9 Brilliant Mini Summer-Sports Craft Projects for Kids

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This summer, make the most of sunny days by getting outdoors and getting active. We've rounded up nine simple mini-craft projects for kids, all with a sporty twist.

It's time to practice your aim, get all tangled up playing Twister, and run up down the garden on stilts. Feeling competitive? We’ve even got instructions on making lovely bright medals for the winners. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get crafting.
 
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1. Bottle Hoopla (Or Ring Toss)

Hoopla is so much fun to play and can get highly competitive if you want it to. It's suitable for all ages, and it’s a great project for upcycling household goods, too. All you need are some empty bottles, paint, cardboard and string or wool.
 
How to make it:

• Collect a selection of empty bottles – they can be either glass or plastic – and give them a good rinse out with soapy water. Once dry, pour a little bit of acrylic paint in the top, replace the lid then twist the bottle round so the paint coats the insides. Leave the bottles to dry.

• Draw round a saucer onto a piece of coloured cardboard, lift off the saucer then draw a smaller circle inside the first circle. Cut out the circle from the cardboard, then cut out the centre – this bit is quite tricky and an adult will have to help smaller children.

• Take a long length of either coloured string or wool and tie a knot round the hoop. Keep wrapping the string around and around until the whole of the cardboard hoop has been covered.

• Set the bottles up in the garden, either grouped together, in a line or staggered all around the garden. Then let the fun commence! Take five paces back and try to get your hoop over a bottle. You could even paint or stick numbers on the bottles, and whoever gets the most points, wins. 
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2. Hole In the Wall

Practice your aim with this fun idea. Shapes are cut from a large piece of tarpaulin, with each shape worth a certain number of points. Players then take it in turns to throw a ball (or a beanbag) through the various shapes. The person with the most points after five goes is the winner.

How to make it:

• Working outside, lay a large piece of tarpaulin on the ground – alternatively, you could use a large bed sheet that you no longer want – and draw five large shapes with a marker pen. You can draw any shape you like, they don’t all have to be squares. Cut the shapes out.

• Stick coloured tape around the shapes and paint on the different scores below each. Remember to make the smaller shapes worth more as they're tougher targets.

• Once the paint has dried, it's time to hang up the sheet. You can either peg it to your washing line if it’s long and tall enough, or simply make two holes in the top corners and thread through some thin rope or ribbon. Then tie it to a tree, a fence, a climbing frame... whatever you have around, really. 

• Make a line on the ground with chalk or a length of string a good distance away from the sheet. Then take in turns to throw a ball or beanbag through the holes. If it gets too easy, take a few steps back and try again.
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3. Table Football (Or Foosball)

Love the thought of football, but hate the idea of running around? Then we have the answer... your very own mini table football game. It’s easy to make and will provide hours of sporting fun, even if it’s raining outside.

How to make it:

• You will need a cardboard box – a large shoebox is a good size. Remove the lid, then cut out a rectangle either end of the box for the goals. Now the fun part, time to decorate the box – you could cover it with brightly coloured wrapping paper, or use the sports section from the newspaper, or get the kids to decorate it with drawings.

• This next bit will require adult supervision: Measure the width of the box, then cut lengths of wooden dowel 20cm longer than this measurement, using a small saw. The length of your box will determine how many rods you cut but make sure you have an even number as these are for your teams.

• Paint half the rods in one colour for Team A and the other half in another colour for Team B. Paint some pegs in the same two colours.

• Place a peg in the box to get an idea of the height, then make holes either side of the box. Feed the rods through the holes, alternating the two colours, then attach the pegs to the matching rods – the outer rods should only have one peg on each for the goalie.

• Twist the rods to make sure they move freely, then once you’re happy, throw in a ping-pong ball (or similar) and let the match begin! No offside rule here, just get the ball into the opposite goal.
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4. Mini Golf (Or Target Golf)

Create a mini golf game at home – this one can be played inside or outside. You will need toy golf clubs to play, but if you don’t have any you can create your own out of cardboard.

How to make it:

• Get a large cardboard box, turn it upside down, then draw on five rectangles of various sizes, along one edge of the box. Cut out the rectangles and paint around the edge of each in a different colour. Once the coloured paint has dried, write on a score for each hole just above it with a marker pen or paint.

• If you don’t have any mini golf clubs, simply get a large piece of cardboard and draw on the shape of a club. Cut it out and use as a template to make as many as there are players. You can paint them different colours and even add a name to each one.

• Use a ball, small enough to fit through the gaps, then take it in turns to tap the balls into the holes. The person with the most points after eight goes wins.

• You can create a whole mini golf course in the garden by using more cardboard boxes, and changing the shapes and sizes of the holes. You could even paint the boxes to make them look like houses or a big face with the mouth open. 
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5. Tin Can Stilts

These are super-easy to make and loads of fun to play with – particularly if you make a few pairs and children can race from one end of the garden to the other. Kids can also take it in turns to do a timed lap of the garden or living room.

How to make it:

• Remove the label from the tin cans and give them a good rinse, inside and out. Once dry, sand off any sharp edges, then give them the cans a couple of coats of spray paint – working in a well-ventilated area and following the manufacturer’s instructions.

• Make two holes towards the bottom of the can, one either side, then thread in a long piece of thick string, long enough so the child can hold both ends.

• Turn the cans upside down, so the open end is facing the ground, and invite the first competitor to climb on (wearing shoes for safety). Let the stilt race commence! 
 
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6. Amazing Medals

With all this game-playing, what’s in it for the winners? Well, how about you make some of these fab medals out of craft clay and ribbon. Paint them up in bright colours or go for gold, silver and bronze.

How to make it:

• Roll out some air-drying clay so it’s about 1cm thick, then use a cookie cutter (or a toilet roll) to cut out circles from the clay. If you have a star shape press it down into the clay – don’t worry if you don’t have a star, you can press anything you like to make an indentation. Pierce a hole through the top using a pencil, then leave to dry.

• Colour the medals with either paint or Sharpie pens. You can add gold, silver or bronze glitter, too, for some added sparkle.

• Thread a long length of ribbon through the hole, then thread on a bead so it sits just on top of the medal. Tie a knot at the end of the ribbon. Use different coloured ribbons and beads, then hang them up ready to hand out to the winners. 
 
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7. Twister

You may not think of the game of Twister as being a sport, but once your body is tangled in knots or you’re balancing on one arm, straddling your opponent, you'll feel like a world-class gymnast… or not.

How to make it:

• Get a large piece of cardboard – a pizza box works well for this – then cut out a large circle from the centre. This will be your template. 

• Using a temporary spray paint (you can use permanent, but you will have to wait for the grass to grow out before it disappears), spray coloured circles onto the lawn. You will need four different colours.

• You can then fold up pieces of coloured paper, the same colours as the circles, and pop them in a hat. Write ‘right hand’, ‘left hand’, ‘right foot’ and ‘left foot’ on separate pieces of paper and place those in another hat. Then start picking out the combinations and let the twisting begin. 
 
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8. Backyard Bowling (or Skittles)

Games of skittles are great for all the family, and an ideal way of repurposing plastic bottles. You could also add some sand inside to weight them down. 

How to make it:

• Collect six plastic bottles of the same size (more if you wish), take off the labels and give them a good rinse out with soapy water. Once dry, pour a little bit of white paint in the top, replace the lid, then twist the bottle round so the paint coats all the insides.

• Then, on the outside, paint the lids red and two stripes around the neck of each bottle. Also paint a tennis ball red to match. 

• Once they are dry, set them up as a group, then take in turns trying to knock them all down. You could paint numbers on each one and keep score.
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9. Cup Races

Who doesn’t love having water fights with water pistols on hot summer days? The added bonus of this game is that it doesn’t involve anyone getting wet… well, maybe!

How to make it:

• Pierce a hole in the bottom of two plastic cups, then feed long pieces of string through them – a couple of metres at least. Tie the two sets of string at either end to a tree, deckchair, climbing frame, anything that’s around. Pull the string taut.

• Bring the cups back to one end. Then load up the water pistols, get the two contestants to take aim, and at the count of three, start firing water into the cup. The winner is the player whose cup gets to the end of the string first. 
 
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Looking for More Brilliant Craft Projects?

 
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