These boys love fishing. It may have something to do with the fact that the three times they've gone Real Fishing with Daddy, they've caught real fish. (Sam is worried that he's inadvertently created Unrealistic Fishing Expectations.) They also love Pretend Fishing, which is when they find any stick-shaped object and try to pick up any other object with it. Or just sit, legs dangling over the arm of the couch, with "rod" in hand and announce, "I'm fishin'!" We've fashioned a real pretend fishing game in the past, which is still among the favorite games in the house that isn't truck-driving or couch-jumping or brother-chasing.
Today, we made a new version.
Pipe Cleaner Fishing!
The interest in the game lasted longer for Big than it did for Little, who preferred to use the pipe cleaners to accessorize. He wore them until lunch time. I love this kid.
We string beads on pipe cleaners for fine motor practice (and addition/number sense...each pipe cleaner is like a mini-abacus). We make sculptures and, yes, glasses/bracelets/crowns/necklaces with them. We wind them around pencils and make little springs to boing to (and at) each other. And now we fish with them. Best part is, you use them how you want to today, straighten them out and reuse them in another way tomorrow. Practically free, creative, quiet fun.