Introduction: Castle Ball Toss With Ball Return

Picture of Castle Ball Toss With Ball Return
Great for carnivals, children's birthday parties or just fun around the house, a ball toss game is a simple fun game that can be made in just a few hours and give your kid's hours of playtime.  The object of the castle ball toss game is simply to toss a ball through one of the windows of the castle.  Depending upon your child's age and ability to throw, this can be quite a challenging and fun game.

Supplies:
2 Styrofoam poster-boards
Cardboard
Ball
Markers
Tape
Glue
Scissors
straws
bamboo skewers
exacto knife
Pencil
Ruler
Paper Tacky Glue

Step 1: Trace Castle on Board 1

Picture of Trace Castle on Board 1

With a pencil and ruler, draw the outline of the castle.  The Windows will be where the ball is tossed, so make certain the windows are large enough for the ball.  A tennis ball is the ideal size and weight, but just about any small children's ball will do.

Once you have drawn the castle, use an exacto knife to cut out the outline.  Be sure to save the window cut-outs and the scrap Styrofoam as you may need these later.

Step 2: Trace Castle Towers on Styrofoam Board 2

Picture of Trace Castle Towers on Styrofoam Board 2

With a pencil and ruler, draw the outline of the towers.  The Windows will be where the ball is tossed, so make certain the windows are large enough for the ball. 

Once you have drawn the castle, use an exacto knife to cut out the outline.  Be sure to save the window cut-outs and the scrap Styrofoam as you may need these later.  The scrap from this section is used to make the back stand for the game.

Step 3: Color Windows and Castle With Markers

Picture of Color Windows and Castle With Markers

This next step requires some artistic skill, but if you have trouble with  drawing, you  can re-size these images, print them on a color printer, and glue them to the windows of the castle.  Color in various cute creatures on each of the castle windows, add some bricks and outlines in marker onto the castle.  I used standard sharpie markers. 

Step 4: Re-attaching the Windows

Picture of Re-attaching the Windows

Each of the castle's window's should swing open and closed again when hit with a ball to allow the ball to go through the window.  To do this, you have to make a simple hinge.  I did this by taping a cut straw to the top back of each of the windows.  A bamboo skewer than goes through the tube of the straw and tapes to the back of the castle.  This allows the windows to swing open and closed easily. 

Using scraps of construction paper, form a tube for the ball to roll down.  When the ball goes through the window, it will roll down the tube and out the central door where the dragon resides.

Step 5: Tubes and Ramps

Picture of Tubes and Ramps

Glue or tape the two side pieces of the castle to the opposite sides of the central castle.  Using scraps of construction paper, fold the paper to form half-tube pipes for the ball to roll down such that if the ball goes through any of the windows, it will roll toward the door opening where the dragon resides.  Use lots of tape and glue to form these tubes. 

Step 6: Castle Stand

Picture of Castle Stand

Using the left-over scraps of styrofoam board, make the stand to hold up the castle ball toss.  Make sure to cut-out a section for the ramps that carry the ball to roll through. 

Step 7: Have Fun!

Picture of Have Fun!

Finally your castle Ball toss is done!  Now it is time to test it out.  Make sure that the ball rolls out the central doorway when the ball is dropped through any of the windows.  If the ball does not roll out, adjust the angle of the dragon (central door) so that it is at a slight angle against the back of the stand.  If the ball gets stuck, try a smaller ball.  If the ball doesn't open the window, you might need a heavier ball.

Try different games with your kids and the ball toss.  Often it is a good idea to let young kids toss the ball closer and older kids have to throw further away.  You can make things more difficult by making different windows worth different points or make the game harder by using a lighter ball.  This game is much more difficult than it appears making ideal for small carnival fundraisers and events.

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