Whale Ball Toss

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For a museum exhibit on President’s Day, Travis got to play with old-fashioned toys in honor of George Washington, including wooden favorites like a Jacob’s Ladder and a cup-and-ball toss. So he was eager to craft this whale-tastic take on the latter at home. (Fun fact: the game dates back to the 14th century! Admittedly, this cetacean update from Kiwi Co. is a bit newer).

Ideally, start with blue plastic cups for your whales. We only had paper cups, which got a nice coat of blue paint.

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Travis was so excited once they were dry! Punch a hole in the bottom of each cup, and thread through a three-foot long piece of yarn. Tie it in a loop around the cup.

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Tie a wooden bean onto the other end of the yarn – this is the “krill” for the whale to eat.

Next, we traced the cup onto white paper, and cut out.

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Cut the circle in half, then cut little strips into it to make fringed “baleen.” I was really proud of Travis’s scissor skills here.

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I cut out a tail and fin template for him, which he then traced onto blue paper and cut out. Again, loved watching his fine motor skills.

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Finally, we taped these pieces – tail, fins, and baleen, along with two googly eyes – onto each whale.

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Hold the cup and swing the bead, and see if your whale can eat it. Here goes!

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This was a great game, and since we made two, we could challenge one another to a competition.