Vol.1, No.7

How to make a bean bag toss game

Having an outdoor party soon? Make a child's bean bag toss game and all the kids will have a blast.

Bean bags
Outdoor parties for children are great because there's plenty of space for the kids to romp and run plus there's extra room for large games. Do something different like have a table set up where kids can get their faces painted and decorate a giant cookie with icing and candies. In another area set up a bean bag toss.

To make the game you'll need a large piece of plywood but thick cardboard will work as well. The thickness of the board is not that important. Half-inch thick plywood will make a game that will last many years. Cut the board to three feet by three feet. Sand the edges of the board well. Cut two more pieces of plywood into triangles. The triangle should be two and a half feet on each side. Nail or screw one side of the triangle to one of the back side edges of the plywood. Nail the other triangle to the other side. The triangles can also be formed from two by fours. The triangle is the means by which the board stands so make sure that it is sturdy. If you use cardboard allow three feet for the height of the project and another two and a half to fold backwards and become the stand. Measure the initial three feet then fold the cardboard backwards, creasing sharply.

Draw a huge circle that covers almost all of the board. Draw three large holes: two eyes and a mouth. These holes should be about the size of a small saucer. Drill a spot through each hole to help get the jigsaw started. Use the jigsaw to cut the openings then sand well. Do not cut out the circle for the clown's face, only the eyes and mouth. Paint the background of the clown a dark color. The dark background will help the clown face to stand out more. Paint the face of the clown white and paint on some big rosy cheeks. Paint a red outline of lips around the mouth opening. Paint around the eye holes as if the hole were the pupil. Paint eyebrows, lashes and lids.

There can either be a sign attached saying how many points the player gets for throwing a bean bag through the eyes or how many for the mouth. The sign can be painted and set up under the chin area of the clown face to make it appear as if the clown is wearing a sign. Another way to do this is to write the numbers on the clown face itself. On each eyelid write the amount of points given for an eye shot. On the chin or below the nose write how many points are given for getting a bag through the mouth opening. The numbers can be painted on or written on tape.

To make the bean bags cut eight pieces of cloth that are five inches by five inches. Lay the pieces in stacks of two, with right sides together. Start at any side and sew three sides of the bean bag. Turn. Repeat the process with the other bags. Fill with dry beans, peas or rice. Do not over fill the bags. They should be full but not overly stuffed.

The game is played by drawing a line for the children to stand behind while throwing. Each child gets four tries to get the bags through the openings. Points are added and if there's a tie, a tie breaker can be played.