Classic Ball and Cup Toy Tutorial with a Snow Cone Summer Twist

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Sometimes the simplest, most classic ideas really are the best.  That old ball on a string, catch in a cup game that's been around for centuries?  Still a HUGE hit with kids.  

Especially when I made a colorful snow-cone themed version for an activity/take home gift for the Snow Cone Pool Party!

Materials for the Snow Cone Ball Catch Toy can easily be found at any craft store:

  • snow cone cones (decorate your own, or I found my polka dot ones in the seasonal section at Michaels)
  • 3" diameter Styrofoam balls
  • inexpensive acrylic paints
  • string or cord (I used some silver cord I had in my craft supplies stash)
  • paintbrush
  • low temperature hot glue gun

Start by painting the Styrofoam balls with the acrylic paint.  The rough texture of the Styrofoam was perfect for the snow cone look.  I didn't bother cleaning my brush when switching the colors, because I wanted the colors to blend in to each other, just like how the flavors and colors bleed together where they meet in a real snow cone.  If you'd like, add some glitter to the balls while the paint is still wet.  Let dry completely.

Poke a hole into the center of each ball.  I used a bamboo skewer I had on hand to do this, but you could also use a pencil, or a pair of scissors, or a knife.

Cut off the very bottom tip of the snow cone cone. 

Cut a length of cord or string approximately 24" long, and tie a knot at one end.  Feed the unknotted end of the cord through the hole in the bottom of the snow cone cone.  Glue the knot to the inside bottom of the cone.

Insert the other end of the string into the Styrofoam ball, in the hole you punched earlier.  I used the same skewer to help push the string down in several inches.  Fill the hole with glue from the hot glue gun to secure the string.

Then, let the wholesome fun begin!

I seriously couldn't believe how entertained my girls were by this simple, classic toy.  Heck, even I had a good time playing with it!  I guess some thing are classics for good reason.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido