Finding Nemo Search Game


That was a good movie, wasn’t it? Clownfish look a lot a like though. Would the children be able to find Nemo in a shoal of clownfish let alone guess how many clown fish are hanging around the yard? Setting up for these 2 games should cost around $35 and the kids will enjoy both games a total of 30 minutes or so.

Materials Needed:

  1. old newsprint
  2. an egg carton
  3. orange spray paint for plastic
  4. white acrylic paint
  5. black acrylic paint or sharpie
  6. 2 dozen or so ping pong balls
  7. optional: glass vase
  8. optional: paper to write down guesses on
  9. optional: a bowl to put the guesses in


Place old newspaper down as a cover on the ground. Depending on the wind, you may want to secure it down with either tape or heavy rocks. Next, put the 2 dozen ping pong balls in the egg containers. Spray paint a couple of coats of orange paint and then wait about 15 minutes (or longer depending on the paint) to turn them over and coat the other side. The ping pong balls should have a nice, smooth, and orange finish.

When those are done drying, paint two imperfect, but bold white stripes on each of the clownfish. Make sure that you’ll have room to draw a fin in between the lines later. It may be a good idea to paint the top side of each of the ping pong balls in all of the cartons before painting the bottom so that the paint will have hopefully dried by then.Here is some inspiration from the plush tsum tsum version of Nemo:


Once those stripes are dry, it’s time to give your clownfish personality. Give all but one of your ping pong ball fish equally sized fins. Save the last ping pong ball to be Nemo (so that your life is easier. It is essential that this fish has one fin smaller than the other. Let them dry and then draw a face on them. Simplistic is better. Then draw one, big curved line on the opposite side from where you drew the face to be the tail. Once that’s done, you can outline the 2 white stripes with the black pen/paint and draw the dorsal fin. This should look like a sideways B that isn’t filled in (kind of like the lazy, line way to draw birds in the distance). Once that’s dry, finish outlining the white on the bottom of the fish.

You can either leave it at that or you can write the name of each fish on the bottom so that there is no confusion about who found Nemo. If you want to play a joke on the kids or the kids know the movie well, you should name one fish Marlin, one fish Nemo, one fish Coral (Nemo’s mom), 11 fish named Coral Jr. and 10 fish named Marlin Jr.

There are 2 games that you can play with these fish. One is to have the guests try to figure out how many fish are in a jar and the other is to spread them around the house or yard to have the kids find the fish. The games should be played in the order above.


Game 1: There are a lot of clown fish in here. Can you guys guess how many there are total?

Game 2: Nemo, Marlin, and their extended clownfish family have moved in nearby. Everyone should grab any clownfish that they find and bring it over here. There will be a prize for whomever can find Nemo.

Finding Dory Riddle Hunt


I saw “Finding Dory” with my friend last month. I’ll admit it: I almost cried a couple of times. Thank you, Pixar. Just like Dory was on a search for her parents, we’ll send the kids on the search for the missing school of fish. They should be able to each take a fish home at the end of the party. The estimated cost is about $22 assuming that you have a printer at home and this activity may take 5-15 minutes to play. This game will work well for kids 6+ who can read. You should still watch over them to make sure that they can follow the clues correctly.

Optional: You can put little trinkets or candies at the bottom of poem as a reward for finding the next clue. 

Materials Needed:

  1. Plush fish. I found a dozen rainbow clownfish for $17, but I also found a dozen less expensive fish on the same website. Expect to pay at least $1.00 per plush fish
  2. tape to put up the rhymes (consider using painter’s tape to hang the images and rhymes on the walls when playing indoors).
  3. a printer to print out the rhymes
  4. a bucket or basket to put all of the fish in once found ~ $5


Print out the clues with their images and tape them around the house. They should follow logically (ex clue x, clue y, and clue z) rather than randomly placing the clues around the house so that the kids have to back track over old clue spots.

Each child should go home with a plush fish at the end of the riddle hunt.


Dory’s friends are missing. They were all in school when she last saw them and they may still be schooling. Do you think we can help her? (Wait for a cheer from the children) More enthusiasm! Do you think we can help her? (Get a louder cheer out of the kids before starting to read the first clue).

Our first clue is from Dory who wrote: “I can’t remember much about my fishy friends/ I remember that one of their names is Ben or is it Ken?/  Bruce knows a lot of fish in this sea / Can you please ask him where they are for me?”

Clues and answers:

1: Dory: “I can’t remember much about my fishy friends/ I remember that one of their names is Ben or is it Ken?/  Bruce, the shark, knows a lot of fish in this sea / Can you please ask him where they are for me?”

2: Bruce: “Fish are friends, not food/ Sorry, kids, I’m not in the mood/ Ask Dory’s clownfish mate/ i think I’m sick after something I ate”


3:Marlin: “Dory has too many friends/ Her list of friends never ends/ Nemo knows more than I/ And when you see him, tell him his dad says hi”


4: Nemo and his friends: “Schooling is so much fun/ But when in school there’s work to be done/ we learn, eat, and play all day/ ask our teacher, the manta ray”


5: Manta Ray: “My class left at about two-thirty eight/ they said they all had to go to a playdate/ do you all know where the fish like to play?”


6: Reef: “Us fish who like to play all day/ Are sad because we have no where to stay/ Won’t you take us home with you/ and none of us will ever be blue!”


Octopus Pool Game


Another great pool party game that’ll entertain everyone. You’ll just need a pool (and we also recommend hiring a life guard if you’re going to be playing this in your own backyard). It’s a fun game for ages 6+, especially those that are good swimmers. Even the older kids may want join in at the family reunion around the pool. Other than paying the lifeguard your negotiated amount, this game costs nothing!

Note: In order to generate more interest amongst the children or to use this game for a Finding Dory party/Finding Nemo party, tell the kids that it’s Hank the Octopus’ favorite game. 

Materials Needed:

  1. pool
  2. possibly a life guard (you can always ask around the neighborhood, your religious institution i.e. church, or manager of the local town pool to find certified, teen life guards who’d be happy to watch and make sure that everyone stays safe).


Choose one child (or adult) or have the group elect someone to be the octopus. They’ll be “it” for the game, or you simply call them the octopus.

Like the game Sharks and Minnows (link), the people that aren’t it should line up at one end of the pool and all try to swim across at once. You can have the octopus say something to start the new round such as “All clear, no octopi here” or not. Anyone who swims across without being tagged is safe. Anyone who was tagged, must hold hands with the octopus in the center of the pool.

The kids should create more of a spiral than a line. The newly tagged now have the ability to tag the swimmers trying to get across.

The last one standing should become the new octopus if you decide to play the game again.