The summer is dragging on and the kids don’t have any summer camps for the next few weeks. That means: 1) I need to find a way to keep the kids entertained. 2) I need to keep them from pushing me over the brink of insanity. 3) I need to keep them from pushing each other off a cliff.
I came up with a fun marble toss game that will keep them busy. It was an easy game to make and I used some of the scrap wood laying around my workshop. Feel free to substitute materials and make modifications.
I enjoyed using the Dremel Fortiflex to carve the intricate letters and numbers. I have to admit I’m enjoying working as a brand ambassador for Dremel and testing their tools.
Let’s get your marble game face on!
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- Ballpoint pen
- Computer print out of “Marble Toss”
- Chalkboard paint
- Painter’s tape
- Paint brush
- 12 – 1.25″ wood screws
- Wood glue
- 10 – 1″ brad nails
- Wood putty
- Acrylic paint: Red & Aqua
- 10 marbles
- Compass or round objects to trace holes (tape roll, glass, quart paint can, and food container)
Optional: White pin stripes
- 1 – 1/4″ x 10.5″ x 24.5″ plywood (face)
- 1 – 1/2″ x 23″ x 9.25″ plywood (for side supports)
- 2 – 1×3″ cut to 8.5″ (for base supports)
- 1 – 2×4″ cut to 8.5″ (for upper support)
Begin by drawing a horizontal line across the 1/2″ plywood.
The angle will be approximately 22˚degrees.
Use the Dremel Ultra-Saw (jig saw or circular saw) to cut your plywood board in half diagonally.
You should have two identical triangles for the side supports.
Trace or draw progressively smaller circles on the 1/4″ plywood board. Use a Dremel Trio to make quick cuts around the traced holes. Alternatively you can drill a hole on the edge of a circle and insert a jig saw blade to cut the circles.
Time to break out the Dremel Fortiflex and have some fun! Find a sturdy location to hang the mounting bracket for the Dremel Fortiflex motor. Ideally you want it high enough to hold most of the weight of the shaft, but still give you enough room to move the tool around your work surface.
The Fortiflex is a precision rotary tool that fits in your hand and is controlled by a foot pedal. The tool responds to the slightest pressure changes from the foot pedal.
Print out your letters on the computer. Rub pencil on the backside of the print out. Position the words on the face of the game and trace around the letters with a ball point pen.
Remove the paper to reveal the outline transfer.
Be sure the Dremel Fortiflex is unplugged. Use the chuck key to tighten the chuck around a small engraving tip.
Plug in the Fortiflex and turn it on. Depress the foot pedal and outline your letters with the small engraving tip. Next add number values for your holes. (I randomly chose 50, 100, 250 and 500 for the values.)
Change to a larger engraving bit to fill in the letters.
The sanding bit works beautifully to clean up the circles and sand a slight bevel around the edges.
Paint a stroke around the circles and paint your score numbers.
While the face is drying, paint the side supports and the 2×4 with chalkboard paint.
Paint the sides of the face with 1.5″ bands of chalkboard paint for score keeping. Use painter’s tape for perfectly straight lines.
Add white pin striping if you desire.
Assembling the Marble Toss Game:
Insert a small drill bit into the Fortiflex. Layout the 1×3 boards on the base of the game.
Slide the front 1×3 back until it sits flush with or below the top of the side support. Line the second 1×3 up with the back of the side supports. Notice the location of the 2×4 support just below the top of the side supports:
Pre-drill holes into the side supports. Drive screws through the holes and into the 1×3 and 2×4 boards.
The assembled sides and supports should look like this:
Run a bead of wood glue onto the top of the side supports.
Lay the face onto the side supports and center it from side to side. Secure the face with finish nails.
Putty the holes and touch them up with chalkboard paint.
Time to play a game! Each player takes turns tossing all the marbles through the holes (one at a time.)
The other player marks chalk marks next to the holes as each marble goes in.
After both players have tossed all the marbles, tally up the totals to see who earned the most points.
This is a great way for your kids to practice their addition.
Have them repeat until it’s time for dinner. (LOL, a handy girl can dream, right?!) What are you doing to keep your kids busy for the rest of the summer?
Disclosure: As a brand ambassador for Dremel and a #DremelMaker, I was provided with the Dremel Fortiflex to use for a project and product review. I was also compensated for my time, but I was not told what to write or what project to complete. All opinions and ideas are mine. As always, I am very particular about the tools and products I chose to work with and will always let you know the details of my involvement with a brand.