This magnet fish tank is a great little craft and activity for toddlers and preschoolers. Kids can help to make it and it will provide entertainment for those little active minds.

With only a few items from around the house, this activity is pretty easy to put together.

You Will Need;

  • A Cardboard Box
  • Colourful Cardstock/Paper
  • Glue
  • Tissue Paper
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Yarn
  • Paper Clips
  • Magnets
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • A Stick
  • Blue Material/Mesh (optional)
  • Stapler (optional)

Finding A Box

The box you use for your magnet fish tank does not have to be huge. In fact smaller works best, and deep if you have it. However whatever you can find will be fine.

We chose to use wrapping paper to cover our box. This is really just to brighten it up. But you don’t really need to cover the box.

Once the outside of the box is covered, it is time to do the inside. You want to make it like it’s under the ocean. We used blue tissue paper and then added some blue see through mesh that we had in our craft drawers. This of course is optional and you can use whatever you have lying around.

Add glue to the inside of the box.
Stick the tissue paper around the inside.
Blue tissue paper is for an ocean effect.

When we made our ‘ocean’ I felt that the tissue paper needed something more to it. I found some blue see through mesh that worked great. We didn’t really need to stick it down as it was so lightweight. I stapled the top edges to the flaps on the box. The blue just gave the box a more under the sea feel to it.

Adding Extras!

We decided to add some sea creature stickers to our fish tank box. This just jazzed it up a bit. You can even make the outside look more like under the sea but my daughter wanted to go with a pink fish tank lol!

Making Your Fishing Pole/Rod

The fishing pole or rod is basically just a stick and some yarn.

We tied a knot in the yarn around the stick but had to secure it with tape. Glue would also secure it.

We attached a magnet to the other end of the yarn. Depending on the size of the magnet you may need glue to attach it.

Creating Your Fish

To make the fish you just need some construction paper or card stock. Preferably different colours. Cut out your fish using one of our templates which you will find below. Or you can make your own 🙂

Once the fish are cut out, use paper clips to place on the end of them. This is what your magnet will connect to when ‘fishing’

We did a total of 10 fish but you can do as many or as little as you want.

My daughter wanted each fish to have an eye so she drew one on. But of course this is also optional. You can also stick on a googly eye.

Fish in a tank

The last thing we did was to give our fish numbers. This was a last minute idea and made ‘catching’ the fish more of a learning activity. There are lots of different ways to incorporate counting and helping kids with numbers. Here are just a few ideas;

  • Take it in turns to catch a fish and see who has the highest number.
  • Catch 2 or more fish at a time and add those numbers together.
  • Have your child catch a fish (number) and get them to count on their fingers what number they caught.
  • Incorporate colours too. Have your child catch a fish and they have to find the number of things they see in the room that are blue (example)

Children can also come up with their own counting games. Or even just number recognition is good for smaller children. Its all about making it fun!

Our FREE Printable Fish Templates for your convenience!

More Magnet Fun

Magnets are fun. If you liked this magnet fish tank check out some of our activities using magnets.

This magnet dress up activity is fab. Kids can change costumes for the characters using magnets. We made this for halloween!

How about testing out magnets and doing experiments with them. Check out our free printable recording sheets.

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