Make Your Own Putter
Let your child unleash his inner Tiger Woods with this fun activity that combines arts and crafts, games, and math practice all into one. Not only will your child create his own golf putter but he'll also design his own putting course in a room of the house and play to his heart's content. No need to buy expensive materials and equipment for this activity—all you need are a wood dowel and foam block from the craft store and a bit of foam to wood glue from the hardware store to begin. In all, the putter costs only about 4 dollars to make! This is a great indoor activity for small parties, home schooling PE, or afternoon fun with a friend on a rainy day.
Putting is a good way to relax, but it also helps your child develop his fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. And although many golfers stress that golf is above all a physical game, there is a very strong mathematical component to it as well. As your child improves his putting skills, he'll learn the physics of velocity and deflection.
What You Need:
- Wood dowel 36" long and 5/8"-3/4” in diameter
- Small foam block (usually available at craft stores)
- Foam to wood glue (available at hardware stores)
- Golf ball or any ball of the same size
- Cutting tool such as a hacksaw, wood saw, or large kitchen knife
- Small utility knife
- Several index cards or sheets of paper
What You Do:
To make the putter:
- Have your child hold the dowel like a golf club to see if the length is good for her. A 36-inch club will work for most kids, but if you think it needs to be shorter, use a lightweight handsaw to cut it to size. Be sure not to cut off more than 6 inches.
- Using a saw or other cutting tool, carefully cut your foam block so it measures 3-4" in length and 2-3" in height. If your foam block is very thick, you may want to cut it down to make it thinner, but make sure it is at least 1 1/4" thick so your dowel can be inserted into it.
- Using the small utility knife, create a hole in the top of the foam block slightly smaller than the diameter of your dowel. The hole should be placed in the top, narrow part of the foam block toward one end. To create the hole, make four cuts into the foam in the shape of a square, then scoop out the loosened foam.
- Put glue on one tip of the dowel and in the hole you just created. Carefully insert the dowel into the foam block and press together. Continue holding the two pieces together until the glue dries completely.
To play golf:
- With the help of your child, plot out a golf course in a room of your house. The "holes" can be anything: a certain spot on the wall, the leg of a desk or chair, a plastic cup, or a spot on the floor. The course can contain as many or as few holes as you like.
- Number each hole, then write each number on an index card or sheet of paper and tape them near their corresponding holes.
Now it's time to play! Encourage your child to keep practicing and remind her that it takes time to develop good putting skills.