I made these felt fish using a free template from the blog at Purlbee (Fish Templates Here). Initially, I made the felt fish for my son to play with as part of his quiet book. However, he was not very interested in playing with the fish so I ended up stashing them in my visuals folder at work.
The felt fish only take a couple of hours to make (with some tv watching thrown in) and could be made in less time if you just hot glue the pieces on instead of sewing them on with embroidery thread.
I use these fish for many different therapeutic music interventions so the list below is just a snapshot of how you can use these cute, colorful fish.
Gross Motor: Use the fish on top of a big blue scarf while standing to make the fish swim up and down or side to side while singing songs such as “Row, Row, Row”, “Itty Bitty Pool”, or other songs about the ocean.
Fine Motor: Encourage pincer grasp by showing children how to pinch the fish, one in each hand. Use a song that directs children to move the fish up high, down low, side to side, and have the fish even kiss each other. This type of therapeutic music intervention encourages bilateral motion, meeting at midline, and crossing midline.
Counting with 1:1 Correspondence: Glue the fish onto popsicle sticks and use during counting songs.
Color Identification: Use songs that give an opportunity for children to identify the color(s) of their fish expressively or receptively (e.g. if you have a blue fish sing “me”).
Directional Concepts/Prepositions: Have children hold the fish in one hand and create a rock with the other hand. The fish can now swim over, under, around, on, and through the rock.
I hope you can use the template to make some fish of your own to use with clients or at home. I would love it if you would share your favorite songs to use with children about fish or the ocean in the comments below. I’ll be sharing an original song that I use with the fish to teach directional concepts in the Monday Music & Movement post next week. Happy weekend!