Children love being tricky. This game gives them the chance to secretly take away a fish. The other player then needs to determine which fish is missing by finding the missing number. While playing, children practice reciting numbers 1-10 and number recognition.
Being able to recite and list numbers in the correct order is a fundamental skill for children to learn arithmetic. Young children might quickly get bored with reciting numbers over and over, so this game ads some motivation in the form of tricking adults.
The numerical number version of this game provides children a chance to hide a numbered fish and let grownups find out which one has been hidden. Roles can be reversed, where the parent hides the fish and the child must determine which fish was hidden.
Even though the numbered fish are not listed in any particular order, children will soon discover that the best way to figure out which fish is missing is by going through the numbers in counting order.
The visual representation version (with different numbers of dots on the fish) provides children with extra counting practice by requiring them to count the number of dots on each fish as they look for the missing fish.