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Milk Carton Games

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Here’s a bright idea using old milk cartons.  
Submitted by James Elliot from Glen Ellen, California.  K-5


Background: Over the years, I have collected and/or designed a variety of “homemade” games that can be used with special needs students and/or regular education students. Here are several ideas for recycling old waxed milk cartons.

Materials Needed:

- Waxed milk cartons and newspaper
- Duct tape and scissors

Prep & Assembly: Rinse out the half-gallon waxed milk cartons. Allow them to dry and then cut along the upper folds of the carton so that each flap can be folded flat. Stuff each carton with old newspaper to add weight and to make the outer shell more rigid. Fold down the top carton and duct tape it down. Make many of these for the following three activities:

(1) Two-Person Relay

Description: Form two lines of equal numbers. For each line, the first two students will begin the relay. Each team is given a milk carton. It is placed and balanced between the two persons’ shoulders.

Once both teams are ready, the relay may begin. The two players will walk briskly while holding the carton between the shoulders. They walk to the turning point and back to their team. Once they reach their team, they hand off the carton to the next pair.

(2) Carton Bowling

Description: Set up the activity by building a pyramid of cartons. Six cartons work best (three on the bottom, two in the middle and one on the top). Stand at least 6 feet away and, using a tennis ball, aim the ball toward the cartons and see how many you can knock down. Beanbags may also be used in place of the tennis balls.

(3) Beanbag Sliders

Description: To set up the activity, you’ll need a lot of beanbags and a carton for each participant. Divide the gym in two and have equal players on the two sides. Players put down their cartons behind or beside them. They are given one beanbag to start.

On the “go” signal, each player slides a beanbag to knock over the cartons from the opposing team. They then pick up beanbags thrown from the opposing team and continue to knock over the cartons. Once a participant’s carton is knocked over, he picks up the carton and goes over to the other side and continues playing on a new side. When all the players are on one side, the game is over.

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