If you’ve ever wondered how to make a kick-ass party game that you can re-use birthday after birthday, you NEED these instructions for a DIY Reusable Prize Punch-a-Bunch Game!
I love incorporating little favors and games into our birthday parties; we’ve done piñatas a few times, a treasure chest full of booty another time. But I’ve always wanted to build a punch game and finally made it happen!
This turned out better than I’d expected and came together simply and cost-effectively, too – especially when you consider we can use this game again and again and again! We were lucky enough to have scrap wood and paint around the house, so this project cost less than $10 out of pocket and took about an hour to assemble.
Here’s what you’ll need to make one yourself – because you are SO going to want to build one!
- 4 1×5 boards, each 30 inches long (for front)
- 2 2×4 cut 48 inches (for sides)
- 2 1×2 cut 48 inches (for support along sides)
- 2 2×4 cut 20 inches (for feet)
- 1 2×4 cut 18 inches (extra support across feet)
- 20 2” screws (for base assembly)
- 20 ¾” screws (for attaching bowls)
- 20 paper treat bowls (the ones we used were 3 ¾” in diameter by 2 ¼” tall)
- Tissue paper
- 20 elastics
- Paint (optional)
NOTE: You might want to add a fifth 1×5, creating 25 prize spaces – making this PERFECT to reuse as an ADVENT CALENDAR, too! You could hide treats AND cards with activities for the day!
We built our Prize Punch-a-Bunch Game with 20 prize spaces for two reasons: the treat bowls were sold in a package of 20 and we were expecting a total of 10 kids for this party, which let them each punch two prizes. You can adjust as you want; if you only have enough wood to do three rows, go for it! (I’m really considering adding that fifth row to ours before I get around to painting it – the kids will be THRILLED if this comes back out for Christmas time!)
On to the design!
So, you have all your boards cut to size and ready to go. You may want to take the time now to paint or stain your creation. We were in a time crunch, so we went with the wood as-is – and no kid complained!
- First assembly step is to screw the front slats to the 2×4 sides, spacing them 2 1/2” apart.
- Next, attach the feet to the inside of the 2×4, again using the larger screws.
- Then you can attach the 1×2 supports, starting at the feet.
- Complete the structure with the small 2×4 piece providing extra stability across the back of the feet.
- Finally, attach the bowls evenly across the slats, being sure to go slow and steady with the ¾” screws so you don’t break the cups.
Now, you could also get MUCH fancier than we did and make this a collapsible design – which is what our six-year-old suggested AFTER we’d built it. Smart kid. Oh well, we have the space to store this as is, so we’re not about to rebuild it yet.
Place the favors inside the bowls. (There’s a fair bit of room in these bowls, but be sure to keep it in mind when purchasing your prizes. Ideally, you’ll build this FIRST, have some extra bowls, and take one prize shopping with you. You can use small party favors, wrapped candies, mini chocolate bars – even money or gift cards could work!)
Place a piece of tissue paper over the bowl and secure it with an elastic.
We created this for our sons’ fifth birthday party, which was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme, so I picked up green and orange tissue paper and elastics to cover the bowls. Using two colours meant I only needed ten squares of each – which you could get from one large piece of tissue paper, so check your wrapping paper stash or ask friends before buying full packages of tissue paper, if you’re looking to save the dollar or two on this item.
Here’s a look at the fully-ready game – which is going to get an update with another row of bowls (to be reused as a Christmas countdown!) and a coat of paint, but was still a huge hit with the kids!