Looking for an easy game to make out of things you probably already have around the house? Make a DIY Skee Ball and Darts game. So it’s not quite skee ball, but has some elements, and it’s not really darts either, but it also has some elements. SO It’s just the love-child of the two. Maybe we could call it Dartee Ball? Because if you don’t get it in the can, it does like to dart back out!
With my daughter’s birthday being in the fall, it is always fun to not only have a theme, but make it kind of a fall festival as well. That being said, I typically try to come up with homemade carnival games that fit with the birthday theme. This year was fairly easy because she had a “Shapes” Birthday, meaning everything had to be a different shape. The game I came up with for “circles” was made out of tin cans and was a really fun and even challenging game!
Supplies needed to make your own DIY Tin Can Carnival Game
- Tin cans of various heights, diameters, and general sizes. (I used large tomatoe cans, small tomato paste cans, a baking powder can, a tall drinking can, and basic ones for 15oz canned goods).
- A can opener to smooth down any sharp edges
- Stickers and/or washi tape to mark scores
- Cardboard, a basket, or anything to attach the cans to
- A hot glue gun
- Small balls (preferably NOT ping pong balls, but something along the same lines in terms of size).
- Hole Punch and Twist ties (optional)
How to assemble “DARTEE”: a DIY Skee Ball and Darts Combination Game
The first thing you need to do in making it is focus and be careful. When you are handling the cans, please make sure you do not cut yourself. Same goes for when playing the game. So Make sure that you make it where the balls can be dumped out so no one is sticking their hand inside the cans EVEN if you have smoothed them out.
Second, prep your clean cans by cutting off the lids and smoothing down the edges by rolling the can opener back and forth across any sharps parts.
I decided to use a basket so that they game could be laid flat or propped up and was easy to dump out. So I had to not only find a board but I had to cu the cardboard to fit inside the basket. Regardless of how you choose to assemble, the next step is to lay out your board or cardboard and place all of your cans in a random layout on the board. You may want to trace around them for easy gluing. Remember you want various sizes together because just like in normal skee ball, the ball can bounce off of edges and fall into another can. AND don’t forget a few little gaps.
Third, you will label the different size/shape cans with stickers or something to show which ones are the same point value. I used Crayola circular sticker badges out of ease of use.
Next, if you are attaching inside of a basket, you will need to punch holes in the cardboard and tie in with twist ties or even stretched out paper clips.
And finally you are done and ready to play!
I will say that at my daughter’s party, we gave everyone five practice throws because I tested it the night before and it was harder than I thought. Surprisingly though, the little kids did better than the adults. And then the little, little kids like my two year old, got to play really close. 🙂
The way we played was that we did it both propped up and laying down and added the two scores. We personally did three throws each while it was laying down and propped up, but you could do whatever you wanted!
How to Score “Dartee”
Yellow Circles (Large cans like from beans and diced tomatoes) – 5 points
Pink circles (regular sized cans) – 10 points
No Sticker/Orange inside (small tomato paste cans) – 15 points
Green Sticker (Tall and slender drinking can) – 20 points
Rainbow sticker (baking powder can with lip on it) – 25 points
More Upcycling Ideas and games Listed below.
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!