Friday, March 2, 2012

[Game] Up Up Up With the Fish

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!  

Are you doing something fun to celebrate the day?  Did you print out the brown bag doodle and send it with your kids for lunch?  Well, I have another idea for you.

A while back, before I started this little old blog, we had a Dr. Seuss birthday party for one of my kids.  We came up with this idea for a party game.  It's a little game we like to call...Up Up Up with the Fish!  This is a great game for kids and families alike, because it is so versatile.  You will need fish and a "catcher" or two.

For the Felt Fish:
These are the materials you will need...

pink felt
white felt
black sharpie
beans or rice or something similar
sewing machine
fabric glue

Trace a simple fish shape onto your pink felt, twice.  You need one for the front and one for the back.  Cut around your shapes.  Sew along the top, front, and bottom of your fish as shown in the picture below.

I opted to put the beans in just the front part of the fish.  This allows for great fish flopping abilities!  Put your beans or rice into the little pocket that you have just sewn.  Hang the bean filled pocket over the side of your counter or table or ironing board, and pin the beans in place.  Now you will sew the fourth side of your pocket closed.

And now for the fun part...embellishing!  Use you sharpie to draw on your fish gills and mouth.  Cut two eyes out of white felt.  Draw a black pupil with your marker.  Glue the eyes onto your fish using a strong glue.  Finish off your fish with some long eyelashes.

You have just completed your first fish.  Repeat the steps above until you have as many fish as you want.  I would recommend at least three or four. 

For the Catcher:

You will need at least one catcher.  If you want to turn this into a relay race, you will need two or three.  You will need the following:

Dowel- 3/8 inch in diameter. 18- 24 inches long.
Wooden platform (we used a small rectangular piece of scrap wood 2"X3")
wood glue or something similar
paper french fry container (I just happened to have some of these...a paper bowl would work well too)
staples and a stapler

Partially drill a hole into your wooden platform to accommodate your dowel.  Don't drill all the way through.  Glue your dowel into the hole.  Let it dry.  Once it is dry, staple your paper container to the top of the platform.  That's it!

And now for the fun part...embellishing!  This isn't actually a requirement.  "Naked" catchers work just fine.  But it's always fun to paint.  I decided to paint mine with red and white "Cat in the Hat" stripes.  I didn't take the time to tape and measure and make everything exact.  It seemed more "Seussie" to have them be a little bit wonky.  So, I just eyeballed it.  I used a foam sponge brush (one inch) and some acrylic paint.  You could add streamers or a bow to the bottom too.  Whatever you want.  The sky is the limit!  Oh the places you could go!

The Rules:

We played several versions of this game.  You will want to adjust the rules according to the age of your players.  The family favorite was to see how many fish you could catch in your "catcher" without losing your load.  I think the winner was able to hold five or six fish without dropping any.  It's also fun to see how many you can catch in a row without dropping any.  This is more of a "catch and release" game.  One person generally throws (a great option for little people) while a second person catches.  We also played this game in a relay format.  Which team can catch the most fish in a certain amount of time.  You will want to draw two lines on your playing field.  The thrower has to stay behind one line and the catcher must stay behind the other.  This evens things out a bit.

If you want to skip the "catchers" all together.  It's also really fun to play Toss the Fish.  This is a great way to involve the preschool crowd.  We used a round fish bowl and tried to see if the kids could throw the fish into the bowl.  You could play the fishbowl version as a relay as well.

I'm sure there are lots of other ways to play.  Just have fun!

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