DIY Marble Roll Game from a Shoe Box

We’ve had the rainiest summer down here in Florida than any I can remember in recent history, and, while I am thankful for the water, it has surely spoiled many plans for parks and pools and general outdoor fun.  We’ve been relying on our fully stocked game closet to help keep us occupied, but as those games began to get a little old, I decided to load up on some “make your own fun” type of books from our library.

I found so many great books filled with ideas for using cardboard boxes and other household objects to make a menagerie of toys and games and general objects of interest. I immediately seized on one idea simply because it was so quick to make and I knew my girls would enjoy it.

marble run

Making it is very simple. In fact, for our first attempt we repurposed a cereal box and borrowed some marbles from our Hungry Hippos for instant entertainment. Once I saw how much everyone enjoyed the game, I went ahead and splurged on some “real” marbles ($1 for a pack of 50 at Walmart) and made a new game that would last us a little longer.

Although the chalkboard paint isn’t really necessary, I like being able to change the scores for practicing skip-counting, or I can erase the score numbers if competition is getting too intense and we an just play for fun!

marble roll

You can play on a table or on the floor. We chose the table, but most of the marbles that didn’t make it into the box ended up on the floor anyway!

Have you had any success with homemade games for your kids? Any favorites…do share!

Homemade Bottle Cap Game


This super-fun homemade toy from Julie K in Taiwan is a fabulous way to let your little ones practice screwing the tops on and off of bottles without losing the caps. Perfect for car rides! Check it out here!

Easy Counting Game



Here’s a simple way to help your kiddos practice their counting skills (with a little fine motor thrown in for good measure)! It’s a cinch to make and you probably already have everything you need! Check out Naptime Journal for the details!

More Crafty 4th of July Ideas

All-American Tutu from Joy’s Hope:


Edible rockets and sparklers from This Little Project:


4th of July bean bag toss from Chica and Jo:


Edible star cupcake toppers from Inchmark:


Festive red, white, and blue soap from Make It Soap:


(via Craft Gossip)

Star ice cream sandwiches from No Fuss Fabulous:


4th of July printables from Twig and Thistle:


4th of July mobile from Grown in My Heart”


4th of July tarts from Ramblings of a Crazy Woman:


Bowling game (plus a ton of other games!) from Roots and Wings Co.:

DIY I Spy Book


Brassy Apple made this I Spy Book as part of her self-hosted “creativity for the car” summer craft challenge. It’s such a simple idea, but one that the kids will love!  You can see how she made it, plus check out what others have made for the car, right here!