Family Time Calendar: Get Moving - iVillage

Want to introduce tennis (or badminton) to youngsters without investing in a racket or even a can of balls? To avoid the frustration of missing fast-moving balls, slow the game down a notch. Balloons move through the air at a kid-friendly pace, and these homemade "rackets" offer a wide hitting surface.

 

What you'll need:

  • 2 wire hangers
  • Pliers
  • 2 wood paint stirrers or rulers
  • Electrical tape
  • Old or inexpensive pair of stockings
  • Several balloons
  • Masking tape or length of twine or rope
  • Several foot-long pieces of ribbon (optional)

 

What you'll do:

  • Gently pull and push on the triangular frame of a wire hanger to form it into a circular shape. Use pliers to straighten the curved handle.
  • Tape the handle to a wood paint stirrer or ruler. Wind the handle securely with lots of electrical tape so the hanger "racket" does not move.
  • Cut the legs off the stockings; discard the top. Stretch each leg over the rounded "racket" frame and knot it at the bottom.
  • Create a "net" by stringing rope across your yard or laying a line of masking tape on the ground. If desired, increase the visibility of the net by hanging some ribbons from the rope.
  • Blow up a balloon and knot it. Then kids can use the homemade rackets to hit the balloon back and forth over the net!

 

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