Angry Birds in a BucketThe perfect Angry Birds to use in a 3-man slingshot.

By: Jenna Duetzmann, staff writer

I mentioned a fun summer craft project designed to bring games to life in an earlier Mommy Monday article. Several people asked me about how I built a real life Angry birds game so I thought I would publish some instructions!

Note: If you somehow aren’t familiar with Angry Birds you should run to your nearest mobile device and download it. It is a great game!

Step 1: You are going to need boxes! Put out the call to friends and family that you are looking for unique cardboard boxes. We got TONS of fun stuff. Shoe boxes, wrapping paper tubes, light fixture boxes, Bumbo seat boxes and many more. We got so many, that we actually had to leave a bunch behind to complete our project in a timely manner.

Step 2: Search for your bird projectiles. We went a few different routes before finally settling on our final option. First we looked at plush Angry Birds from online retailers like Amazon. They had plenty of choices, but they were too pricey for our budget. Then we searched local big box retailers for toys and found some great Angry Birds branded balls. After purchasing those, we found what I think is the best option: rubber playground balls. You can draw and paint the bird faces on them, and the balls can be found in sets all over the Internet or in school supply catalogs or at party stores for a great price. You can add an extra level of fun by letting your kids paint in the lines that you have pre-drawn.

Step 3: Create your pigs. There are so many options here, and each one has advantages and disadvantages. We made paper mâché pigs (they crush just like the pigs in the game), balloon pigs (super easy, but they don’t stay well on the towers), coffee can pigs (a bit heavy) and foam ball pigs from the craft store. Let your imagination and creativity run wild and let the kids help.

Step 4: Turn your boxes into Angry Bird looking tower pieces. Again, there are many options. The first option we tried was wrapping the boxes with brown craft paper and letting the kids color and paint a wood grain pattern, stone pattern, and glass. While it looked really nice, unfortunately it wasn’t durable enough for the Fair we were going to be using it at. We ended up buying a few cans of gray, yellow, and blue spray paint (multi purpose, glossy) and quickly painting the boxes.

Step 5: Create your slingshot. You can buy a pre-made 3-man slingshot on Amazon; it’s the option we are using. But, you could build a slingshot instead. The general concept consists of PVC pipe made into a Y shape (tall enough to stick the base in the ground) with rubber tubing from an exercise band and a burlap cloth launching pad. There are very simple instructions for PVC slingshots. Please note: All of these slingshots can REALLY SHOOT, so make sure your kids are using them safely and supervised.

Step 6: Build your towers and launch away! This is the best part. Have fun. Play with your children and enjoy the laughter and smiles. (Make sure to take a turn yourself. It’s more fun than you think it is. Trust me!)

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