This cost me $5 to make – and it has the potential of occupying little (and big) boys for hours and hours – – and… it may help improve some ball throwing accuracy. I remember when my brother was little, my dad taped out a small square on an old mattress and leaned it up against the basement wall. The rule was that he had to pitch to the mattress so many times before he could go out and play – and I remember hearing the “thump… thump… thump…” everyday after school. Well that pre-playing assignment paid off as years later he played in college and the minor leagues. Not to mention a really great lesson on persistence and achieving excellence.
This tarp could certainly be used in a similar way, or as a single activity as they try and earn the most points. The simple game could go as follows:
- Put out 3 signs, each 10 feet apart starting at 10 feet from the tarp. The first one is labeled “full points”, the second “double points” and the third “is triple points”
- Option 1: Each person gets 3 throws and they get to choose what sign (distance) they will stand
- Option 2: Put a ball at each sign. They get one throw from each distance.
- Option 3: Give each player a ball. They have 60 seconds to rack up as many points as they can. But they have to retrieve their own ball after each throw.
Here is how you make the tarp
Lay out your tarp and find a ruler and a permanent marker
At the very center draw 12 x 12 square and a design around the outside. You don’t need to put the score down yet. I did just to help with spacing.
In all 4 corners draw a 16 x 16 square and then outline a border around that.
I forgot to take a picture of the 50 point black diamond like you see above. That is another 12 x 12 square – but on the diagonal – draw those above and beneath the center square.
Paint your borders and then cut out the centers
You could save the centers to be your signs that you put out for the scoring as described at the beginning of this post.
Now, put duct tape around all of the inside edges of the holes. If you don’t do this, your tarp will be shredded on the first few throws.
Make sure you get the corners really well
You can see that the duct tape was folded over the edges – so its not just on the front side. Also, reinforce the corners on the back side of the tarp.
Now paint the scores on the different squares. Make sure they are easy to add and multiply.
Then hang it up in a place where you won’t mind balls flying.