5 Amazing DIY Arcade Games


When you think of an arcade, your first thought is probably of a room with glowing video game screens. But arcades didn’t start out as high-tech amusements. There’s an amazing amount of inventiveness and fun you can create…no computers or even electricity required.

Try your hand at building these DIY arcade games from materials around your house!

1. Whack-A-Groundhog

Based on the classic arcade game Whac-A-Mole, this Whack-A-Groundhog game involves quickly and repeatedly hitting the heads of groundhogs with a mallet as they pop up from holes. The quarters serve as weights to keep your groundhogs popping up even after you whack ‘em down!

2. Craft Stick Catapult

Launching things is endless entertainment. This craftstick catapult is powered by rubberbands. We tried Pom Poms too, and they worked just as well.

How exactly does your catapult work? Let’s take a look at some of the physics behind it…

3. Marble Maze

This easy DIY Marble Maze is a great for kids who enjoy puzzles and contests (you’ll play multiple games out of this one project): Try to roll a marble from start to finish without letting it fall through one of the holes. Or, use two bouncy balls and try to get them stuck in both holes at the same time. 

4. Paper Football

Flick the football with your finger to launch it through your goal posts! You can set up a box as a target to aim for, or play with a friend and invent your own rules.

5. Tilt-to-Win

Make your own Tilt-to-Win game using a box and cardboard tubes. To allow for different ages and abilities, size the tubes longer for younger kids.  To challenge older kids, open up one side of the box and invite them to roll their ball into the tubes from across the room.

For more arcade fun, check out our Pinball Machine crate!

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