Family Games

Tabletop Horseshoe Game for Kids

By: Highlights Editorial
Do-it-yourself horseshoe game made from cardboard.
minute activity
Ages 3+
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor Skills

Challenge your kids to throw with focus as they play this DIY tabletop game. Get them started by making their own game pieces. Then put the game on the table and start tossing the horseshoes.

What You'll Need

What to Do

  1. For the game’s base, cut two 9-inch-by-13-inch rectangles from corrugated cardboard. Cover 1 rectangle with poster board. Ask an adult to cut a 1-inch circle in its center.

  2. For the post, cut open a short cardboard tube lengthwise. Roll the cardboard tight so it fits into the 1-inch hole. Cover the tube with duct tape, leaving the bottom untaped. Cut 4 slits in the bottom inch of the tube. Stick the slits through the hole. Fan them out and tape them to the underside of the cardboard.

  3. Glue the second cardboard rectangle under the first (to cover the tape).

  4. For each player, cut 2 horseshoes from corrugated cardboard. Cover each set with colored paper. Use a different color for each player.

How to Play

Place the game on the table and let players take turns tossing their horseshoes at the post.

Once all the horseshoes have been tossed, tally up the points. Give 1 point for horseshoes that land on the game’s base but don’t encircle the post. Give 3 points for horseshoes that encircle the post.

The player with the highest score wins.  

Extend the Fun

Younger kids: Get your little one to help you keep score. Tally the points together after each player, and help your child record the 1s and 3s. Then add the two numbers together to get the player’s score for that round. Help your child record the number. Repeat until all players have thrown their horseshoes. 

Older kids: Set the game on the floor. Have kids stand 1 foot away and toss their horseshoes. Then have them take 1 step back and toss again. Have them keep stepping back until they can no longer land their horseshoes on the base. Have them measure the distance with a tape measure, then ask them to subtract that from the distance where they started. How far did they move?

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Author Photo
By: Highlights Editorial