Table Top Shoebox Foosball!
Updated: Jun 25, 2021
TableTop Shoebox Foosball is the perfect activity for your sport loving child, or the child who loves to build! This activity is more targeted towards children in the school-age and adolescent range due to the number of steps to build this activity. TableTop Shoebox Foosball will challenge your child, in a good way, to follow step-by-step instructions! Numeracy skills will be used as your child measures the materials and puts them together.
This activity will also encourage fine motor skills as your child manipulates their players using a wooden rod/dowel, engaging their quick reflexes to save the ball! TableTop Shoebox Foosball is a great activity to play with family, or friends by creating your own Euro Cup 2020 tournament!
● 1 shoebox
● 4 wooden rods (or straws if the walls of your shoebox are thin)
● 1 hole puncher
● 10 clothespins
● 1 cup
● 2 different colours of markers or paints
● A Ruler
● Green construction paper
● White crayon or pencil crayon
● Ping Pong Ball (or another small light ball, like a wiffle ball)
Step 1: The Soccer Field
First, cut the lid off from your shoebox. If your lid is not attached to the box, skip this step. Then, place the shoebox on top of your green paper, trace the outline of the box and cut it out. Next, place it inside the box to make sure it fits! You can use extra paper to add on to it if you need to. If you do not have green construction paper, blank printer paper works great too! Green was chosen because it’s the same colour as a grassy soccer field! Set this aside.
Then, measure your paper on the long side. Find the middle and mark it with pencil. For example, if you measure your paper to be 12 inches, the middle mark will be at 6 inches. Next with a white crayon, draw a line from that mark to divide the field in half! To create the centre circle, take a cup and trace the outside of the cup! White was chosen because it is the same as the line markings on the soccer field, so if you used white paper as your field, choose any colour you like!
Step 2: Net
Next, measure how tall and wide your ping pong ball or small ball is. Then, double those numbers for the size of your net. For example; if your ball is 1 inch tall and 1 inch wide, you will draw your net to be 2 inches tall and 2 inches wide! This is so your ball will fit through the net when you score! Draw a rectangle on the outside of the box along the bottom. The bottom line of the rectangle should share the bottom line of the box. Cut it out so there is a rectangle shape hole. Repeat this on the other end! This step may be tricky as you need to poke a small hole to get started, so make sure you ask an adult if you need help!
After you have your nets cut out, glue your field in the box by putting glue on the back of your paper, or, putting glue directly in the bottom of the box. Press down so that the field stays in place.
Step 3: Let’s Pick Teams!
Next, separate your clothespins into two piles of 5! Colour each pile all the same colour either using markers or paint. You can colour just the tops or the whole thing! Your teams are now picked!
Step 4: Creating the Player Stands
Using 1 clothespin, attach it to a pencil or the wooden rod. Hold it inside the box and measure how high your clothespins need to be to kick the ball without touching the field. Make a dot with your pencil on the inside of the shoebox of where that is. Next, take your ruler and measure how high the dot is from the bottom of the box, and mark that height on the other side. Draw a line across the length of both sides of the box at the height of your dot!
Now, using a hole punch, make four holes along the lines on one side of the box. If the hole punch does not reach, make a cut like a ‘V’ so the puncher can reach! You may need some help from an adult for this. Push your wooden rod through the hole until it touches the line on the other side of the box and make a mark. Do this for the other three rods! Then, using the hole punch again, make the rest of the holes and push your wooden rod through both holes.
Step 5: Getting the Players into Position
Add two of the same colour clothespins evenly spread out on one of the end rods that is closest to the goal. Add the other three of that colour to the third rod, so make sure you skip a rod! Using the other colour clothespins, add two to the other end rod and three to the middle rod. The rods should alternate red clothespins, blue, red, blue with the 2 clothespin players on the ends by the goals and three
clothespin players on the 2 middle rods!
To make sure you know what rods are yours when you play against a friend, colour the ends of the rods of the same colour of the clothespins that are on them. Wrap an elastic band around the ends of the rods that you did not colour to prevent the rod from slipping through the hole while you are playing!
Step 6: Game Ball!
Lastly, take your ping pong ball and draw the soccer ball pattern on it with a marker! You can draw circles, octagons, or even design your own soccer ball!
Place the ball in the centre circle for kick off time!