Gone Fishing – Children’s Party Game
Supplies: Toy/makeshift fishing pole, sheet, clothes pin, small prizes
Gone Fishing has been a popular kid’s carnival and party game for decades as it is simple, fun and with each turn they receive a special surprise. Gone Fishing games can range from simple sheets and a stick with a string on it, to carnival quality fishin booths. We’ve got some ideas so you create your own water hole for your kids party.
Gone Fishing Game – First Option Parents Behind a Curtain / Divider
This type of diver is used if the parents are going to sit behind the divider and attach prizes to the end of the play fishing pool
In this example a a blue cloth / sheet or shower curtain is draped over or hung from a string tie across the room, if in a school or outside consider draping over two ladders and secure the cloth with clips, so it doesn’t slide off during the game. The height of the divider should be high enough that the kids can see you behind the sheet (even if they know you are there) yet low enough so they can place the fishing pole over the curtain. A good hieght seems to be around 4 – 5 feet.
Once you have hung the divider add some pictures off regular or tropical fish to the side that faces the kid’s so they know that it is supposed to represent water. Tropical are preferred since they are more colorful and exciting at that age.
With this version you will also need to use a toy fishing pole (there should be a hook on the end, not a magnet) or make a fishing pole out of household items like broom handles or a stick. If you make your own broom handle be sure to tie string on the end and add a hook or clothes pin on the end. By placing a hook or clothes pin on the end, you can hook or clip the prizes on the pole.
Prizes and gifts – We recommend you have small paper gift bags with just a few items in them that don’t weight to much. I like to vary up the gifts inside so that there is a surprise element. Once you place the prizes (toys / candy in the gift bags fold the tops down and hold with a paperclip. I you at using a fishing pole in the game, then use a hole to create a hole to slip the hook through during the party game, if however you are using a clipping clothes pin for the fishing pole hook then you are ready until the game begins.
How to Play Gone Fishin
– We recommend you have to people for this game (A person to place items on the hook and the other who helps the kids fish)
– Have the children come up one at a time to Go Fishing.
– Hand them the fishing Pole & tell them to cast (place) the pole into the water (over the curtain) to Go Fishing
– Inform them that when a fish bites they should feel a tug on the Fishing Pole the should wait a second or two and slowly lift up the fishing pole and see what they got. (If you are the person helping the kids fish you might just let them know – I think you got something after you are sure that the prize has been properly attached.)
– FYI – If you are the person behind the curtain, let the child place the Fishing Pole over the curtain and then wait a few seconds until you attach the prize bag to the hook or clip it to the clothes pin. Once you have attached the bag and removed the paperclip, gently tug on the string so the child knows they caught someone. If you want to change things up, do a fake tug here and there and then add an prize bag on the second try.
– Once the child retrieves his or her prize bag they hand the fishing pole to the helper and the next child takes their turn.
Gone Fishing Game – Using Cardboard & a Tub/Container
This Gone Fishing Game use a cardboard perimeter, a tub of some kind, a fishing pole with a magnet on the end and you may need some fish (not real ones).
First using cardboard create perimiter from which to build your fish pond. The height of this should be an inch above the child’s site line so they can’t see where the fish are. You’ll need two side and a front area that faces the kids, with a large refrigerator or appliance box you may be able to make a few bends to complete this u-shaped perimeter.
Now take a storage tub or any wide container that sits low and place it behind the cardboard. This is where you will place the fish.
– Please note that the tub need to sit high enough so the end of the Fishing Pole can reach the magnet, so you may have to put the tub on a box.
Now you can cover the cardboard perimeter with a blue cloth and add you own fish pictures or a fish shower curtain. Again, the idea to make them imagine this is a pond.
1. The John Deere Electronic Fishing Pole shown on the left, might be good for this game and comes with 5 fish, so you can buy two sets or just return the fish to the tub to reuse once they are unhooked.
2. Get a set of magnets from the craft store, get ping pong balls and decorate to look like fish, then attach magnets to the ping pong balls so the the Fishing Pole magnet attracts them. (ie – the magnets on the fish would represent their mouths)
Handing out Prize Options:
1. Once a child catches a fish and brings it over to the Adult (host) they are given a prize bag.
2. If prizes are different some better than others then you need to either attach a number to the fish using a piece of paper and a rubber band or write a specific number on the ping pong ball.
– Then when a Fish is caught the Adult (Host) matches up the number with the prize bag and the next child then takes their turn. Iyou have a limited number of the magnetic fish (5) then be sure to remove the old number and replace it with a new number of a prize that is still available.
How to Play this Version of Gone Fishing
– Let the kids know that they are Going Fishing and point out your fishing pond.
– Tell the kids that they must place their Fishing Pole in the water and move it about, until the hear a click
– Once they hear a click it means they have “Caught a Fish” and need to check
– If they caught a Fish they need to take it over to the Host and get their prize and if they don’t have a Fish they get to try again.
– Once they receive their prize then the next child takes their turn.