Ball-in-the-Hole Game for Kids

Matchbox or other small box
Clear plastic, acetate or small piece of glass
Bb’s, beads or other small, round objects
Greeting cards or photos from magazines

It’s been around for many years – the ball-in-the-hole game. Do you know what it is? Have you seen or played with one? Most of us have. The game is very simple. You have a picture in a box and that picture has holes poked in it, here and there. There are tiny balls inside and the object of the game is to lean the box, this way and that, to get all the balls resting atop the holes. It’s much trickier than it appears at first glance. The ball-in-the-hole game has been a favorite for young kids for a very long time and still is. You can make these little games for your own kids or even to give out as favors at a child’s birthday party. They’re really easy to create and fun for all.

You’ll have no trouble giving the game a particular theme, like a cartoon character or even a pet, when you use cards and pictures. Cut images from Christmas or other greeting cards or simply cut pictures from magazines. When using magazine pictures it’s necessary to glue the picture onto a piece of cardboard. Place a heavy item on the picture as the glue dries to keep the paper from wrinkling.

Use a matchbox that formerly contained stick matches to make the game. If you don’t have any, order them online, purchase them at a craft store or just use a different box. A small, shallow box will work fine.

Cut the picture to fit inside the bottom of the matchbox. Poke holes in the picture, here and there on the image, with a pin, nail or tiny hole punch. Make sure that the holes you create are smaller than the objects you’ll use as the balls. Glue the holey picture inside the bottom of the box.

Cut a piece of clear acetate or thin plastic to use as a window for the game. First, cut the window to be the exact size as the box. Place enough “balls” on the acetate so that there is one for each hole you’ve punched. Go around the perimeter of the acetate or plastic with glue that dries clear and is suitable for the material you’re using (for a glass window you can use super-glue; for a plastic window you can use white glue).

Place the box over the plastic and set the edges of the box on the glued edges of the window. Balls can be anything from dried peas to bb’s to round beads.

It’s so quick and easy to make the cute little boxed game that you’ll surely want to make more and more. Collect different ones, give them away as party favors or stocking stuffers, and continue to make more. You can never have too many!