Life is full of lots of waiting for children. Waiting at the doctor's office, for food to come at a restaurant, to collect siblings from practices or for the soccer game to end. The boredom of all this waiting seems to heighten their level of whining and fighting, so I’m always on the lookout for quiet activities to have available for my little ones to help pass the time. This little fishing set is a great solution. It fits right inside an Altoids tin, making it perfect to slip into a purse or pocket where it is readily available to fight off boredom!

Materials Needed:

  • Empty Altoids tin
  • Colorful scraps of felt or fabric
  • Metal washers
  • Magnet
  • String
  • Stick
  • Hot glue and glue gun


  1. Cut a template of a fish from a piece of cardstock and then use it to cut a dozen or so fish out of bits of fabric. I used felt, fleece and flannel—just whatever I had in my stash. You could also use colored cardstock.
  2. Cut two fish out of each color.
  3. Sandwich a small metallic washer (make sure it will attract to a magnet) between the two fish with hot glue.
  4. Cut a stick so it just fits inside your tin.
  5. Tie a string on for your fishing line.
  6. Attach a magnet on the end of your string. I used two small round, flat magnets and secured the end of the string between them with hot glue.
  7. Store the fish and pole inside your tin and keep it at the ready to fight off boredom!

DIY Pocket-Sized Kids' Magnetic Fishing Set