Monday, August 29, 2011

Can Game Tute

Yesterday I blogged about Fair Day 2011, and promised a quick tutorial on the can game I made. It's so easy it seems kind of silly to post a "how-to", but it's a fun way to reuse, so here it goes:

-10 aluminum cans(mine were a mix of Pepsi Max, Mountain Dew, and PBR)
-heavy duty tape (somewhat water-resistant, like duct tape)
-Water, enough to fill each can 1/4-1/2 of the way full
-Wrapping paper (or scrapbooking paper, or brown paper bags, or printer paper you drew on...whatevs.)
-scotch tape
-bean bag or tennis ball

Grab your ten tin cans (I know they're aluminum, but does that sound as fun? No.) Rinse them out, and pull off the tabs so that the top is smooth. You can recycle those, take them to Ronald McDonald House, or save up a stash and make them into accessories.

Fill each can a quarter to half full with water. This gives the cans more weight so the wind doesn't knock them over, and the game is a little more challenging.

Then you cover the hole in the can with your heavy duty tape. I couldn't find the duct tape, so I used this roll of red stuff we had in the garage. I have no clue what it's really for, but it felt kind of like duct tape, so I used it. The garage contains many mysteries for the uninitiated (like me).
Mysterious red tape...
Then you dig through all your scraps of paper. I had a sheet of wrapping paper that was getting all wrinkly in the closet. 

Cut 10 rectangles out. Each piece should be 4" by 10". This won't cover the little beveled edges at the top & bottom of the can, but it will cover the rest. I just wanted to make the cans look more festive (and hide the fact that I drink PBR. High class all the way, baby.). If you wanted to take the time to cover those little edges, more power to you. I am too lazy pants for that.

Wrap the paper around the can (make sure the can is wiped dry first!) and tape it on with your scotch tape.

Perfection, thy name ain't Aytch Rae. 
Then you stack the cans up in rows of 4, 3, 2, 1, from bottom to top. And your game is set up!

See how I put the same color can edges in each row, so it looks like I planned it? Crafty!

All you need is to decide how close your contestants can stand, give them a bean bag or a ball, and let them have at it. I gave each kid 2 throws per turn, and gave them a small piece of candy (Jolly Ranchers, taffies, etc.) for every 2 cans they knocked down. They kept playing until the cans were too beat up to stand anymore, and the water was starting to leak out.

(No carnies heckled, and no children were swindled during the course of this game.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

That's not Fair

Today is the last day of the Western Idaho Fair. When I was younger, I LOVED the fair. I loved the churros, the snow cones, the spin art, the Zipper...all of it. I haven't been to the fair without a pack of kids in probably 15 years, so it could be that if I went as myself instead of going as "Mom", I'd enjoy it.

But going to the fair with kids is pretty awful for me. I am constantly freaked out about losing one of them. I'm always saying, "Where's Girl 1? Do we have everyone?" and doing head counts. I'm terrified of someone getting lost or stolen.

It's hot. It stinks. It's hot.

I have to watch the kids' intake of foods and weigh that against the spinning, hurling, flipping motion of the rides we're piling them into. Puke lurks around every spin of the Gravitron.

The heckling of the lame.

And the cost...I think we figured it would be $200-$250 bucks for all 7 of us to get in, ride the rides, and eat the food. We could do Disney for close to that.

AND think of all the electricity...

Anyway. If I could turn off my responsible brain, the fair would be a ton of fun. But I can't.

This year my friend Mia had a great idea to have a Fair Day at their homestead. Mia writes Family, Food, and God a really great blog about living simply, spiritually, and sustainably. Mia and her family hosted and fed us all (10 kids, 4 adults) and our family provided the games and prizes. I worked to make all of the games out of household items, or repurposed waste.

 I made a can toss out of pop cans and wrapping paper. I'll post a tute on that tomorrow. It was really fun.

Mmmm...Lemon Heads....

We used a set of stacking cups and they had to land a golf ball in each. Everyone got a piece of candy for trying. The winner got 4 more pieces.

We did some chillaxin'. Boy 1 has GIANT feet.

Wouldn't be the fair without face painting. This is what you get if you allow your wife to decide what gets painted on your face.


We even had rides. Sort of.

We got to pet Beefy and Jerky.

 And we all tried milking Christina. She was very patient with us.

We filled a box with packing peanuts from The Man's work and then hid prizes and candy in it. The kids had 20 seconds to grab out as much as they could.

The glasses they dug out were a hit.

Glow sticks!

The kids got to help grind the corn for the corn dog batter, they picked cucumbers and tomatoes for snacks. We had Zucca bread, organic all-beef corn dogs, homemade donuts, and TONS of candy. All the kids agree that it was so much better than the "real" fair. We're thinking about making it an annual tradition.