fish and add paper clips for the magnetic fishing poles. If you're printing out photos, use a variety of salt and freshwater fish to have preschoolers practice sorting between the two.
Let's start fishing!
Begin by setting up your pond by laying out the fish and other accessories-if desired, on the floor/pool/sensory bin. We added in rubber ducks and frogs, and little wood pieces just to add to the pond look. But it was also a way for preschoolers to really practice focusing on catching the fish.
If your fish have magnets the magnet fishing poles work great. Or you can attach small magnets with tape or other adhesive if you choose. If you are using paper pictures it's also really simple to just add a paper clip in order to use the magnetic fishing pole.
Let students try out different ways to catch the fish. They can also use nets, tongs, scoopers, or your younger students may want to use their hands. When you include a variety of different utensils it helps preschoolers trial and error to see what works the best. And, of course it requires team-work and sharing!
Once they catch their fish, have them count out their cubes to measure the length. The snap cubes allow students to practice measuring with a non-standard units. If they measure with a tape measure or ruler as well, you can have them count the cubes and then compare it to the ruler!
Use the whiteboard or paper to record the measurement of each fish.
If you have older students, you could have them make a graph with how many of each length was caught. You can include buckets to have preschoolers sort the fish by size after recording each one. Then once they're finished, they can toss the bucket of fish back to the pond and do it all over again!
Measurement can be a tricky topic for preschoolers but it's also something they are excited to learn about. After all, we use our measurement skills everyday when we compare sizes, and cook our meals. Once preschoolers have learned a bit about measuring with non-standard units, we can dive into using measuring cups, scales, rulers and more! We hope you had some fun catching a few fish with us!
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