Sanity Savers: Recycled Creations – Invent a Game!

Presented by National Grid

By Dan Walsh
STEM Educator and Cardboard Engineer Extraordinaire

Sanity Savers: Recycled Creations - Invent a Game

Download a printable version here!

Supplies Ideas:  

 Any recycled materials in the house will do the trick. Here are a few options Cardboard, shoe boxes, straws, paper clips, glue, rubber bands, paper, scissors, hot glue gun/ regular glue, marbles, clothespins.  

Sanity Savers: Recycled Creations - Invent a Game


Build time: 10-15 minutes 

Academic Subjects:

Science/ Engineering

This lesson supports your student’s curriculum:
Math: NY-2.MD.1
Arts: PreK-5 VA.Cr.1
SCI: 3-5-EST1.1

Directions for Game Day!

Everyone loves playing games! Now is your chance to invent your own game out of the materials you find at home. Games can be simple like ping-pong, marble mazes, or more complex like pinball! The invention process is the way a simple thought becomes something amazing! It’s a multi-step process, and each step is as important as the last. Today we are going to invent our own game! First, I will give a quick run-down of the invention process and how I chose to work on the classic game of foosball. 

The first step of the invention process is to think of a game you really enjoy. One of my favorite games is foosball! One may think foosball is a perfect game, but I found one small problem about the game. It’s too big! If I ever want to play foosball at a friend’s house, I can’t take the table with me.

This leads right into the second step. Brainstorm a way around the problem.

Brainstorming is one of my favorite steps in the invention process! There’s no limit to the possibilities! Try to think of as many ways you can change your game. Let your imagination run wild! For my foosball problem, what if I made a table out of a shoe box? What if I made the foosball table so small it would fit in my pocket? There are so many possibilities.

The third step is to pick one of your brainstormed ideas and run with it. The shoe box idea seems like a great starting point. Draw out your design on paper to see what your build will look like.This leads into the fifth step. Decide which materials you may need, pull them together, and start to build! For my foosball table I glued two shoe boxes together and poked holes along the sides. Then I glued players onto chop sticks and slid them through the holes.

Now that your invention is built, it’s time to try it out! Does it work how you think it would work? Is it fun? Can you change anything to make it better? 

For more Sanity Savers projects click here!

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