Nov 8, 2009

Clothes pegs and foosball

This has turned into a bit of a crazy long epic post, but bear with me, I'll get to the Foosball bit!

We had some hanging out pretend laundry fun quite a while ago. Coincidentally, the same day that Michelle over at Her cup overfloweth was playing with clothes pegs with her kids too. Clothes pegs are a great tool for preschoolers to faddle with. They love them because they are something that grown ups are seen using often, and you can do so much with them. Lots and lots of people on the interwebs have used clothes pegs as clip on markers for various matching and learning activities. We tried out a matching the colours version of these sorts of activities with paint chips a while back around Christmas time, and the kids liked it.



The clothes peg game that we played a while back was just cutting out clothing shapes from paint swatches that we'd pilfered from Home Depot. I tied up a clothes line and provided two different sized clothes pegs and that's about it really. It did provide a good hour or so of entertainment and inadvertantly a lot of fine motor control practice for my three year old. She wanted to put up a clothes line in the little play house that we put together (and takes up half their bedroom). She ditched the paper clothes and opted to hang out the baby doll's clothes instead.











While we were doing this, a few clothes pegs pinged apart and looking at the shapes of the wooden pieces got me thinking. Lorraine from Ikat Bag posted some beautiful rocking chairs that her father made for her children's dolls, out of clothes pegs. I really want to try and make two of these very soon, because I'm making two rag dolls that would look feindishly cute sat in them.

The idea that I had though, was to use the clothes pegs to make little foosball guys. If you put the clothes peg parts back to back then they look remarkably like the players on a foosball table!






My brother in law and his girlfriend are champion foosball players and travel abroad to compete, so when we went to visit them in London last year the kids got to play on the tables (yes, that's tables, as in plural) in their house and LOVED it! I thought a wee kidlett sized toy version would be a cool thing to try and make together.





It seems that the pegs I had fitted snuggly around a bamboo skewer. I'd dyed the bamboo skewers green for another project though, so we used some dowelling that was the same size that I had left over in the craft stuff.







The kids painted up the players in red and blue just with normal kiddy paint. I may varnish them to make them waterproof though.











I was originally going to just use an old cereal box to make the toy, but then I realised that we had an old wooden cd crate that might make the toy last a bit longer. This gave gadgetboy the chance to drill holes and jigsaw goals in the garage.





There are several ways to lay out players on a foosball table, but we didn't really have the space in the box to use any of the normal layouts, so we opted for one goal keeper, two defenders and three attackers. I used wooden beads from the kid's sewing/threading misc as handles for the game, and we painted a thin bit of scrap wood to be the green base of the box.









We need to do some alterations to it though, because when we first made it, we only had a proxxon with a teeny drill bit to make the holes in the CD crate, so we had to use the spinddly dowels. Clearly from the enthusiasm levels my kids exhibit, we need to drill some bigger holes and use some more study dowels!





23 comments:

Gillian said...

awesome idea. well done!

maryanne said...

I love your foosball game - and hanging up the clothes is very cute too.

Amy said...

Too much fun! You have the best ideas...your kids are so lucky to have such a creative mommy.
I actually swiped your Wall-E idea and it turned out pretty cute...now we may have to try this. Thanks for all your great ideas.

Michelle, Muffin Tin Mom said...

WOW! Just WOW! so awesome! I can't believe you made a handmade fooseball game!

Kitten Muffin said...

Amy, that's really good to hear that you made a Wall-E! Can we see him? Can we? Pleeeease? I'm about to post ours off to a creative reuse program for schools. He's been in the box for weeks and I haven't got him down the post office yet.

Angel said...

Those are darling! The clothes idea looks like it would be great for letting kids design paper doll clothes. The foosball game is darling. You are seriously a genius!

M for Short said...

Homemeade foosball game?!? You are too cool & funkadelic!

Jen, Fun Family Tips said...

This is an AWESOME idea!!! My little man would love to build one of these!

I have linked to this http://www.funfamilytips.com/?p=492

Jeremy said...

Awesome idea! I have that very CD box just sitting around. I know what this weekend's project will be.

jen said...

Too absolutely, wonderfully cool!

Playing by the book said...

Every single post of yours is worth waiting for - forget all those bloggers who say you need to post frequently and regularly to have a successful blog. It's the quality of the post that matters really and yours are always so very good. Thanks for making me smile (again!)

LiEr said...

Hooray! Hooray! Football as in soccer (both posts), not football as in ovoid pigskin thrown with hands. It took me a while to switch gears here re: sports. I remember our old subbuteo game with its green board and all the striped jersied players. Except mine was tiddlywinks style, if I remember right.

I love these two ideas. You are brilliant and ingenious on so many levels. Homemade 3D games! So cool. Seriously, the detail that goes into the things you make! And the best part is how your kids are so involved - I always love the pictures of your two girls with their sharpies colouring away, all absorbed in their task.

Thanks for the link, too! I'd forgotten all about the rocking chair that Dad made that you'd said you liked. I should ask him what other furniture he made with clothespegs. When I'm back in Singapore (early next year, Lord willing) I'll have to go visit the craft suppliers that pack kits and instructions for schools - relive my childhood and pick up some old ideas! WIll share!

Thank you for some fun memories and great ideas!

Shea said...

I love this idea and your blog! I tagged you with an award from on my blog. I love all the projects that you come up with for your kids.

BeccaH said...

I have just found your blog today and plan to subscribe after posting this comment - Love the clothesline idea!! I will have to try that one this week! Looking forward to reading more!

Jen said...

Oh my gosh! I can't wait to show my husband this post and your minature fooz table. He absolutely loves playing foozball and plays in local tournament for fun.

Jen
Creative and Curious Kids!

Valerie said...

Really cute ideas with great step-by-step pics.

Pascal said...

Great idear, every time i look for something new about foosball for my blog. Much Thanks from Germany.
www.unterwasser-kicker.de

Christine at Origami Mommy said...

This is fantastic! I love it. I just love the clothes pegs, the clothes line, the foosball.....I've got to run out now and get some wooden pegs!

Kerry said...

This is pretty darn amazing! Wow!

Cindy Rowland said...

Too cute! I love foos.
Visiting via Parent Hacks. Love your blog. The name alone is genius.

Eco-Friendly Freckles said...

How fun! Thank you for the great idea..this will make wonderful, creative gift!

Brooke (Siayla) said...

Just wanted to let you know I linked up to your washline activity here http://siayla.blogspot.com/2011/03/simplest-of-things-can-be-oh-so-hard.html it's a great idea!

Barbi May said...

people r forever tellin me that Im way creative but I must bow down cuz u r gods of creativeness! I really think u should consider publishing a book of ur ideas! personally i wood buy all my friends a copy so they wouldnt be borrowing mine all the time!