Ball in Cup

Ball In Cup

Make a game that people have been playing all around the world for hundreds of years. Give it a NOW feel by using recycled materials and Crayola® Color Sticks™.

  • 1.

    “Spear the Deer”, “Balero”, “Ring & Pin”—this game is called many things in different countries. Once you try it, you will want to keep at it until you catch the ball in the cup. It can be an addicting pastime.

  • 2.

    With the help of an adult, cut off the top of a recycled, 1-liter plastic bottle to form a cup.

  • 3.

    Roll a piece of foam into a handle shape.

  • 4.

    Cut a piece of string at least twice as long as the toy’s handle (you want to end up with a string about 16 inches (40 centimeters) long). Thread it through a wooden ball and knot it.

  • 5.

    Drop the other end of the string through the bottle’s opening. Then wrap the string around the foam top. Poke the foam into the bottle’s opening. Make sure that the string comes out of the top of the foam into the upside down cup. Glue the foam to the bottle’s neck with Crayola® No-Run School Glue.

  • 6.

    Wrap the handle with masking tape to hide the bottle’s neck and foam. Decorate the handle and the wooden ball using Crayola® Color Sticks™.

  • 7.

    Now try to catch the ball in the cup. See if you can put it down once you’ve started.


  • Students study early American and Native American games to find similarities.
  • Students construct hands-on game using recycled materials.
  • Students solve the best way to catch the ball in the cup.


  • Make this game from found natural materials discovered on a nature walk.
  • Plan a games day at school. Construct other simple games for classmates to try like stilts or hoops.
  • What games do we still play today that Native Americans played before the arrival of Europeans?