March 2006-Craft of the Month-- Basketball Madness


March Madness is about to overtake us on the TV and in the newspapers, so lets make our own basketball games that can be used anywhere!

Basketball in the Cup Game

Materials Needed:

1 7 ounce plastic cup
18-24 inches yarn or string
1 silk thread ornament
permanent marker
hole punch


1. Design cup to look like basketball net and hoop using permanent markers.
2. Punch a hole near lip of cup with hole punch.
3. Thread yarn through hole and tie a knot to secure yarn to cup.
4. Using permanent markers, draw line on ornament to make it look like a basketball.
5.  Secure end of thread through the ornament loop and tie a knot.
Hold the cup in your hand and swing the string and ball outwards and up, trying to catch the ball in the cup.  Practice makes perfect!

Mesh Basketball Hoop Game

Material Needed:

8 1/2" x 11"  cardboard or poster board paper
12" of mesh ribbon
12" pipe cleaner
permanent markers
Styrofoam ball
hole punch
rubber band or ribbon


1.  Cut cardboard into a backboard shape of  a "T" with only 3" on the leg of the T.
2.  Decorate the backboard with whatever design you want (we used the  printed alphabet).
3.  Thread  pipe cleaner in and out of every 3rd hole on top row of mesh ribbon to form the hoop.
4.  Bend edges of ribbon around the leg of the T and staple on one side of the T.
5.  Repeat process with other side of T.
6.  Decorate the Styrofoam ball to look like a basketball.
7.  Punch a hole in top of cardboard and tie a ribbon or rubber band through the hole.  Hang on door to play ball.

Both of these crafts address several skills you are trying to develop with your children.  Knot tying and just threading the yarn or string through the hole is one skill.  Holding a marker and marking on curved surfaces (as opposed to the usual flat surface) with some degree of control.  Once the games are assembled there the playing of the games involve motor planning skills as well as eye-hand coordination and timing skills.  Changing the size of the ornament ball or styrofoam ball will also affect the play of the game, so consider this if you are making adaptions to these crafts.

S & S Worldwide sells a Hot Shot Basketball game that is similar to the above Mesh Ball Game.  They come in packs of 50 for approximately $40.00, but you don't have to spend your time cutting out the backboards, or assembling all the materials. You may want to consider this for next year.