Kids can 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! My daycare hooligans love to gather around the pond and watch the them. The toddlers and preschoolers find them fascinating, so I’ve incorporated some fishing activities into our daily structure, like this homemade fishing game, and now, these fish magnets.
Our fish magnets are very easy to make, and as usual, we used items that you likely already have on hand.
To make our fish fridge 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)
*Always run your styrofoam trays through your dishwasher to ensure they’ve been sterilized before crafting with them.
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.
How we made our them:
I started by cutting out a simple fish template to trace onto our styrofoam meat trays.
I traced my fish template onto the styrofoam and the inserts, and cut them out. This works best when you use a craft knife. You may need to smooth the edges by rubbing them on the leg of your jeans or with an emery board.
Then the hooligans painted their fish with acrylic craft paint. Acrylics adhere to styrofoam better than any regular kids’ paint we have.
When the paint was dry, the hooligans added eyes and mouths to their fish.
A cut up drinking straw makes the perfect fish 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 fun 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!
More Crafts with Styrofoam Produce Trays
- Beginner Sewing Activity with Styrofoam Produce Trays
- Styrofoam and Button Christmas Tree Ornaments for Preschoolers
- Styrofoam Mosaic Art
- Art with Liquid Chalk Markers and Styrofoam Produce Trays
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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. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.