We got this fantastic idea for ping pong ball shooters from Come Together Kids. I made a couple of revisions – they used them to shoot pom poms and mini marshmallows, and said that the mini marshmallows worked the best. We didn’t have any mini marshmallows, and they’re not a great thing to have landing on the floor with a crawling baby in the house anyway. So we used ping pong balls. They shoot great, don’t damage anything, and the baby can’t fit them in his mouth!

The boys have been running around the house shooting ping pong balls – great indoor fun for bad weather days!

To make one:
  • Cut the bottom third off of a restaurant/movie theater/sports venue freebie cup with heavy scissors or a utility knife – this is an adult job! (Laura at Come Together Kids used disposable cups, but had to double them up for strength, so we decided to use plastic cups.)
  • Tie a balloon shut – with no air in it.
  • Cut the top off the balloon.
  • Stretch the balloon around the mouth end of the cup.
  • To shoot, simply pull on the knot end of the balloon and let go!
Make it a Science and Math Activity:
Before we shot ping pong balls with our shooters, we actually used them for a science and math activity. Aidan and Gresham (ages 9 and 6) gathered items from around the house. They used grape tomatoes, an eraser, plastic Trio toys, pom pom balls, and a cap to a gluestick. I had Aidan make a masking tape line on the carpet for a starting line. Then, they tested each item and measured how far it traveled when they shot it out of their shooter. They recorded their results in a chart. Aidan’s math curriculum has been really difficult lately, and he was so happy to take a break from his book and do something active with math!
Aidan also had fun shooting the ping pong balls straight into the air and trying to catch them in the cup.

More Indoor Activities with Shooting and Throwing:

Angry Birds beanbags and blocks game – Who doesn’t love Angry Birds?

Shoot cotton balls with plastic fork catapults – This one makes for a silly evening of family fun!

Make indoor snowballs and have a snowball fight – Made out of tights. I had to buy some just for this activity – ha!


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  1. Sheri Oct 14, 2012

    SOoooo excited to try this out with the 7 boys at my house (including my husband, lol)! How fun!!!

  2. Christy Oct 22, 2012

    DUDE! This is awesome. I will be making my boys some this week. Thanks for linking up to tip-toe thru tuesday. I hope we see you again this week!

  3. Tonia Mar 28, 2013

    What a great idea! I had seen this done with the pom poms and marshmallows, like you mentioned, but ping pong balls will be way more fun, especially for my older boys. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Jenn Nov 25, 2013

    I love this idea! I was wondering if you knew of a substitute for the balloon? I'd like to try it but need to avoid latex.

    1. An Feb 6, 2014

      Perhaps you can try a latex free plastic glove? Tie the fingers into knots and slip the wrist over the cup mouth, to get the same result. This may take a bit of experimenting, but that is half the fun! Good luck!

  5. Karen Jun 9, 2014

    I'm looking for class party ideas and stumbled upon this. What a great use of those plastic cups... I have tons of them from restaurants.

  6. homeschoolingstores.com Nov 30, 2015

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who has been doing a little research on this.

    And he in fact ordered me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him...
    lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this issue here on your web page.


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