Craft Stick Puzzles are some of the fun paper games you can learn to make.
Craft Stick Puzzles are some of the fun paper games you can learn to make.

If you're looking to entertain your family, paper games for kids are a great way to add new fun to your play time. These games are easy to prepare and inexpensive, providing hours of fun for kids and grown-ups alike.

On the following pages, you'll learn a number of innovative paper games that will hold anyone's attention.

Basketball Bead Toss

This game of skill is easy to construct and provides hours of fun. Find out how to make the Basketball Bead Toss.

Brokenhearted Puzzle

Send a valentine message that's both sweet and fun. Learn how to make this touching paper game.

Button Flip Game

Once you make this paper game, you'll have hours of fun perfecting your button flip. Get directions to make the Button Flip Game.

Craft Stick Puzzles

Get hours of fun and enjoyment out of old books when you turn them into Craft Stick Puzzles. Find out how to make them on this page.

Crazy Checkerboard

Spice up your checkers game when you make a colorful Crazy Checkerboard. Impress your friends with your funky design of this paper game.

Make a Tangram

This paper game is an ancient puzzle that's occupied great minds for thousands of years. Learn how to Make a Tangram.

Penny Spinner

This paper game is both fun to make and to watch. Get directions on how to make a colorful Penny Spinner on this page.

Pom-Pom Basketball

This paper game is so sophisticated that your friends will think you bought it in a store! Find out how to make Pom-Pom Basketball.

The Basketball Bead Toss is a great test of hand-eye coordination. Learn how to play this paper game on the next page.

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Basketball Bead Toss

Basketball Bead Toss is a game of skill.
Basketball Bead Toss is a game of skill.

The Basketball Bead Toss tests your hand-eye coordination. How many tries will it take to make a basket? When you've mastered the technique of swinging and catching the bead in the basket, challenge a friend to try their luck.

How to Make the Basketball Bead Toss

What You'll Need:

  • Paper Egg Carton
  • Acrylic Paint: white, red, burnt orange
  • Clear Acrylic Gloss Spray
  • 14-inch Wooden Dowel, 3/8-inch diameter
  • Wooden Bead, 1 inch
  • 1 large thumbtack
  • 1 small eye screw
  • 20 inches String or Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Black fine-point permanent marker
  • Craft glue
  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Small finishing nail

1. Cut an egg cup from one of the corners of the carton, making sure to include the tall edge that separates the cups. This becomes the back of the basket. Neatly trim the remaining edges, and paint the basket white. Let dry; seal with clear gloss spray. 2. Once the spray is dry, use permanent marker to draw cross-hatched diagonal lines to look like netting.

3. Paint the dowel red and the bead burnt orange; let dry. Seal with clear gloss spray; let dry completely. Draw black basketball lines on the bead using permanent marker. Set aside.

4. Push a thumbtack through the tall edge of the basket from the inside out. Run a 1-inch-long line of glue at the top of the dowel. With the tall edge of the egg cup aligned with the top of the dowel, press the cup onto the glue, pushing the tack into the dowel.

Use a thumbtack to fix the basket on the dowel.

Ask a grown-up to help you use a hammer to pound the tack in if necessary. Hold the cup in place until the glue takes hold; let dry completely.

5. Measure 2 inches down from the top of the dowel, and use the finishing nail and hammer to make a starter hole on the back of the dowel, opposite the basket. Remove the nail, and twist the small eye screw into the hole.

6. Tie one end of the string to the eye screw. Slip the other end through the bead; tie to secure. Add a drop of glue to both knots.

The Brokenhearted Puzzle is a great way to send a message to your valentine. Find out how to create this paper game on the next page.

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Brokenhearted Puzzle

Have your valentine solve the Brokenhearted Puzzle.
Have your valentine solve the Brokenhearted Puzzle.

Give your valentine the Brokenhearted Puzzle and tell him or her to put this broken heart together to get a sweet message. Put your valentine to work trying to figure out this heart-shaped puzzle.

How to Make the Brokenhearted Puzzle

What You'll Need:

  • Pencil
  • Red Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Thin Cardboard
  • Craft Glue
  • Envelope
  • Markers

1. Draw and cut out a large construction-paper heart. Glue it onto a piece of thin cardboard, and cut around the heart when the glue is dry.

2. Write a message in large letters on the heart. You may want to write a sample in light pencil first so you can make sure your message fits. Some ideas for messages are: "I Went to Pieces Over You," "Together Forever," or "How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?"

3. You may decorate your message and the rest of the heart with pretty designs and colors, maybe with tiny hearts, bluebirds, flowers, or small cupids.

4. When you are finished, cut the heart into several pieces, and put the pieces into a pretty, decorated envelope. Give your broken-heart message puzzle to someone you love for a really special Valentine's Day card.

How many points can you score in the Button Flip Game? Read about how to make and play this paper game on the next page.

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Button Flip Game

Cut the lid and front flap off an egg carton.
Cut the lid and front flap off an egg carton.

When you play the Button Flip Game, you'll find out how many points can you rack up by using a button shooter to flip smaller buttons into an egg carton. This game is guaranteed to provide hours of fun.

How to Play the Button Flip Game

What You'll Need:

  • Paper Egg Carton
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Dimensional Paint
  • Clear Acrylic Gloss Spray
  • Scraps of Card Stock: 3 colors
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil
  • Black fine-tip felt marker
  • Craft glue

1. Cut the lid and front flap off the egg carton; discard.

2. Cut behind the cone-shaped dividers, leaving these and one row of cups intact. Trim the rough edges behind the cones.

3. Paint the carton black, getting into all the little nooks and crannies. Let dry. Decorate with dimensional paint. Let set for an hour, then spray with clear gloss spray. Set aside to dry while making the point markers.

4. Trace the point marker pattern onto each color card stock twice. Outline with black marker, and cut out. Print a number, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60, on each marker. 5. Bend the top of the marker back, and glue the long end of each behind an egg cup.

Glue a point marker onto each egg cup.

6. To play this game, you'll need a few flat 3/4-inch buttons and a 1-inch flat button to use as a shooter. Place the game on a table or the floor. Place a piece of tape several inches in front of the game.

7. With the small buttons anywhere behind the tape, use the shooter button to flip them into the egg cups. Tally your points as you go.

Pattern is actual size.

Craft Stick Puzzles are made out of old books, so you just might learn something while you play with them. See how to make this paper game on the next page.

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Craft Stick Puzzles

Trim a picture to fit the craft sticks.
Trim a picture to fit the craft sticks.

You can make Craft Stick Puzzles by recycling old picture books. Learn how to to make puzzles from your favorite stories.

How to Play Craft Stick Puzzles

What You'll Need:

  • 7 Jumbo Craft Sticks
  • Pictures from a Storybook or Magazine
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors
  • Crafty Glue
  • Craft Knife
  • Adult help needed

1. Line up 7 jumbo craft sticks side by side on your work surface, and tape them together to hold them in place while you work. Turn the sticks over.

2. Trim a picture to fit on the craft sticks, and glue it to the center of the sticks. Let the glue dry, and then remove the tape from the back of the sticks.

3. Ask a grown-up to cut the sticks apart by running a craft knife through the seams where the sticks meet.

Once the sticks are cut apart, shuffle and solve the puzzle.

If you don't want to damage a favorite storybook, try shopping at a resale shop or garage sale to find an inexpensive book you won't mind cutting up.

Make your own Crazy Checkerboard with any colors you like. Read about how to make this paper game on the next page.

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Crazy Checkerboard

Your friends will love your colorful Crazy Checkerboard.
Your friends will love your colorful Crazy Checkerboard.

Make a Crazy Checkerboard with any colors you like. Measure two colors of construction paper, and weave them together.

How to Make a Crazy Checkerboard

What You'll Need:

  • Two pieces of differently colored paper (1 piece 8 x 8 inches, 1 piece 8 x 10 inches)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Transparent tape
  • 8 x 10-inch cardboard
  • Craft glue
  • Cardboard scraps
  • Markers

1. Fold the 8 x 10-inch sheet of paper in half, bringing the 8-inch sides together. Cut 7 slits, 1 inch apart, from the folded edge to within 1 inch of the other edge. Cut out eight 1-inch-wide strips from the 8 x 8-inch piece of paper. Unfold the first sheet of paper.

2. Weave the paper strips through the slits from left to right. Weave over and under the slits. If you started by weaving the first strip over the first slit, weave the second strip under the first slit, the third strip over the first slit, and so on. This will create a checkerboard.

3. When you have woven all 8 strips through the paper, make the ends of the strips even and straight. Carefully turn the checkerboard over. Place transparent tape along the left and right sides of the checkerboard to hold the strips in place. Turn the checkerboard right side up, and glue it to the cardboard.

4. Cut small circles out of cardboard, stack them 3 or 4 pieces high, and glue them together. Create enough for 2 sets of checkers. Make each set a different color. Now play checkers!

Ready for a brain twister? Learn how to make a tangram, a complicated puzzle that takes many shapes, on the next page.

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Make a Tangram

A tangram can create many different shapes.
A tangram can create many different shapes.

Learn how to Make a Tangram, a seven piece puzzle. A tangram is like a recyclable puzzle, because you can make so many shapes and patterns with it.

How to Make a Tangram

What You'll Need:

  • 8 x 8-inch Sheet of Light Cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

The Chinese call this puzzle ch'i ch'iao t'u, which means "ingenious puzzle with seven pieces." Seven geometric shapes make up the puzzle. Rearranged in different ways, these 7 pieces can make as many as 1,600 different designs.

1. Look closely at the pattern in the picture below. Use your ruler and pencil to draw an 8 x 8-inch square on the cardboard.

2. The heavy black lines are the cutting lines. Cut along the cutting lines.

3. If you'd like, you can decorate your tangram -- color each piece a different color, create different patterns on each one, or whatever you like. (NOTE: It is easier to color or decorate your tangram puzzle before you cut it apart.)

3. Try to re-create the design shown here. Then invent new shapes of your own. Trace the outside shape of your new designs, and challenge friends and family members to arrange the tangram pieces to match your designs.

Your tangram starts out as a perfect square.

Think a penny isn't worth much? It can buy you hours of fun when you turn it into a Penny Spinner. Find out how to make this great paper game on the next page.

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Penny Spinner

Draw a pencil line through the center of the plate.
Draw a pencil line through the center of the plate.

The Penny Spinner will make you realize that even though one cent doesn't buy a lot, a penny can give you hours of fun. Combine it with a paper plate to transform it into a great toy.

How to Make a Penny Spinner

What You'll Need:

  • Paper plate, 6-3/4 inches
  • Scrap Paper
  • Star Stickers
  • Penny
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Craft Knife
  • Permanent Marker
  • Adult help needed

1. Use scissors to cut the rim off the plate. Keep the edges smooth. 2. To find the center of the plate, trace around the plate on a piece of paper. Cut this circle out, and fold it in half. Place the half-circle on the back of the plate, and draw a pencil line on the plate, using the folded edge as a guide.

Fold the paper in half again, making a quarter-circle. Align this with the line on the plate and the edge of the plate, and make a mark at the place where the tip of the quarter-circle meets the line. Ask a grown-up to make a 3/4-inch slit centered on this mark, using the craft knife.

Mark the center of the plate with your pencil.

3. On the front of the plate, use the marker to draw a thick spiral line that begins in the center. Scatter star stickers around the spiral.

4. Insert the penny halfway through the slit. The penny should fit snugly.

Once the penny is in place, let the Penny Spinner spin.

5. To play: Place the spinner on a hard, flat surface, and use the top half of the penny to give it a spin.

Pom-Pom Basketball is a game of skill that's so well crafted your friends will think you bought it in a store. Find out how to make this paper game on the next page.

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Pom-Pom Basketball

Cut the inner circles out of the box.
Cut the inner circles out of the box.

Pom-Pom Basketball will turn you into a sports fanatic if you aren't one already. Improve your aim and skill with this super fun basketball game.

How to Make Pom-Pom Basketball

What You'll Need:

  • Two empty cereal boxes of the same size
  • Solid-color gift wrap
  • 5 paper cups, 2 ounces each
  • White construction paper or card stock
  • White twist tie
  • 1-inch pom
  • 30 inches heavy thread
  • Plastic spoon
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Colored markers
  • Craft glue
  • Ruler
  • Embroidery needle
  • Duct tape
  • Two-inch-wide masking tape
  • Adult help needed

1. Open the tops of 2 cereal boxes, lifting the flaps up. Wrap the bottom and sides of both boxes with gift wrap, leaving the flaps open and unwrapped.

2. Trace the top of a 2-ounce cup 4 times on the front side of one of the boxes. Turn the cup over, and trace the bottom inside each of the larger circles.

3. Ask a grown-up to cut out each of the inner circles using a craft knife. Use scissors to cut tabs from the inside to the outer circle all the way around. Bend these tabs down into the box, and insert a cup into each hole. Assign each cup a point value by writing a number on a scrap of paper and gluing it beside each cup.

4. Cut a piece of white paper to fit around the fifth cup, wrap it around, and glue in place. Use red marker to draw diagonal lines that look like netting. With a pencil, make 2 small marks about 1/2 inch apart near the top of the cup. Ask a grown-up to help you poke a hole at each mark.

5. Trace and cut out the backboard pattern from white paper. Outline it in blue, and draw a red square in the center. Glue the backboard onto the front of the second box, near the top (with the arch toward the top). With a pencil, make 2 small marks about 1/2 inch apart near the bottom of the backboard, and ask a grown-up to poke a hole at each mark.

Mount the basket onto the board with a twist tie.

6. Insert a twist tie through the holes in the cup and through the holes in the backboard. Reach into the open end of the box, and twist the tie to secure the cup. Mark a point value just below the cup.

7. Thread the pom onto a 30-inch length of heavy thread, and knot it in place at the end. Tie the other end of the thread to the head of a plastic spoon.

8. Ask a grown-up to cut a 1-inch slit in the box with the cups (see photo for placement), cutting through both flaps in the same place. Insert the plastic spoon handle into this slit, and use duct tape to secure the handle of the spoon to the inside of the box.

Mount the plastic spoon at the end of the court.

9. Tape the open flaps of both boxes closed, and with 2-inch-tape, tape the boxes together into an L-shape with the cups at the base and the backboard standing up.

10. Play Ball! Place the pom in the spoon. Push down on the tip of spoon with your fingertip to flip the pom into a basket.

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