Large cardboard box (optional)
Do your kids like fishing? If yes, they will enjoy fishing in the comfort of your home. Find a yardstick, wrapping paper tube, or other kid-sized "fishing pole." Attach two to three feet of string to the pole with tape, then tie a small horseshoe magnet onto the other end. Try decorating the magnet with yarn or scrap foil to make colorful "lures." (Use only large, non-swallowable baubles.)
Next, make fish out of cardboard or paper, or cut pictures of fish out of magazines. Place a large metal paper clip on the front of each fish, then place the fish on the floor and set your kids loose with their gear. (Keep paper clips out of very young hands.) Younger children will delight in fishing from a sofa pillow "boat," or even a large box. Older kids can fish against the clock or follow silly instructions with each new fish caught ("wiggle like a worm," "hop up and down three times," and so on). They'll also get a kick out of fishing from a shopping bag or with their eyes closed. A backyard or back porch alternative: Make fish out of Styrofoam trays, attach the paper clips, then place them all in a water-filled pan or tub. Nothing beats the real thing!