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!