For today’s Fishing Fridays I want to share how fishing can be an educational experience. I always knew that it was because kids obviously learn a lot from hands on experience, but this week I actually realized HOW much they have learned through our time out fishing! We are learning about sea animals in Science, and a couple of questions came up that I was able to compare to our experiences! They already know different types of fish and other creatures exist in the water, and they’ve had the hands on experience and the chance to explore! When we were talking about creatures that live in the water that don’t swim they were easily able to come up with an example – and laugh about the fact that “daddy caught a clam” once! There really is nothing quite like personal experience!
I wanted to share a few points to maximize learning experiences while fishing:
- Let them explore. Obviously, it’s important to keep a close eye on them, particularly younger kids, but you can cast a few and enjoy your time fishing while the kids explore near by!
- Talk about everything! Not only are we teaching them to fish, but we’re teaching them so much more. Share it! Talk about what is going on with the water – is it high tide or low tide? How can you tell? What type of fish have you caught? Share facts about the fish. Talk about the little frogs you see. Talk about the noises you hear around you. Remember it’s not just about the fish, there is A LOT around you that you can share like plants, bugs, wild cows (OK, maybe not everywhere, but they’re abundant here in Central Texas), birds, etc. Everything you see and hear is a possibility to learn something new!
- Give them hands on experience. Take cues from you child(ren). Maybe they’re not interested in touching the fish or the worms, but maybe they are! Give them the option! Let them play in the dirt, stack the rocks, etc. Again, maximize your experience on your surroundings, and let them explore hands on!
- Talk about patience. Patience is always a tough subject particularly for younger kids, but fishing is obviously a good real-life experience to learn patience. You can also use that time to show them smart (quiet!) ways to use their time while they are patiently waiting!
- Equip them with “tools.” We always have a few fun “tools” for the kids to use besides their fishing poles. We have little nets, buckets, shovels, etc. You would be surprised how they can use their imagination and use each tool for multiple activities!
- Have fun! Not only is it a great learning experience, it’s a great time to spend time together. Enjoy that time! Kids remember more when they associate it with fun!