Cardboard or foam board basketball game.
I remember when I first started my education career, there was this viral video named “Caine’s arcade” (see below) that came out about a kid who built cardboard carnival games. I was impressed by his engineering in designing and putting the games together. Having always been a fan of building things, this video and the kid in the video got me thinking in how I can incorporate the building aspect in the classroom.
After searching on Youtube, I found that there were a lot of cardboard game builders where they had instructional videos in showing you the materials and steps in building a fully functioning game. The games were simple yet fun to build as they require some precise measurements and engineering. The videos provides you with all the measurements, and design but in order to really test out your engineering skills, building a game that is to your liking requires you to do some trial and error work.
I built the basketball game with my 4 year old. Even though I did all of the big cutting with a box cutter, she did help me with other items such as using a hot glue gun to glue pieces together, deciding on the pictures to decorate, and to cut out the decorations to put on the game. One of the memorable moments was when I printed out a cartoon drawings of NBA players and cut them out to have them look like the spectators. After gluing them on, she looked at all of them and realized that they were all males so she asked if we could have some girls in the stands. We then browsed through Google images and searched for WNBA players and printed them off for the stands.
Spending them building the game with my daughter provided a lot of quality time spent together. It wasn’t just about her learning the skills, but also for her to observe the details and work needed to put something together. Sometimes the cut out pieces may not line up or fit together, but it is the grit of trying it and fixing errors that make the building more rewarding. Some people might not let a 4 year old use a hot glue gun all to themselves (she did burn her finger once), but with supervision, and some caution, her confidence grew as she did more of the task.