Make these adorable fish fridge magnets out of a styrofoam tray and a drinking straw:
After a very delayed start to Spring, the ice is finally off our pond, and we can see our fish again!
The hooligans love to gather around the pond and watch the fish. I keep an assortment of sticks and garden stakes in a nearby garden, to be used as fishing rods. And they are, without fail, every time we’re in the backyard. With all the excitement of being able to play at the pond again,
I thought it would be fun to focus on some fish crafts and activities this week, so today we made some adorable homemade fridge magnets shaped like fish.
Our fish magnets are very easy to make, and as usual, we used items that you likely already have on hand.
To make or fish magnets, you’ll need:
- Styrofoam produce tray (we also used corrugated food packaging and an insert from a box of chocolates)
- colourful drinking straws
- googly eyes
- old fridge magnets (the kind that advertise local businesses and what-not)
*Always run your styrofoam trays through your dishwasher to ensure they’ve been sterilized before crafting with them.
A thrifty crafter’s best friend is her recycle bin:
I started by cutting out a simple fish template to trace onto our styrofoam meat trays.
I love using materials that are a little out of the ordinary for our craft projects, and we use a lot of things that most people would toss into the trash.
These materials usually offer some dimension and texture to whatever we’re making, and they’re more interesting for little hands to explore than regular construction paper or cardstock.
Today, in addition to the styrofoam trays, we also used a corrugated insert from a package of taco shells, and one of those padded, crinkly inserts from a box of chocolates.
I traced my fish template onto the styrofoam and the inserts, and cut them out. It was easiest to cut the styrofoam with a craft knife. Smooth the edges of the styrofoam by running them quickly over your leg. It sounds odd, I know, but the denim smooths any rough edges.
Then the hooligans painted their fish with acrylics. I’ve fount them to be the best for painting on styrofoam.
When the paint was dry (a blast with the hair dryer will speed things along if necessary), the hooligans added eyes and mouths to their fish.
A drinking straw makes the perfect fishy mouth!
You’ve probably noticed that we used the drinking straws to make the mouths.
I wrote a post yesterday: 5 simple cutting exercises for children, where I talk about several neat materials you can use to get your little one started using scissors. Straws were on that list, so we were cutting them up yesterday, and again today.
The hooligans LOVE cutting straws because they go flying when you snip them.
The small pieces of the straws were perfect for our fishies’ mouths.
And now to turn these fish into fridge magnets:
I don’t bother buying sheets of magnets for this kind of thing. I simply save up all of the advertising magnets that seem to somehow multiply on our fridge.
Glue one of those to the back of your fish, and you’re good to go!
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.