One man’s trash is another child’s cup-and-ball game. At least that’s what I’ve always said. Or at least since the day I spotted the top half of a plastic pop bottle tossed out on the side of the road as we were walking home.
Often people use the bottom half of the plastic bottles to make ice or to send food to a neighbor, but the top half gets tossed aside. (Although we learned that the top half makes an excellent funnel.)
When I looked at that trash, the image of a small, wooden, blue cup-and-ball game that we had as kids came to mind and it was obvious we should use old plastic bottles to make some games with the kids at the soup kitchen.
All we needed was a plastic bottle, a knife, a bottle cap, some string, and some sturdy tape.
To make sure it would work, I pulled a plastic bottle from our recycling crate, cut it in half, and tied one end of a string to the spout of the bottle and the other end to the cap (after cutting a slit in the cap).
Then I held onto the spout as my handle and tossed the bottle cap into the “cup” just like the game I remembered. Success!
For decoration and safety I added a strip of duct tape to the cut part of the bottle and then called it a day. Well okay, before calling it a day I asked Isaiah to film this video of me
showing off demonstrating how to play.
On Saturday, with our prototype in hand, we headed to the soup kitchen to create more games that the kids could take home and play.
Even though many steps required an adult to do the work, we tried to make the kids part of the process as best we could. They seemed excited and to enjoy it!
Our idea was for the older kids to receive the smaller bottles, therefore making the game more difficult due to the smaller target. I’m not sure if that idea fully came to fruition, but in the end everyone was happy with the game that was theirs, so it worked out.
And hey, perhaps we saved a few plastic bottles from floating around the streets to boot.