Fisher-tots: Discovery at Home Toddler Time

What you need:

  • Laundry Basket(s) and/or boxes
  • Towels, paper or sheets to visualize water
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Magnet (always carefully supervise toddlers with magnets and other choking hazards)
  • Paper clips, binder clips, other metal items
  • Rope or string


  1. Create a fishing pole using a kitchen utensil, string and magnet!
  2. Lay out the towels, place the basket on top, and set out the magnetic items around the basket.
  3. Place your toddler in the basket and let them fish! You could use spoons or other items for oars. You could use tongs to fish as well!

Ways to extend play:

  • Allow for some serious fun individual play as your child discovers the joy of creating their own pretend fun.
  • After a time, join in the fun and allow your toddler to direct you. What have you caught? How does that fishing pole work? Are there any other things we could use to go fishing?

What do they learn?

  • Your toddler learns how to create their own fun. They create, problem solve, self-soothe and stimulate.
  • They learn about themselves. They learn that cradling a toy they rescued from the spider can help them feel connected and valued in a relationship. They actively practice the physical movements that their body craves: stretching, reaching, balancing and touching.
  • Autonomy. They learn what it feels like to be successful. With each discovery, decision, movement and creation, your toddler is learning to trust and value him or herself.