ACTIVITY: Trash Balls

On our Friday episode of Kid's Site 2: The Web Page (yes, I'm a shill) we talk about making trash balls. This is an incredible activity for teachers and parents alike because:

  1. Trash Balls are 100% recycled material
  2. Trash Balls can easily be replaced
  3. Trash Balls are easy to make... and easy to make many of them...
  4. Trash Balls do not hurt (generally)
  5. Trash Balls can be played with safely indoors (mostly)
So what are Trash Balls?

First you roll some used newspaper into a ball - make it 2 or 3 sheets.
Then wrap a couple plastic bags (from the store) around the newspaper.
Finally, take a couple strips of packing tape or masking tape and (loosely) wrap everything together.

There you have it - a Trash Ball!

And what can you play with Trash Balls? We personally enjoy the game of Ultimate Dodgeball - it's a real tricky one.

(oh, this is great!)


  • A group of 10 to... hm... 1,000,000?
  • At least 5 - 10 Trash Balls per person
  • A tennis court or gymnasium
The best place to play this is on a tennis court with the net as a divider. If not, half a gym is sufficient. Split the group into two even teams. There are no outside borders beyond the center divider, so additional cones, etc, are not necessary.

The *goal* of this game is to get everyone on the same side... If you are hit with the Trash Ball, switch sides; If someone catches your Trash Ball, switch sides; If you catch a Trash Ball, the thrower changes sides.

WAIT A MINUTE, PETE!?! Doesn't that mean one side could just give up and the game would be over?
Yes. Will that happen? No!

I've played this with kids and adults... and no matter how much I emphasized the GOAL when explaining the rules, they all heard the same thing - throw the Trash Balls at the other team.

This game has excellent discussion points at the end - especially if you let it run for a while.
Did you understand the goal of the game?
Why didn't you just give up so everyone would be on the same side?
(and then approach the hold-outs... the guys that wouldn't say die no matter how few were left on their side)
What was your thinking when you were alone against the larger group?

& etc.

My favorite moment in this game was with a large group of parents who, though completely understanding the goal, turned the game into a ridiculously competitive romp... and subsequently an enthusiastic and intriguing debrief.


heroworkshop said...

Excellent game. I'm going to give it a try.

Coach Lion said...

agreed! I'm lovin the concept. My kiddos at school could definitely benefit from this activity/game. Thanks for the great ideas!
I've only peeped a few days worth of KidsSite2, but it looks like you're off to a strong start. The pace is quick, but not overwhelmingly so. I wonder if there's any way to superimpose the words to the songs (like when you "follow the bouncing ball", or karaeoke) at the bottom of the screen so kids can learn the songs and sing along. Makes for more work, but it might make it more interactive (and a good learning/reading tool, as well).
Keep up the good work!