20 Feb 2014

Shooting Baskets for Center Parcs

The Center Parcs Family Bloggers' challenge for this month was to invent our very own fun indoor game for all the family to enjoy together. Given the weather over the last few weeks, this challenge could not have come at a more opportune time.

For when it is pouring outside, the need to improvise and invent ways and means to keep a boisterous toddler happily entertained indoors becomes even more urgent and pressing.

Lisa Brown, the Center Parcs' Games Guru has some very inspiring ideas to help create fun games for all the family to enjoy at home. Her tip to 'screw up some old newspaper and stick it together to make a ball. Decorate it, grab some empty toilet roll holders and make your own indoor ten pin bowling alley', was the one I found best suited to our needs.

Board games and puzzles are all good. But something a lot more physical is what is really needed to help a toddler expend all that pent up energy that comes from being confined indoors in miserable weather.

So the decision was made to shoot some baskets. We decided to craft our own version of a basketball hoop and to make some very toddler-friendly basketballs that would not wreck the furniture. All we needed were some old newspapers and an empty pot of yogurt.


J got to work with his crayons and felt-tip pens to create the perfectly decorated basket. He painted, coloured and squiggled on a sheet of paper and stuck some sticky bits on. 

Colour, squiggle and decorate
I glued this beautifully decorated piece of artwork to the outside of the yogurt pot. J then took it upon himself to give the inside of the yogurt pot a makeover too. Apparently, it was far too plain for his liking. So the end result was a marvellously scribbled yogurt pot basket.

A work of art
The end result - the Basket

To make the toddler-safe basketballs, all we did was tear up pieces of old newspaper and scrunch them up. Making these was tremendous fun.

Tearing up newspaper


Scrunching up into balls

All the apparatus assembled, it was time to play. The rules of 'Shooting Baskets' state that you stand a certain predetermined distance behind the basket and then throw the balls in. You try and get in as many as you can.

I had a go first, and managed to get one ball in. J had a go next. Here's how he got on.



A toddler can stick with the rules of a game only for so long. J was soon improvising. He kept moving closer and closer and closer to the basket till he was hovering over it. And then dropped the paper balls in. 


Moving closer to the basket

Hovering over
Next, he tipped the basket on its side and had another go at throwing some balls in.

Improvising with a tipped over basket
This accomplished, he decided it was time to tidy up. So he gathered all the scrunched up paper balls and stuffed them into the basket. 


Tidy-up time

All done!

Only to tip them all over his head!

It's raining paper
He was good enough to tidy up again. He gathered all the paper balls and put them neatly into the basket. 

Gathering the paper balls again

And  neatly tidying up

Only to tip them over my head!

On my head!
What started off as a game of shooting baskets evolved into a myriad of games with no specific description or purpose. By the end, we were all laughing and giggling and being very boisterous and noisy.

It was the most fun we have had in a while.
(M is not in any of the pictures as he was manning the camera. But he too shared in the giggles).

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 February challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit  Sherwood Forest.



36 comments:

  1. What a lot of fun! I have seen some great ideas for this challenge!

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    1. It really was the most fun we have had in a while! Making it and playing it both were fab.

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  2. Great fun, with the making and playing it looks like he had fun for hours and well done for changing the rules.

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    1. There was no way we were going to stick with the rules for more than a few minutes at a time. Guess that was what made it even more fun.

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  3. What a fab idea! Good luck in the comp- we were Center Parcs bloggers last year, and it was a brilliant experience! And congrats on your 100th post!

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    1. Thank you Sonya. Fingers crossed, we make the grade this time x

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  4. What a great idea! As we approach toddlerhood for the second time round, but for the first time in the UK, I'll be looking for indoor toddler fun, and it certainly looks like you had loads of fun!

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    1. We most certainly did :) It was so simple and easy to make, yet such a lot of fun.

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  5. What a fabulous game and what a fun game. Good luck

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    1. Thank you Claire. Fingers crossed we get chosen this time around.

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  6. Brilliant photos, although the video says private, your youtube settings are possibly prohibiting it.

    That looks like immense fun and making the game first adds much more entertainment.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know Jo. I have changed them now, and hopefully everything should be working fine. x

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  7. i remember my sister and i used to love making things like this! though we used ping pong balls and probably ended up throwing them at each other instead, haha.

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    1. I am quite glad we weren't using ping pong balls. As you can see, we did end up throwing them at each other!

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  8. That looks like lots of fun. Lovely pictures x

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  9. Great bit of active art going on there! :) good luck with your entry x

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  10. Beautiful photos and what fun was had with such a simple game, well done!

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  11. I love games like this that just use everyday items from around the house to create a cheap and exciting activity. Looks like you had lots of fun and your child will also have gained creatively. Fingers crossed for Centre Parcs x

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  12. Looks like great fun - good luck in the competition

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  13. What a fab and cheap idea! Love how he seems to be putting so much concentration into it too :)

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  14. I love this - because the preparation was as much fun as the game itself. Good idea!

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  15. Oh what a cutie Vai! What a great way to get him involved in creating a game and then letting him just run with it.Good luck on the competition :D

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  16. Looks like you had a great time. And congratulations on your 100th post - very exciting!

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  17. That looks like a lot of fun! My youngest likes the getting closer to the basket / goal / whatever there is method too :) Loved the photos, and good luck in the competition!

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  18. Aww it looks like you had a wonderful time together :)

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  19. Genius idea to make an indoor ball out of paper.
    He is so cute - love his onesie!
    Good luck with the comp x

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  20. Such a simple yet lovely idea. The bug stickers are awesome!

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  21. Such a fab and simple idea :) and happy 100th x

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  22. This is so simple and yet so much fun! I look his onesie! Good Luck x

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  23. That looks like so much fun - a great idea for a rainy day :)

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  24. What a lovely idea of decorating your own basket... I like it

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  25. this look s like great fun and good hand eye coordination practise too! Such an easy game to make for those rainy days x

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