A fishing pole, empty soda can and tennis ball are all a person needs to keep a husband, son and dog occupied for many hours — yes, it is true! You are thinking — well, the fishing pole can be used by the husband and son to spend quality time trying to catch fish (real or imaginary, see any of my Christmas Letters!) – but what about the dog? Does she just go along for the ride, hang out and go swimming? Oh, maybe that’s why one needs a tennis ball – to keep the dog occupied! Fishing for dad and son — tennis ball for dog. But where does that leave the empty soda can? Did dad or son enjoy that together, sharing another one of those wonderful father-son moments? Then what about the dog? Does she just get to lap up the remains or chase the can around while father and son play kick the can while they are taking a break from catching those imaginary fish?
Well — actually none of that is true! Our family decided to improvise a way to use all of these things while not anywhere near water – and in the relative safety of our back yard. In fact, sometimes a small toddler can be amused for a while with the games devised using these items. Confused? Don’t be — once you read on, you will start thinking of your own ways to use these items to their fullest potential! So, here are the family games —
Fisherman‘s Catch. Another name for this could be Lazy Man’s Catch – because it could actually be accomplished while dad is sitting in a lawn chair! Instructions are as follows:
- Position lawn chair in middle of yard.
- Punch hole thrown tennis ball.
- Put tennis ball on fishing line, much like a bobber.
- Cast tennis ball into yard, pretending that you are going fishing for the rare Dogfish.
- Watch crazy Dogfish run (or swim if your imagination is working well!) after the bait.
- Reel bait in just before Dogfish gets the bait.
- Make Dogfish crazy and recast.
- Game ends when Dogfish sprawls out due to exhaustion or fisherman’s arm gives out.
- If Dogfish catches bait, he wins – give him a treat!
This game can be modified to catch Toddler Fish. Caution concerning Toddler Fish – they tend to start crying if they are not allowed to catch the bait occasionally.
Annoying Fisherman. If you have two fishing poles, this game can take place at the same time as Fisherman’s Catch.
- Stand on opposite of house from the Sibling Fish’s bedroom window.
- Bait fishing pole with empty soda can. Can tab is perfect for tying on the line. Can should be empty to avoid any breakage which would result in a fine from the Game Warden (alias Mom).
- Stand back and cast line OVER the top of the house. Of course, this will only work on certain styles of houses. Our house was perfect since it was a split level where the backyard was higher than the front. Could work on traditional ranch home.
- Aim bait so it slams into window of Sibling Fish while it is sleeping. This will scare the Sibling Fish the first time and cause great confusion if bait is reeled in before Sibling Fish sees it.
- Repeat procedure until Sibling Fish gets out of bed and screams maniacally out the back door.
- When Sibling Fish comes to back door to scream, pretend to be using can for Fisherman’s Catch and deny everything. Dogfish has already been trying to chase bait over the roof and will be happy to join in the fun.
Caution – Sibling Fish can be particularly dangerous if it has been out all night with its friends. Fisherman should be prepared to run in order to save life and limb.
I’m sure you can think of lots of uses for these items in your own life – and perhaps we could develop a television series around this type of fishing. We could call it – Backyard Fishing! I think we would have a hit on our hands!