Ping Pong Panic is a simple children's party game we created that is inexpensive, easy to make, and a fun addition to any party, regardless of the theme or location. The game is portable and can be attached to any flat surface, such as a wall or door, allowing for flexible placement, and the total assembly time is less than an hour, although it may be more depending on how you choose to decorate it. We've decorated our game with a Halloween theme to celebrate the upcoming holiday.
It can be hard to find enough games to keep every child at a birthday party engaged. Ping Pong Panic was created to be a fun, three-dimensional game that can be assembled quickly and requires only a few tools and materials.
How the game works:
The game itself is very simple. The children can line up and take turns trying to throw ping pong balls into the holes. Where the children stand is up to the discretion of the parent/guardian, but we recommend marking a spot to stand while tossing the ball. In the standard version, different holes are worth different amounts, and the points that each child gets can be added up. The number of rounds are up to the party planner, but at the end, the child with the most points is the winner. If you'd like to forgo a point system, you could award the children with prizes, like a piece of candy or a small toy.
- 1 22" x 22" x 22" cardboard box*
- 1 boxcutter
- 1 X-ACTO knife
- 1 roll of duct tape
- 1 18 oz. plastic Solo cup**
- 1 pencil
- 4 double sided removable 1" x 1" mounting squares
- As many ping pong balls as suits your party
*This box size has enough cardboard for the full project, but having extra cardboard can be helpful in case of errors
**The cup will be used to trace the holes, but a smaller or bigger cup can be used to change the difficulty depending on the age of the children.
Step 1: Cut 1 Corner of the Box
Cut along 1 edge of the box with your box-cutter, indicated by the red line. This will allow you to fold your box out so that all four panels lie flat.
Step 2: Cut Out Each Panel
Use the box-cutter to slice along the crease, indicated in red. This will create four separate panels resembling image two.
Step 3: Cut Flaps Off Each Panel
Use your box cutter along the remaining creases (indicated in red) to remove the flaps on each panel
After this step, you should have four 22"x 22" cardboard squares, like in the second image. You should also have eight flaps removed from the square panel. Keep these, you will need them for later.
Step 4: Cut Out Base Piece
Measure a 22" x 16.5" section on one of the 22" x 22" squares. Use your ruler to create a straight line when you cut the excess off of the piece. We will be using this as the base of the game.
Step 5: Attach Base Piece to Back Piece
Attach the 22" side of the base piece made in step 4 to a side of a 22" x 22" squares using duct tape.
The 22" square will eventually act as the back wall of the finished game, but for now, you should have something resembling the attached photo.
Step 6: Attach Base Piece to Front Piece
Attach the remaining 22" side of the base piece to a side of another 22" x 22" squares using duct tape.
The 22" square you attach in this step will become the front-diagonal panel of the game. You should now have 3 pieces connected like the picture.
Step 7: Place 5 Pieces of Duct Tape Along the Front Panel Edge
Bend the front panel back as shown in the picture and place five 2" pieces of duct tape along the top edge of the front panel.
Only 1" of each piece of tape should be attached to the front panel, leaving 1" of each tape piece unattached.
Step 8: Attach the Back Piece to the Front Piece
Lift the back piece up so that it is at a 90° angle with the base piece. Connect the front and back piece by folding back the duct tape on the front piece and bending the front piece towards the back piece until they touch. Use your fingers to make sure the duct tape is fully attached top the back piece.
The first image shows how the duct tape will connect the pieces, and the third image shows how it will look form the front. There should be 15.5" between the base and where the front meets the back, leaving 6.5" of the back above the meeting of the back and front as shown in the second image.
Tip: If you attach the tape and find that your measurements are different, you can always peel off the duct tape and try again.
Step 9: Fold 1 Flap in Half
Fold one of the flaps from step 3 in half so that it is slightly raised when you lay it down, as shown in the picture.
This will become the inner ramp piece.
Step 10: Attach the Inner Ramp to the Game
Slide the inner ramp from step 9 into the game horizontally, with one edge against the back of the game. Push one side of the ramp in 0.5" from the edge of the game as shown in the first picture. Tape the ramp to the base on that edge with duct tape. Repeat this process with the other side of the ramp.
You should end up with the ramp raised in the middle and attached on both sides as shown in the second picture. This ramp will force the ping pong balls to roll out of the game when they enter the holes.
Step 11: Find the Height of the Inside Wall
Hold another flap up to one side of the game, with the 11" side vertical and the 22" side horizontal. Line the bottom 22" side up of the new flap with the edge of the ramp as shown in the picture by the black line. Mark where the front piece of the game meets the new flap and use a ruler to trace a horizontal line starting at the mark, as shown by the green line.
There should be about 4.5" from the bottom of the new flap to the green line, but the exact measurement is unimportant here, as long as it was lined up like this step describes above.
Step 12: Cut Out the Inside Wall
Cut along the line you traced in step 11, as shown by the green line.
The smaller of the two pieces after cutting will become the inside wall.
Step 13: Attach the Inner Wall
Slide the inner wall into the game vertically, with the bottom edge of the inner wall touching the edge of the ramp, as shown in the second picture. Tape the bottom edge of the inner wall to the base with one 2" piece of duct tape at each end. Tape the top edge of the inner wall to the front piece with one 2" piece of duct tape directly above each of the bottom tape pieces you just placed.
The second picture shows how the inner wall should be placed and taped by the end of this step. This inner wall will prevent the ping pong balls from getting stuck in the corner of the game when they are thrown in.
Step 14: Cut Out the First Side Wall
Hold the final 22" x 22" piece against the side of the game, lining it up with the back wall and base, as shown in the first picture. Trace a line along the meeting of the front piece and new 22" x 22" piece, as shown by the red line in the first picture. Cut along the trace you made.
The triangle you cut out will be one of your side walls.
Step 15: Cut Out the Second Side Wall
Lay the side wall from step 14 on top of the leftover piece of the 22" x 22" that was cut in step 14. Line up the side wall with the corner of the leftover piece as shown in the picture. Trace along the diagonal edge of the side wall. Cut along the trace you made to create your second side wall.
Step 16: Mark the Side Wall Cutout Edge
Line a side wall up to the side of the game, so that it covers the entire side opening. Lift the side wall straight up 2 inches as shown by the red line in the picture. Mark on the side wall where the inner wall meets the side wall, as shown by the pencil trace in the picture.
Step 17: Cut Out Side Walls
Trace a 2" line up from the mark you made in step 16. Trace a 12" line perpendicular to the 2" line, as shown by the pencil trace in the picture. Cut along the trace lines. Lay the larger remaining piece of the side wall on top of the 2nd side wall, so that all edges line up. Trace the cutout portion of the 1st side wall onto the 2nd side wall. Cut along the trace on the 2nd side wall.
These cut outs will allow the ping pong balls to fall out of the game when they go in the holes.
Step 18: Attach the Side Walls
Attach one side wall to the game by wrapping a long piece of duct tape (~8") around the edge where the back wall and side wall meet. Wrap a shorter piece of duct tape (~3") along the edge where the base and side wall meet. Repeat this step for the other side wall.
The tape positions are indicated by the blue arrows in the picture.
Step 19: Trace the Holes
Hold the cup up to the front piece of the game and use your pencil to trace around it, making sure each traced circle is at least 7" from the bottom edge of the front piece.* Continue to trace as many circles as you wish and in any placement you wish.
More holes can make it easier for younger children to throw the ball into a hole, while fewer can make it more difficult.
*The holes must be traced at least 7" from the bottom edge of the front piece because that 7" spot marks where the inner wall meets the front piece. Any holes lower than this will end up with balls stuck in front of the inner wall.
Step 20: Cut Out the Holes
Cut out each hole trace using your X-ACTO knife.
Step 21: Place Mounting Squares
Place one mounting square at each corner of the backside of the back wall of the game.
These will allow you to mount your game to any flat surface.
Step 22: Decorate and Play!
Decorate your game any way you wish. The bottom and top areas without holes are great place to add decorations or words, for example "Happy" and "Birthday."
Once you've finished decorating, mount the game to any wall, door, or other flat surface and play!
We hope you have found our instructable to be clear, simple, inexpensive, and fun!