Whenever I have an extended amount of time off from the day-job, I kinda’ lose my mind. To prevent completely making my wife and children wish I would just go back to work, I make scrap wood toys. Because it is awesome.
A game I keep seeing online, and most likely intended for lazy afternoon margarita drinking days, is a washer toss activity. The premise being you throw washers into a hole. It is both small and easy in concept, making it great for children (sans margaritas).
The build challenge when making one toy for an audience of two small people who still working out the concepts of ‘turns’ and ‘sharing’ is to make it work for both of them at once.
The solution in this case was easy enough in just adding two baskets. Hopefully it will work out over time.
My oldest recently attended a birthday party in the rite-of-passage pizzeria/children’s birthday party building Chuck E Cheese and got a kick out of skee ball, but was not able to really send the ball up the ramp. Nor was he grasping the “throw it under hand” idea. Washer toss brings a safer form skee ball home (until he figures out how to wing these discs across the room).
I have my doubts that will ever be a problem. After explaining the rules to him, he opted to cut out the throwing part of the process and opted to dump a handful of washers through a hoop. Technically he won. Ethically I hope he feels compromised.
Not to be outdone, the toddler grabbed a handful of washers as well and dumped them in a hoop. He did use the other hoop though, so having one for each really did work out!
The project itself was fairly easy to put together. The structure is comprised of 3/4 inch OSB for the floor and walls and a 2×6 cut to fit between the walls for a backboard. The 2×6 at back is the main structural support being the main spot for screws and a bit of wood glue. At the front of the board I used some 1×4 bits to hold the walls in place. I did not trust the screws to hold OSB to OSB without one day causing a child great grief. The hoops are made of PVC bits that were intended to be used in our sprinkler system at one point, no idea what for. They are screwed to more of the same 1×4 bits and then screws through the floor.
Most satisfying moment: cutting the 2×6 to fit. I kicked the full board at one point, hurting my foot because of my own terrible shop habits, and vengeance was sweet.
Time to complete: 20 minutes. Most of the scrap was already cut to the size it is at, but the purple paint took forever to dry.
Cost: Best guest is $3? With being made of scrap and washers that were donated I can only approximate. Like most things, paint is probably the most expensive component.
Fun level: Probably more for mom and dad. The kids liked it, but have so far not asked to play it again. Bright colors will win the day though.