Play It Forward Therapy

Candy Cane Fishing Game

Candy Cane Fishing

Candy Cane Fishing

Candy Cane Fishing takes some patience, but in the end it’s worth it!  This Candy Cane Fishing activity encourages self-regulation because it requires moving slowly in order to succeed. 

It’s a motivating and playful way to slow down and focus because in the end…comes a sweet reward!  This activity is also great practice for eye hand coordination, using two hands together and motor planning!

The level of challenge can be modified for all skill levels!

To make it more challenging, place several candy canes in the container, close or far apart depending upon the level of challenge.  You can also adjust the level of difficulty by how your child is positioned and the length of the fishing line. The longer the fishing line, the more difficult.  Or challenge your balance and stand on a bosu ball or balance board.

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To simplify, use a shorter fishing line and allow kids to use two hands.  One hand to stabilize the fishing candy cane and the other hand to adjust the other candy cane to “hook” it on. When it comes to motor planning, make sure there’s enough space around the container for the child to move around it to find the best spot to fish.  Motor planning is when you have an idea in mind and you can coordinate your body to do the action. To make it easier, place fewer candy canes in the container or orient them so they’re all facing in the same direction.  If your child is becoming frustrated, you can prompt them by asking, “Do you need help?”  or modeling by saying, “Help please” to encourage requesting assistance and imitation.

Candy Cane Fishing is a fun way to practice sustained attention, patience and frustration tolerance... with a sweet reward at the end.


Pro Tip:  Buy organic and dye free candy canes such as Yum Earth brand or Spanglers.


1.  Color the rice: Place 1 Cup of rice in the bag. Add food coloring, close the bag and mix with your hands by squeezing and shaking the bag until the color is evenly distributed. For 2 colors, use 2 different bags. Let dry on a paper plate or on wax paper on a cookie tray for a few hours or overnight. Or spread the rice evenly on a cookie sheet and bake on low for 30 minutes at 200 degrees F.

2.  Tape the candy canes to make them stronger.

3.  Pour the rice into a container and “plant” your candy canes.  

4.  Time to go fishing!