Jul 27 2010

Tarp Game

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. 

18 responses so far

18 Responses to “Tarp Game”

  1. Joni Hayes on 27 Aug 2010 at 9:52 am

    Love it! I am totally making it for our Primary activity! Thanks for the idea!

  2. Jacy on 18 Jan 2011 at 10:27 am

    We are having a family reunion this summer (2011), and this would be an awesome game! Thanks for sharing :D

  3. Susan on 20 Jan 2011 at 7:07 am

    I have a house full of boys from 23-11 and they would all love this! What kind of paint did you use that actually sticks to the tarp?

  4. Bobbie on 20 Jan 2011 at 7:16 am

    Love it!

  5. Kristi on 20 Jan 2011 at 7:33 am

    Great idea! What kind of paint did you use?

  6. Janice Greenhalgh on 20 Jan 2011 at 7:34 am

    You could also make a smaller one and have people stand behind the holes and the players throw wet sponges at them. Great for a hot day.

  7. Gremma on 20 Jan 2011 at 8:06 am

    Great idea! I’m thinking this would be good for a YM/YW activity that I’m in charge of in June. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Allene on 21 Jan 2011 at 9:36 am

    So cute! My boys (1-7) will love this!

  9. Michelle on 25 Jan 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you for this idea can’t wait to do this with my kids :)

  10. Marne on 23 Mar 2011 at 9:35 pm

    love this idea! thanks.

  11. Sharon on 06 Jul 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Did anyone find out what kind of paint to use on a plastic tarp?

  12. Shannon on 06 Jul 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Most paints will flake off… however I haven’t tried spray paint yet. The best option is to use different colored duct tape. :)

  13. Tami on 19 Aug 2012 at 8:32 am

    So cute!

    I’d love it if you shared this with the Fun Family Crafts audience.
    FFC is similar to Craftgawker but it only features kid friendly tutorials.

    Looking forward to seeing what fun crafts you submit!

  14. Vickie on 20 Oct 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks Shannon,
    My husband came home and said he needed a bean bag toss for the Primary Carnival that our YM and YW sponsor each October. He was going to use particle board, but I remembered your tarp. The tarp is so much easier to use, transport and store. The carnival will be inside our church cultural hall. We will attach the tarp to some PVC pipe that is being held up by our patio umbrella stands. We will drill some holes in the PVC pipe, then tie the tarp to the poles.
    Thanks for your detailed instructions.
    ♥ Vickie

  15. elizabeth on 02 Feb 2013 at 6:43 am

    How big is the tarp you used?

  16. Sage on 11 Nov 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I love this idea! We did this fro my brothers birthday! he had so much fun!!! We spray painted a (mini) football field in our backyard and that was for touchdowns and little things like that. It was so fun! :)

  17. Sage on 11 Nov 2013 at 12:15 pm


  18. VC Mom of Many on 02 Jul 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Love this idea. Going to put “Fire” designs around the holes and make small bean bags out of material that looks like water for my sons 3rd Firetruck Birthday Party.

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