Dad Wins #4

Welcome to Dad Wins – a series aimed at helping dads get some quick wins at home by doing things they either wouldn’t usually do. This might be because they’re too busy, someone else usually does it, or simply because they don’t have a clue where to start. Obviously, mums can get quick wins too, but dads get bonus points.

This week, I’ve gone crafty again and hope to show you just how easy and fun it can be to make your own table football game. Yes, that’s what I said – TABLE FOOTBALL. With three kids, space in our house can sometimes be a luxury so there’s no way we would be able to fit a normal-sized table football table anywhere. However actually making a smaller one seems to tick so many more boxes – fun with the kids, virtually no cost, room saving, and of course, dad points.

Make Your Own Table Football!

This one we actually found via Blue Peter a few years ago and thought it would be fantastic to make – their one goes to town with little details like goal counters and plastic straws for goalposts, but we didn’t do any of that and were more than happy with the outcome.

What you will need:

  • Ping pong ball – basically something light and round
  • Large cardboard box – one of those fruit/vegetable boxes you find in supermarkets work great
  • Small cardboard box
  • Wooden dowel rod
  • Clothes pegs – these will be your players.
  • Paint

So, what do you do?

1. The large cardboard box will be the pitch. Get the kids painting it – we weren’t precious about colours, and although you would expect the inside bottom to be green for, you know, grass, it really doesn’t matter as long as it’s flat. You could stick in a piece of card if your box isn’t flat enough.

2. Cut the small cardboard box in two. These will form the goals. Cat food boxes worked best in terms of size for us, but it obviously depends how big you want the goals to be. Line them up against the end of the larger box, draw around with a pencil and then cut out the hole for your goalmouth.

3. Using sellotape, stick the goals to the larger cardboard box.

4. Make six evenly spaced holes along the sides of the large cardboard box – your dowel rods will feed through these and have your ‘player’ clothes pegs stuck to them. Your pegs will need to comfortably turn without hitting the bottom of the box, so make sure the holes aren’t too low.

5. Cut the dowel rods down to size, making sure they are wider than your box. You need six rods in total – three for each team. Paint them the colours of your teams and feed them through the holes.

6. Attach the pegs to the rods. We drew some players on paper and stuck them on the pegs. Then we realised paper was too weak when it came to hitting the ping pong ball, so backed them up with card to make them a bit firmer. This was probably the most time-consuming part of the whole thing as you need to stick the players on the front AND back of the pegs. We went for a 6-a-side, 2-3-0 formation.

7. Play and get scoring.

That’s it for another dad win – I hope you give it a go and enjoy making it.


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