So I love to how the games and stuff I build.

But quite a few times, things don’t work out as planned or as idea-ed.

I typically don’t even take pics of those things.  Well because nobody likes to admit they screwed something up.  But it happens to all of us.

While looking through some old pictures, I found this:

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This was my goal post for use in our sports themed VBS.  This was phase 1.  I ended up cutting the horizontal pieces quite a bit shorter.  I think I ended up having to glue the PVC together to make it stay and not droop down.  I had initially wanted to not glue it to make it easy to store.

Here’s after I painted the posts yellow to make them look more like a goal post and to cover up the text:

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So even when you fail, learn from it and move on.  Don’t give up.

Also, I can’t believe how messy my garage was.  Man what a mess.  It is actually pretty organized now.  Maybe I’ll do a post on how I work out of my garage.  Back in the past, I had to work in the driveway because of the mess in the garage.

Of course, you could always just buy a goal post set.

Franklin Sports Youth Football 2 Goal Post Set

US Toy Blow Up Inflatable Football Goal with Blow Up Football Game, 46 x 39″

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Kid’s Drive-In Movie

Posted: August 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

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My wife was planning a movie night for our kids one Saturday night. Since we lease our building out on Saturday nights, we couldn’t have it at our main building. We typically have these events at our Kid’s Day Out (mother’s day out) facility. There is a large fenced in playground area in the back yard. We had normally had movie nights in doors, but this time, we wanted to move it outside.

My wife had bought a blow-up movie screen from Amazon.

Here’s the screen we bought from Amazon: MEGA SCREEN MOVIE SCREEN – INFLATABLE PROJECTION SCREEN- PORTABLE HUGE OUTDOOR SCREEN – Over 9′ DIAGONAL    Note:  Amazon no longer carries the exact one we used.  This is a similar product.  But this one has great reviews also…

This thing was awesome. It blows up nice and tall and makes a great surface to project on. We used an older projector, DVD player, and a home amp and speakers to bring it to life.

As we were sitting up, we had to move all of the ride-on vehicles out of the way to make room. Then we had a thought. What if we took all of the ride-on toys and put them in front of the screen. Sorta like a drive-in movie. So we arranged the Cozy ride-ons to look like a drive in.

Here’s some of the many Cozy Ride-On vehicles available from Amazon:

Little Tikes Princess Cozy Truck Ride-On

Little Tikes Princess Cozy Coupe Ride-On

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Tikes Patrol, Ride-On

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Car

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport Ride-On

Little Tikes Ride & Rescue Cozy Coupe

Little Tikes Cozy Truck

The Original Ride On Toys-The Cozy Coupe – Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Car

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Off-Roader Ride-On, Camo

The more varied the cars are, the better.

Check out the picture.

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It was really funny watching the kids show up that night. They just walked in, found the car they wanted, opened the door and got in. Nobody had to explain how it worked.

We just walked around handing out popcorn and juiceboxes.

Now, I’ll admit that we ran into a little issue. It had to get pretty dark before the movie looked really good. We had one of those $300 projectors we were using, so we couldn’t get it bright enough. If you waited until the correct time of year so the got darker earlier or if you have a better projector, you’d probably be in better shape.

We had a projector similar to this one (they no longer sell the one we have):

BenQ DLP HD 1080p Projector (TH670) – 3D Home Theater Projector with 3,000 ANSI Lumens and 10,000:1 Contrast

This would work fine if it starting to get dusk.  But if you are wanting to be visible in sunlight, you’ll need a much brighter projector.  Of course, now you are getting into expensive projectors.  And if you are spending a ton of money on a projector, you probably don’t want it outside being exposed to the elements.

As far as sound goes, moving the home audio equipment was a pain.  If I had it to do over, I would probably invest in a portable sound system.  Something like:

JBL EON206P Portable All-in-One 2-way PA System with 6-Channel Mixer

for a nice system you can use other places.  Pretty much for any outdoor event (unless it is a very large venue).

Or something like this, which is much cheaper, but not quite as flexible:

ION Audio Tailgater (iPA77) | Portable Bluetooth PA Speaker with Mic, AM/FM Radio, and USB Charge Port

 

Let me know what you think. And as always, send me your pics of similar things…

 

Update: 09/13/2017 – I found a few more pics….

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Of course we had to bring in the snow cone truck.  Or technically the snowball truck…

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So I’ve been building games and things for some times. But just doing the same old thing gets old. Even with new games, it is still the same theory and same set of skills required. Just using the skills in different ways.

I’m always looking to build new skills. As I get older, I think it is important to find new things to learn to keep your mind building new pathways. At least it seems like I remember something like that.

Something that I’ve always wanted to learn is machine control. Having a simple computer being able to take inputs and act on those inputs. There are many pieces of equipment that do a lot of the work for you. Things like the Arduino platform:

https://www.arduino.cc/

Arduino Uno R3 Microcontroller A000066

ARDUINO K000007 The Starter Kit, 1.5″

Arduino Starter Kit – English Official Kit With 170 Page Book

The idea with a system like this is to take inputs and react to them.  My thought was something like my Operation Skee-Ball game. With the one I made, you had to watch where the balls went and keep up with the score manually. With a system like this, when a ball enters a hole, it controls a sensor and the Arduino keeps score… it can even help display it…

Just something I want to play with..

Has anyone built any Kid’s church or VBS type games that use the Arduino platform (or something similar).  I would love to see pictures…

 

 

 

 

 

Random Garden Ideas

Posted: August 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

I like building things.  My mom moved in with us last year after my dad passed away.  Every weekend, she tells me I should just sit around and relax.  She just doesn’t understand, that isn’t relaxing to me.  I sit at work all week long.  The last thing I want to do on my offtime is sit around (unless a football game is on).

I relax by being in the garage building something.  When I’m not building something for my wife, I like to build stuff for the yard.

I love to recycle old fence panels into things for the garden.  Here’s a pic of one of my boxes made from old fence boards:

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So years ago, I had built this vertical garden.  Just kinda came up with the idea myself.  Never seen anything like it.

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I ended up posting it on Ana White’s site.  This was about the only DIY type site I looked at back then.

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From that point on, it kinda took on a life of its own…

 

Here’s a pic from Rocker’s Facebook post during an Outdoor project contest.  My pic is featured on the upper left hand.  I thought maybe that meant I was going to win.  But no such luck…

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Here’s a pic from Facebook which has a variation of my pic on it.  I’ve seen my actual pic quite a few times on Facebook typically where they are trying to get you to buy the big lot of plans.  I always wondered if they actually had plans to build mine.  Or if it was just an attention getting pic…

 

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I’ve seen quite a few pins on Pinerest with my pic.  I love the person that copied it in the above picture.  They even copied the lantern…  But they added a second lantern.  Great Job.  I guess copying/cloning is the greatest form of flattery?  Mine was reclaimed fence boards.  His wood appears to be new cedar, but either way.  Very nice job.

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here’s more pics of similar things from Pinterest, Lowes, Instragram.

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I even see now where Lowe’s has a video on putting their up:

 

Wait.  I’m still waiting on Lowe’s to send me the Royalty check…  : ^ )

 

 

A bing search turns up this image.  My pic is in the lower right hand box.

verticalFunny thing, this page gives a link to the DIY instructions.  This would have been nice since I didn’t take time to make any.  But the page link is dead…   No such luck.

 

 

 

Here’s my original pic:

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Here’s a few other pics.  These are some raised beds I built.  I had to add the fencing to keep the bunnies out.

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A few other pics/games

Posted: August 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

As I was writing a post about the games I had built and posting pictures, I started thinking about some of the other games I had built.  Some of them, I couldn’t find pictures of.  But I was able to find a few pictures.  A couple of are of the existing games, but maybe in use during VBS.

This is a Kerplunk game.  The idea is that every kid comes up and pulls a stick out of the game.  The goal is not to be the one that causes all the balls to fall out of the bottom.  I saw a similar design on Pinterest.  We used garden stakes for the sticks.  We used ball pit balls.  Here’s a few links, if you need to purchase some of this:

Giant Kerplunk Game

Click N’ Play Value Pack of 400 Phthalate Free BPA Free Crush Proof Plastic Ball, Pit Balls – 6 Bright Colors in Reusable and Durable Storage Mesh Bag with Zipper

Hydrofarm HGBB4 4′ Natural Bamboo Stake, pack of 25

I don’t remember how many balls we actually purchased.  I think it was a few hundred.  (like 300 or 400).  I also don’t remember how many stakes it took.  We just kept adding until it would support the balls without any falling through…

kerplunk

From the above pic, you can also see my “Contestant stage boxes”.  Since we were doing a “Game Show” VBS theme, we boxes to make it look like a game show.  The taller box is the one my wife used since she was the host.  The chosen kids stood behind one of the smaller boxes.  The boxes were colored to match the team colors.

Here’s another pic of the boxes.

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Here’s a picture my wife sent me of what she wanted the podiums to kinda look like:

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That’s typically how this starts.  She sees something and shows me a pic and I get to try to make it happen…

 

once the boxes were on the stage, we wired them with:

Educational Insights Wireless Eggspert 2.4 GHz

Actually we used the wired version.  But I regretted not getting the wireless one.  The wires were a pain.   Here’s the wired one:

Educational Insights Eggspert

There’s also just buttons, you’ll just have to listen very well so see who buzzes in first:

Learning Resources Answer Buzzers, Set of 4

 

Here’s a couple of more pics of games that I’ve posted elsewhere on my site.  Here’s a pic of the Connect 4 in action:

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Not the best pic in the world.  If you want to see how I made it, check out my blog post here.

Here’s a couple of pics of the Plinko in use:

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You can see the blog post for the Plink here.

As usual, I would love to hear your ideas for more games or see pictures of the games you built…

Big Games for Purchase

Posted: August 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

The purpose of this blog is to show people how I build games for Kid’s Church / VBS / any other situation.

But I get a lot of questions about where to buy the games or if I would be willing to make some for people…

Well, I don’t really have time to make any for anyone else.  My wife keeps me busy enough.

So I’m including links to a few pre-made games, you can get from Amazon:

Playcraft Bulls Eye Ball Deluxe Arcade Table

Boardwalk 8-ft Arcade Ball Table

ECR4Kids Jumbo 4-To-Score Oversized Game, Primary

GoSports Giant 4 in a Row Game with Carrying Case – 3 foot Width – Made from Wood

Giant 4 Connect in a Row

Portable Plinko Game–for Trade Shows, Carnivals, Parties etc. with full accessories by BiGe

Midway Monsters Drop Zone Express Customizable Plinko Carnival Game 

Disk Drop Game

Games People Play 80005 Mini White Plinko 3

WinSpin 18-inch Round Tabletop Color Prize Wheel 14 Clicker Slots Editable Fortune Design Carnival Spin Game

WinSpin 24″ Tabletop Spinning Prize Wheel 14 Slots with Color Dry Erase Trade Show Fortune Spin Game

Jenga GIANT Family Hardwood Game Kid size. Stacks to 3+ feet

GoSports Giant Toppling Tower with Bonus Rules

Jenga GIANT Genuine Hardwood Game (Stacks to 4+ feet. Ages 8+)

Giant Bowling Game, Inflatable – Classic Red, White, and Black – 29″H

Giant Kerplunk Game

 

 

 

 

Life-Size BattleShip Game

Posted: August 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

As part of our Game Show VBS Last year, we had already built the Operation Skee-Ball Game.  Please click the link to see how we built it.  The following picture shows the Operation Skee-Ball  but you can also see the battle ship games on each side.  Unfortunately, I either didn’t take (or couldn’t find) the final pictures…

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This is my design I did for the game.  When I did Connect Four  or Break My Heart Game or Plinko Game I planned everything out on graph paper.  Laying out where everything would go and how long to cut everything.  But when I did Operation Skee-Ball I just kinda “winged” this meant a lot of re-work.  With the Battleship game, I planned it all out to start with.  Helped me understand how big the wood needed to be and where to put the holes…

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I measured out where my holes needed to go.  You can see from the first one, I cut the hole all the way through with the hole saw.  This caused quite a bit of tear-out.  From that point on, I went about 1/2 way through coming from one side, turned the board over and went the rest of the way through from the other side.

IMG_1391This gave a much nicer edge…

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Here you can see two boards connected together with a piano hinge.   I had also painted the wood with primer…

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Here is both the game panels.  One open and one folded.  You can see the piano hinge on this picture.

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I ended up putting a back on the panels.  This was there mostly so that the pegs went in a set amount and no further.  The pegs on the real game are two-sized.  So they can only go so far.  We were using PVC pipe for our pegs.  They were 1 single size.  There had to be a way to stop them from going too far.

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Another pic with the panel folded.  I had also painted it blue.  Yes, I have a lot of blue.  I believe this is the same blue as we used on the Connect Four

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Once these were assembled, we realized they had quite a bit of weight.  We decided to add casters.  The casters were put on the opposite side of the hinge.  That way, they wouldn’t be tempted to open.  But even with the casters, these were hard to move.  You pretty much had to balance them on the two casters.  Not sure I would do it like this if I had to do it again.  I’m not sure how I would make it mobile, but I would have to come up with something.

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Here’s the pic with some of the pegs installed…   Dang PVC being cut with my miter saw, got melted PVC all over my blade.  Still need a new blade.

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Here’s the best final pic I have.  You can see part of 1 panel on the left and part of 1 panel on the right.  My wife made the ships out of foam.  She cut them with a knife and we drilled out the holes to hold the pegs.    We also added pegs to the bottom of the ships to make them stay on the panel.  We painted the ships grey.  We painted some of the pegs Red.  These indicate hit.  We left some white.  These indicate miss…   We also added numbers and letters to make the location of the hit/miss.

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The game was a lot of fun.  Of course playing sound effect over the sound system.  Like explosions, “you sank my battleship”, and anything else you can find from a Battleship game.