CARDBOARD ARCADE GAMES
Hole Toss and Mini Basketball
Making your own cardboard arcade game is a wonderful creative art project and a simple engineering project culminating in a toy that provides hours of fun games indoors and out. The most joyful moments I have observed are the satisfaction a child gets when they make a hole or basket they did not expect to make. Children have also taken much pride when their game is popular with fellow students.
The arcade game is made of one half of a standard square shipping box that can be bought anywhere boxes are sold. Each half is a ball toss game on one side and a basketball game on the other.
1. Medium to large moving box (Lowe's & Home Depot medium is 18x18x16).
2. Clear packing tape.
3. Box cutters.
4. 16 ounce foam, paper or plastic cup for basketball hoop.
5. Small plastic balls or beanbags for toss game.
6. Crayons, markers and art supplies for decorating your game.
7. Arcade tickets.
Click on the images below to see the items at Amazon. I have tried to pick links with the best value and price from Amazon but you might want to search a bit for the price and quantities that suit your needs.
1. Open the flat box and cut down one side so it becomes a sheet with four panels. Each panel is a square (or rectangle) with a flap on each end (top and bottom).
2. Cut the sheet in half so each half has two panels and four flaps.
3. Stand one of the large panels up so it is at a 90-degree angle from the other large panel. Fold the flaps on one side 90 degrees toward the inside – securely tape them to each other and to the large panel. Do the same for the other side flaps.
For Mini Basketball:
Cut the bottom out of a foam cup so your ball will fit through easily, this will be your basketball hoop. Tape the cup about midway up on your large box panel so the taped flaps provide “sides” for your “court.” Use your art supplies to decorate the court any way you like.
For Hole Toss game:
Stand the taped box up so it sits with the large panels angled out, much like a sandwich board. Cut 3 round holes of varying sizes on one of the large panel sides. Use the side without the basketball hoop the holes will appear on the floor of your “court.” Make them large enough for your beanbags, balls or pine cones to fit through. Making it through the smaller hole is worth more points than the larger. Decorate your arcade game any way you like. You might even give it a name and a theme as so many game makers do.
HOW TO PRESENT IT TO YOUR GROUP:
Cut the flat boxes ahead of time and cut the round holes for Hole Toss while the box is flat. This is the most efficient way if you are working with a large group. You can tape them ahead of time as well.
It is fine if you prefer your students to engineer all steps. They can even draw the hole circles if an adult does the cutting.
Let the students know this is an ongoing art project. They can choose and draw a theme for the hole toss game and create an arena for basketball.
Once the art is finished, you will hand out balls, bean bags or pine cones. The students will take their games to the playing area and practice playing. Urge them to play other students games and have fun.
If you are using arcade tickets, hand them out after 5 minutes of practice and have students designate the number of tickets they will charge to play a game and how much they will award for each basket or hole made. This can be a diffi- cult mathematical calculation for people to make. I usually suggest they charge 1-3 tickets to play and pay off 1-3 tickets for holes made. This can be adjusted by moving the throwing line.
Students are engineering two functions (games) by modifying a cardboard box. Decorating the basketball arena and hole toss game are large canvas art projects. Playing the games develops coordination, strategy and focus. Working with the ticket awards requires math calculations. Students also must cooperate by playing other people’s games and allowing others to play theirs.
Construct an arcade box for every 4 to 6 students. The first part of the project is having each group of 4-6 use crayons to decorate their arcade game. Explanation and coloring will usually take 10-15 minutes depending on supervision.
The second part is playing the games. Have a playing area inside or out where the different games can be spread out. Children take turns playing other groups games and being the attendant for theirs. Playing will last 10-20 minutes. The boxes can be flattened and stored for future use in the classroom by slitting the tape and folding the box.