Luca’s Fish Shop


With Christmas boxes and gear for the new baby (did I mention we have a new baby here at Casa Stacie?), we have boxes upon boxes upon boxes around here. The upside is that we have about as much crafting material as we can handle.

Luca happens to love the aquarium, fishing and eating fish so one of the projects we dreamed up was (surprise surprise) a fishing game. The pole is just a stick with a piece of yarn tied to it and a magnet hot glued to the other end of the yarn. Then we created a school of colorful fish and attached paper clips to them so they would stick to the magnet. Voila, instant fishing derby! These fanciful fish also inspired a pretend fish store and made for some very inventive dinners in Luca’s play kitchen.

We were able to squeeze out several days worth of fun just putting all the pieces together: decorating our fish and making funny things to fish for like Luca’s contribution, a pickle wearing a hat (which happens to be the punchline to most of his jokes these days). I made an old shoe and a tin can because no fishing derby would be complete with out them. Another day we put together our fishing pole and attached paper clips to our fish. This was the perfect activity for a preschooler: gluing, glitter and googly eyes, what more could you want?


  • a stick, a magnet, and a piece of yarn
  • hot glue and white school glue
  • cardboard (corrugated is sturdier and easier to work with than thin cardboard from cereal boxes and notepads, but thin cardboard will work in a pinch)
  • whatever decorating supplies you can scavenge such as aluminum foil, party napkins, glitter, wrapping paper, tissue paper and markers

For our sardines, we glued pieces of aluminum foil to both sides of a piece of cardboard and then cut out fish shapes. You can use a sharpie to draw on some details, or “emboss” the details using the back of a ball point pen or a toothpick. Using the same technique, we also got instant pattern and color for our fish by gluing printed party napkins to our cardboard (separate the layers of the napkin and use just the printed layer — or use some colored tissue paper or wrapping paper). If you want, you can seal the surface by watering down some school glue and brushing it over the top.

For those competitive fishers, you can assign points to each fish and make a contest of it. Just scatter the fish in a big shopping bag or a box and fish away!

Rainy Day Crafting: Groovy Rainbow Fruit Salad Tree

This is the way most of our craft projects start… Luca says something like “mom… what if there were purple banana trees?”. We never seem to be organized enough to actually plan out craft projects in advance, so we just go with it when inspiration hits. Many times we don’t get much father than paper and crayons… but this time I just happened to glancing over at a pile of cardboard to go out with our recycling just as Luca was saying the words “purple banana tree”. Eureka!

We had a lot of fun cutting, painting, gluing and raiding our random craft supplies. Pretty soon our purple banana tree turned into a “work in progress” rainbow fruit salad tree. Luca has big plans to add lemons, apples and pigeons (?) to the other sides of our tree in the coming weeks. I may have to throw in a butterfly or two… just because. We’ll keep you posted on our progress. Our tree has already been called into service as a prop for Luca’s current favorite game “monkey circus”, and comes in handy for our imaginary restaurant where sparkly bananas are always on the menu.

Not only was this project fun and satisfyingly messy…. we got to talking about our favorite foods that grow on trees (and also animals who call trees home). I love how projects like these always spark curiosity and conversation.