Ideas for art/craft to make for kids

The Penny dropped

Got an old kitchen cabinet door (or any block of wood)? Turn it quickly in to a fun game with just a few nails. I had some ‘help’ from my daughter, or literally it would have taken half an hour, tops.

Combined with the ‘Feed Me’ garden game and the Wheel of Fortune, you could have a nice little fairground in your back garden by now for basically free!

You’ve probably played this type of thing loads of times at school fates or fairgrounds. It never occurred to me before today how easy it was to make.

First you need a block of wood. I found this old kitchen cupboard door going a bit fusty in the garage.

I gave it a quick clean and then marked a selection of dots across the width of it. I measured them just over 3cm apart as that seemed to fit a 2p coin through. I was just guessing that this would work, you could probably do something a bit more precise if you wanted to. The important thing is that the coin you want to use to play the game can fit through and drop down, without there being too much space left over.

Don’t forget you need marked sections at the bottom for your scoring areas.

Finish your first line then repeat this at regular intervals going down the wood, as in the photo above. You obviously need to make sure the rows alternate in terms of where the dots sit on the wood – so that after you’ve put your nails in, the coin will drop down to the next row and bounce through (if you get them all in a straight line it’ll just drop to the bottom!).

The overall number of dots will depend on how many nails you’ve got spare and how big the wood is. We did 6 on a line, with each row a little bit more than a ruler’s width apart.

I then just got a bag of spare nails and hammered them in roughly where the dots were. My daughter helped me knock them in and actually she was pretty sensible about it. I did get a little thump on my thumb once or twice but no major injuries!

At the bottom, you need to separate some scoring areas. You need some ‘0’ points and some higher points to add a bit of jeopardy. We painted the scores on into the sections at the bottom. I did the red ones, my daughter did the black ones- you’ll see that for some reason she chose to put ’14’ as a score, which made the maths a lot more tricky when adding up how many points you’ve got! Pop another nail on the separating lines so that the coin drops in to one and stays in.

The good thing about using this cupboard door, is that it had a ‘lip’ already cut into it at the bottom, which serves to stop the coins. If you are just using a straight piece of wood, then you’d need to screw a thin piece of wood on the the bottom of your run to then catch them in the scoring areas.

Once you’ve added any further ‘decoration’, you’re good to go. Take it in turns to drop a coin down and see how many points you can get!

Mine wasn’t perfect, every now and then the coins just fall through the gaps, or dropped on the floor. This wasn’t very often though and we found that if you lean it at an angle away from the wall, it helps with making sure the penny falls down better.

Have a go! Keep it for parties. Probably good for drinking games as well when the kids aren’t around!