Following a number of projects involving so, so much paint our garage was starting to pile up with empty paint cans. Their ultimate destination was to our local household hazardous waste recycling facility. That was the plan. The cans would have sat in the garage well into winter I’m sure. In the grand scheme of things, making a half hour trip to a recycling place is not that big of a deal, but by golly finding an extra half hour during their operating hours is tough. So the cans sit.
My father-in-law saw the sitting empty paint cans and was stuck with memories of his youth and mentioned something “you’ve probably never heard of,” to my wife. He used to attach paint cans to boards with his siblings and play a game Skee Ball like in nature, but more “throw stuff at a hole and hope”. I thought it brilliant. Today’s last part of my lunch hour project was giving new purpose to old cans.
Two screws in the bottom of each can slapped to a board that had previously been used as a saw-horse. Little cuts dig about a third of the way through the board that plays host to the cans, but that is exactly the sort of board one needs for this sort of thing. I do not expect this to remain outside over night, buckets outside are pretty much just really nice spider hotels. One more thing to keep the kiddos outside though is well worth it in my book. In a purely selfish manner. I need to be outside more. Should type less. Maybe type outside? No. No.
The problem to solve once the cans were ready for use was what to throw into the targets? Putting together some nifty hackey sacks or bean bags would be fun, but that’s just one more thing to do when instead we could be playing outside. Stitching outside? No, no; distracting. In the spirit of the re-used cans I tried out available materials for practice. Yeah, practice. Have to be able to show the kids how to…throw a ball…
Pine cones were readily available. Here’s the fun thing about experimentation; at least you learn something. While finding good things to throw into the cans, I learned I cannot throw a pine cone in the desired direction. I came close once; hit the big green can and am pretty sure the tree laughed at me. Perhaps the little squirrel witnesses were highly amused.
Tried a tennis ball too. First attempt bounced back at me and as you can see below, the subsequent toss was…poor.
So this is not only a toy that can be used to make backyard fun even more fun, but it is a toy that will the children resilience and the hard fought lesson to keep on trying and perhaps your skills will grow over time.
Either way, a few paint cans were saved from a land fill and we have a new toy for the backyard. And new ways to be aggravated by physics.
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