BKLK_13_I'm going in!

Pac-Man Basketball – Toddler Activities for Dads

Boom! I finally get to show off this week’s Activity for Dads… and toddlers too. It’s time to put the action into these activities, and try to make sure that Little E never goes through the same horrifyingly embarrassing experiences that I did at school sports try-out days. No one needs to be the only kid who is rejected from EVERY team. EVERY year.

I found this great and simple idea for Indoor Basketball over at Kidspot.com.au. Hang on… simple, no tools involved, no chance of a major catastrophe? NOT DAD ENOUGH, I say.

So here is my tricked-out rendition, titled “Who Ate Blinky? The Pac-inator, that’s who!” otherwise known as Pac-Man Vertical Basketball.

BKLK_13_Pac Man masterpiece

You will need:

  • a large recycled cardboard box
  • a slightly smaller recycled cardboard box
  • scissors
  • yellow acrylic paint (and/or yellow spray paint)
  • black acrylic paint (and/or black spray paint)
  • black & red permanent markers
  • masking tape
  • pieces of recycled paper

Three days of trial and error, and a lot of spray paint, but here is my Arcade Masterpiece! Who else gobbles up little white balls better than this bad boy? It’s really just two cardboard boxes and a little creative thinking.

BKLK_13_double_dont lose a hand

Little E got the gist straight away. Take a scrunched-up piece of paper (or pac-pill, if you will) and put it in the massive gaping maw. I was concerned that he might actually be a little scared and not want to go too close. I was wrong.

BKLK_13_got it

As soon as those balls were inside he dove in head first to get them out. And then decided that the game was more fun if you stayed in there. What is it with kids and empty cardboard boxes? This year I’m keeping all of the cool christmas gifts and he gets the packaging. Though I fear he’ll be the happier one… darn hollow consumerism.

BKLK_13_hole in one

A little coaxing got him out of Pac-Man and before I knew it he and Mum were seeing how far they could throw the balls. I mean pills. Gotta get the jargon right. Do you reckon any of the kids at childcare will believe him when he says “I was tossing pills at this huge floating head that totally swallowed me whole”?

I can breathe easy. Little E has his Mum’s coordination. Phew! (except when she tries to prove that women in their 30’s are still cool, sassy and soccer-y. Then she spends the evening with a raised leg, wrapped in frozen peas. Definitely sassy. Not so much with the soccer-y).

This game was a complete winner! We sailed past the 15 minute mark and only finished up because he was getting overtired and ready for nap-time. He even played with it again tonight. When I say played, I meant abused orally. Head in, bum hanging out.

Poor Pac-Man.

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David Hawkins

Half nerd, all Dad & Founder of Big Kid Little Kid, the go-to blog for Awesome Dads. David is on a personal mission to become a more awesome dad to his two sons and teach them all the facets of being a major nerd. NES-off anybody?
  • Awesome.

  • Vilma

    Lol, love this one! Next time we get our hands on a big box, this is the plan!

    • David Hawkins

      Thanks Vilma, Pac-Man basketball is one of my favourites too. Be warned though: if your toddler decides to use the box as a climbing fort as well, you’ll likely have nothing left but the smiling face just as we have. Mind you, it has made a cool and retro geek-chic wall decoration.