I’ve got a colorful DIY toy idea for you guys today! We recreated a classic toy for PBS Parents Crafts for Kids: Mini-Ball Games, AKA balance bead games. This was a favorite of mine as a kid and judging by my children’s reaction, might just be one they’ll remember fondly too!
Please note: This post was originally created for PBS Parents Crafts for Kids and the instructions and the template are no longer available on their website. I’m including modified directions here now that do not require the use of a template.
Before you start: We made two versions of the toy: one with a cover and one without. If you don’t use a cover make sure the lids you use have long enough sides to contain the beads so they don’t roll off the game!
Mini Ball Game
- Colorful Pens
- Recycled Lids
- Hot Glue Gun/Glue
- Hole punch
- Small Beads
- Plastic Cup (optional)
- Step One Chose the lid you will be using and trace it onto a piece of cardboard.
- Step Two Cut out cardboard circle. Make sure it fits in the lid. You may need to trim the edge slightly to fit.
- Step Three Punch a few holes in the cardboard.
- Step Five Decorate the cardboard to create a game board using markers.
- Step Six Glue the cardboard game to the inside of the lid using hot glue (adults only)
- Step Seven (Optional) If you want to add an optional cover, cut a clear plastic cup so that the diameter of the lip fits snugly around the game inside the lid. You may need to trim the cardboard game slight to allow for the plastic cup edge to fit between the lid and cardboard edges.
- Step Eight Add your beads! If using the cover then secure the cup in place using by hot gluing the edges to the lid AFTER you have added the beads.
How to play:
Gently tilt your game to try to get each bead to sit in one of the holes.
Fill your child’s life with more art, design, science, and engineering!
Subscribe to our free newsletter and check out our FB page where I share tons more creative ideas and resources from around the web.
Spread Creativity like wildfire: PIN THIS!