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How to Make a Game Out of Anything

Posted by Children Story Time admin, 8 minutes read

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How to Make a Game Out of Anything: Activities for early childhood education


Kids are always looking for ways to entertain themselves…or rather, looking for ways to have you entertain them. Despite the amount of money we as parents spend on toys, video games, and activities for kids, you can make a game out of almost anything with a bit of creativity.  You don’t need toys. You can make them yourself with a little bit of planning. Whether it’s a long car ride, an idle stretch of summer vacation, or a snow day off from school, for children, everything can be a game. If you have ever wondered how to make a game out of anything, I’ve put together a list of creative DIY games that can be loads of fun. 


These are games that I would have enjoyed as a child or games that I think children today would enjoy.  Have your kids use a little brainpower and some silliness, and dive in. This will improve their creativity and imagination. 


Would You Rather?

If you’ve ever browsed the game section at your local department store, you have most likely seen the board game, Would You Rather? This is a hysterical game that anyone can play, whether they are four or forty-four.  The concept is that each player has to choose between two scenarios. One example could be, “Would you rather be really small with a big head, or be really big with a small head?” Questions like these will make children laugh hysterically as they try to think of what they would rather do. And the kicker is, you HAVE to choose!  All you need is some sort of container like a mason jar, a Tupperware container, or even a plastic bag. Using the following link, print out these silly questions, cut them out, and place them all in your container.  The game can be played with two or ten or more! One person grabs a question from the container, asks it aloud, and everyone else has to answer! You can edit them or even make up your own questions, but all of the questions are kid-friendly.


Balloon Tennis

This is a hysterical game that has always reminded me that children really do not need expensive toys to have fun. It’s just another example of how to make a game out of anything!  All you need is a paper plate and a paint stick or large popsicle stick for each child. Hot glue the paper plate to the stick so that it resembles a tennis racket. Let it dry.  Blow up a balloon, or several, and have at it. The object is to pass the balloon back and forth without letting it touch the ground.


Paper Mache Laser Maze

I don’t know many kids who don’t love to play ninjas or pretend they are in a scene of a Star Wars movie. All you need is some crepe paper and either scotch tape or masking tape. It’s fun and creative. It works best in a hallway but can be done across a room as well. Simply pull out very large pieces of the paper mache and tape them to opposite walls in your home, creating an obstacle course for the kids. Place them at different heights and angles so that the children have some difficulty making their way through the maze of “lasers”. It’s almost as if they are playing limbo.


DIY Roadway for Toy Cars

With all the Amazon shipments we receive these days, I think almost everyone has at least one or two cardboard boxes lying around. While I tried not to cringe at the waste of cardboard, I thought back to my childhood.

Making my own roads for matchbox cars kept me entertained for hours. Literally hours. And so, I figured out a plan for all that leftover cardboard when it came to my kids.  Cut out strips of cardboard in different lengths with a width of about 3 inches or so. You can also cut out semi-circular roads, roundabouts, and curved corners. Paint the stripes black or dark gray. Once the paint is dry, paint white or yellow lines down the center as if you were making a road.  When everything is dry, put all the pieces together with either hot glue or paint. The possibilities are endless, as you can make an entire town for your child’s toy cars to drive on. This is done quickly and with no measuring or accuracy and is yet another example of how to make a game out of anything. 


DIY Tic Tac Toe Game

This is a timeless game that can be so much fun. My version is a little different as it requires your children to collect small rocks to use as game pieces before you start.  After they have gathered about twelve small rocks, paint six of them one color and six another color. Once they dry, paint white dots on one color, and paint white x’s on the other. Let those dry.  Then with masking tape, make a tic tac toe grid outside on the driveway or pavement. Your children now have their own creative little game pieces they can use to play this age-old game. 


DIY Memory Game

This is a simple, fun game that you can customize to your children’s interests.  You can use any cardboard box and cut it into 1-inch squares.  The more you cut out, the harder the game will be.  Perhaps start out with a smaller number and increase as your children grow.  You can decorate the cardboard squares with simple drawings (hearts, stars, circles).  You could let your children help and perhaps use small stickers.  Whichever way that you decorate the tiles, you need matches of two.  Not only is this memory game fun to make, it helps children focus on memory as they try to recall where they saw certain pictures before.


DIY Bowling Toilet Paper Rolls

You simply need to collect a few toilet paper rolls after they are used and have a ball.  Collect six to 10 toilet paper rolls.  Then you will decorate them however you wish – trolls, Among Us, snowmen, kittens, the possibilities are endless.  Your children can let their creativity run wild while decorating these.  These do not need to match, so your kiddos can do all the pups from Paw Patrol or maybe PJ Masks and their foes.  If you use glue to adhere things, ensure it dries well before you bowl.  Children will love the individuality of the “bowling pins”.  You can even add in math by having them keep score.


DIY Colorful Sailboats

Here is another fun project for children.  My children love the decorating phase as much as they love watching their boat set sail.  You can start this project by collecting lids of jars as you use them in the kitchen.  These steel lids will float beautifully.  Children can decorate them with stickers, acrylic paints, or permanent markers. You should snip off the ends of a toothpick, so that children won’t accidentally poke themselves. Then take cardstock and fold it in half.  Draw a triangle with the long end on the fold.  You can cut this out and then the kids can decorate this “sail” with stickers, colored pencils, crayons, markers, or paint as they wish.  Once decorated, you can place the toothpick in the fold of the sale and glue the paper together. You can then use putty to secure the toothpick to the lid.


Once everything is dry, you can take a bit of water to see how the sailboats fare.  Children can experience how different sizes and shapes of sails move the boats.  They can also enjoy races between one another.


DIY Soup Can Bowling

Similar to toilet paper roll bowling, you can use tin cans for a more sturdy and bigger bowling set.  After removing the paper wrapper and cleaning the can thoroughly, you can reuse the tin can from soups or veggies that you eat at home. To make it easier, you may wish to spray paint the base color.  Then you can use acrylic paints for the face and additions to the design.  You may wish to do less than you did with the toilet paper bowling.  I have found three to five cans, the perfect number for my children. I stack these on one another, like the bottle game at fairs, as opposed to regular bowling. You can be creative with this as well.  Perhaps the tin cans are the green piggies from Angry birds.  In that case, perhaps you should acquire a red dodgeball to paint as Red.  Or you could find the colors for a yellow Chuck and a black Bomb.  Another option would be the Big Bad Wolf ball and the tin cans can be the Three Little Pigs.


DIY Easy Frisbee

While Frisbee looks easy, it takes coordination to do it well.  What better way to practice than for free and creatively?  Look no further than your kitchen for do-it-yourselves Frisbees.  Collect a paper plate for however many frisbees you want to make.  Cut out the center of the plate, leaving the raised part of the paper plate, which will be about 2-inches in width.  Your children will delight in decorating this.  They can use markers or other art mediums to create patterns or pictures along their frisbee. Once completed, you can either throw the frisbees for distance or you can create a pole using a stake in the ground or something similar to “catch” your frisbee on.  You can use different sized plates to see how the size difference affects the speed and accuracy of the frisbee.


DIY Milk Jugs for Catching Balls

It’s time for a new take on throwing the ball in the backyard.  For this you will need a milk jug for each participant.  Wash the jug thoroughly in hot, soapy water and remove the sticker and all sticky residue.  Then wait for it to dry thoroughly.  Next take scissors and cut the bottom of the milk jug off.  From here, you will need different colored duct tape.  Starting at the bottom of the handle, do layers of duct tape overlapping.  Let the last layer run over the edge of the milk jug.  You will fold this edge in, so you children don’t scrape themselves on the cut plastic. Your children can now go outside and toss around any ball that fits inside easily. Alternately, you can let your children further decorate their milk jugs with permanent markers or stickers.  This is a fun and simple game to make and play. 



Children have endless imaginations. It is one of the things that makes them so much fun. And they don’t have to commit to boredom or complaining that they have nothing to do. I hope these fun ideas help you help your kids literally make a game out of anything.  


This article provides you with a new activity outside of our products in the reading app for 3rd graders, 2nd graders, 1st graders, and preschoolers…


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