Under 2 hours
Follow along and build a fun basic soccer game toy that will score high with your favorite little DIY-er.
A tabletop soccer game is the perfect project for your child to learn how to handle tools like a screwdriver and a hammer. Complete this quick woodworking project together and have some fun.
Set Up Your Workspace
Find a space to work and lay out all the pieces of your project together. Put your nails and screws into groups. You should have:
- 4 short nails
- 4 long nails
- 2 screws
You also need a hammer, some wood glue, a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and a #2 Phillips screwdriver (the star-shaped one). Don’t forget to put on your safety glasses.
Tip: Start by lightly sanding each wood piece to take away any rough edges. Remember to sand in the direction of the wood grain.
Attach the Long Sides
- Lay down one of the long side pieces.
- Put a thin line of glue down the face-up side.
- Place the base on top of the side piece, lining up the front corner and side edges evenly.
- Use 2 short nails and nail the two pieces together.
- Repeat to attach the other long side piece to the opposite edge of the base.
Attach the Short Sides
- Stand up one of the short side pieces up on the long edge. Make sure the dowel hole is close to the bottom.
- Add a thin line of glue to the top edge of the side piece.
- Place the base assembly on top and against one of the long side pieces. Make sure the dowel hole is next to the long side piece and the edges are even.
- Use 2 long nails and nail them together.
- Repeat to attach the other short side piece. Make sure the dowel holes line up.
- If you want to paint the project, only paint the base assembly. Do not paint the backboard, dowel or the goalie figure.
- Let the paint dry completely.
- Add the stickers to the backboard and the goalie.
Attach the Backboard
- Match the screw holes in the backboard to the screw holes in the short side pieces.
- Using a #2 Phillips Screwdriver, attach them together with 2 screws.
Attach the Goalie
- Insert the dowel from one side.
- Carefully push the goalie through the dowel, then slide the dowel into the other side.
- Adjust the goalie to the center of the dowel.
Enjoy Your New Game
Congratulations! You scored a win and finished building your new toy soccer game. Drop the ball and try to sneak a penalty kick past the goalie.
Make a Home Version
If you can't get a soccer game kit from The Home Depot, you can still easily build a model from supplies around the house.
You'll need sturdy cardboard, hot glue or strong tape, plastic drinking straws, a screwdriver or pencil and scissors.
Cut Out Cardboard Game Pieces
Lay out your cardboard and use a ruler and a pencil to mark measurements to match the pieces of the original game. Mark all the measurements on the cardboard first. Then do all the cutting at one time.
1 base - 5 1/4 inches x 7 3/4 inches
2 short sides - 2 3/8 inches x 1 3/4 inches
2 long side rails - 3 3/8 inches x 1/2 inch
1 backboard - 5 1/4 inches by 4 inches
1 soccer figure - 2 3/8 inches x 1 inch
1 straw - 8 1/4 inches long
Use a screwdriver or pencil to punch a hole in one corner of each of the short side pieces. This will be where the straw fits through to hold the player in place.
Tip: To make it easier to assemble, draw the short side piece and long side rail as one shape on the cardboard. Repeat to create the second side. With that, you will only have two pieces to cut out to make the sides of the game.
Assemble the Base
Follow the instructions above to assemble the base pieces. Attach the short sides and side rails to the base. However, instead of nails, use a line of hot glue to attach each of the cardboard pieces. Allow the glue to set. Use sturdy tape if a hot glue gun is not available.
Assemble the Backboard
- On one long side of the backboard, mark off a 2-inch x 2-inch arch centered in the middle of the backboard.
- Cut out the arch.
- Attach to the base as above using a line of hot glue instead of nails. Allow the glue to set. Use sturdy tape if a hot glue gun is not available.
Attach the Goalie
- Use the scissors to shape the goalie piece similar to the shape in the kit. Decorate with a face or uniform if you like.
- Poke the straw through the two holes in the short sides of the game base. Test the straw to be sure it turns freely. Line it up so that the side are even.
- Use hot glue to attach the goalie figure to the straw at about shoulders level. Center it on the straw so that it lines up with the opening in the backboard. Allow the glue to set. Use sturdy tape if a hot glue gun is not available.
With our kit and a few basic tools, you and your child can build this tabletop soccer game together and hit a worthy goal. Or get creative and gather some household supplies for a real DIY build. Then get the family together for a little friendly competition.